Mental Health and Instagram

For the majority of last year, I was obsessed with growing my Instagram following. It seemed like the obvious thing to do, in this day and age. More followers equal more reach which adds up to more freelance gigs, travel opportunities, and so on.

I’ve not always been someone who tends to weigh the positives before he weights the negatives, I had slowly started to become that person when I was so desperately trying to grow my Instagram following. Making new pictures every day and posting them every day, reaching out to others who were trying to do the same thing in hopes of gaining a new follower or two. There was no time to think about anything.

That was until January of this year when I completely stopped posting on Instagram. Exams were right around the corner and Mum fell sick. I had a lot of time to think about things and no time to think about things at the very same time. Some that I shouldn’t have worried about and over-analyzing everything I’d done so far and over thinking, in general. I was still consuming the same amount of content on Instagram as I was when I creating just as much, though. That was and is an issue.

Consuming more than you create marked the start of rapidly dropping self-confidence and which changed a lot of things for me. Now, that I’ve gone through that experience, I’ve realized that life on social media seems much faster and happier than it is. I’m not saying that life can’t be happy, I’m saying that it’s not always happy. People seem much happier than they are. They seem to be making more money than they are. They seem to have more friends to share those drinks with than they do. And worst of all, they seem to have no strong opinions about anything. Everyone wants to stay in everyone’s good books because that’s how things work now. That’s how you grow on Instagram.

My opinions about the role that social media plays into (a lot of the times) declining mental health are constantly changing. I will think differently about Instagram, and social media in general, as I go through the process of getting myself back on track and creating more art (and other things) than I consume. And that’s only natural. The grass is always greener on the other side until you reach the other side, in the case of social media. Then it’s greener on your end and you will want to maintain that illusion in order to make those around you and those who follow your work believe that you’re doing ok even when you’re not. I want to stop not only maintaining but carefully crafting my internet persona in the first place. Not just for myself but for the people around me and those who consume my work.

I’m 18, Now, and Here’s What I Hope To Achieve By The Time I’m 20

I think most 17-year-olds who’re nearing their 18th birthday get excited and you probably are too. I mean, why shouldn’t you be? You’re finally going to be an adult. Get to have a seat at the big people table, have a beer and get to learn to drive a car and ride a bike and things of that nature. Or not, if you’re like me.

I already know how to drive a car, thanks to Mum and Dad and I’ve had a beer, thanks to Luve, my 22-year-old friend. What I don’t have, is a seat at the big people table and to be really honest, I don’t give a fuck. Who wants to talk to people your opinions don’t match with, people you have to respect just because they’re older and be talked down to just because you’re younger?

I’m excited but also not excited to turn 18.

Why? You might ask. It’s simple. When someone you don’t know tells you they’re seventeen? SEVENTEEN. What goes through your mind? Let me guess. Kid. A fucking kid. That’s it. SEVENTEEN SCREAMS KID. But when you turn 18, EIGHTEEN, it gets complicated. You’re assumed to act and talk about things a certain way. You’re expected to take responsibility in matters that you’re not even remotely connected to. But that’s not what I’m really scared of. I can handle petty complications. What I can’t handle are not-petty-and-very-serious complications. Like: Get your act together. Help yourself.

Everyone needs help in some way or the other. Some people are mentally independent and I really admire them for everything they are, but, I’m not one of them. I need someone to keep me sane. Someone to tell me I’m good enough and keep me from quitting everything there is to my life.

That said, I don’t want this to be a “look at this 18-year-old privileged kid talking about mental health” post. I want to take this post to talk about what I want to achieve in the next two years, that is, by the time I’m twenty years old.

  1. Work towards being emotionally independent.
  2. Be able to call myself a YouTuber.
  3. Make films.
  4. Learn astrophotography.
  5. Be a better storyteller.
  6. Lose weight and be able to trek 10KM/day.
  7. Travel to all 29 states in India.
  8. Learn to prioritize.
  9. Make 200 films.