My Love/Hate Relationship with Instagram

I’m not sure if this is a personality defect or just a trait, but when I do something I’m usually “all in.”

On the plus side, this means I can stay focused and am a hard worker but sometimes this translates into that gray area known as obsessive compulsive behavior.  When I play tennis, I’m super competitive.  When I organize, I want it to look Pinterest perfect. When I interact with people, I want them to think I’m charming and amusing, and… well, you get the point.

The latest thing I’ve “discovered” (as in, like, how Al Gore discovered the internet) is Instagram.  Sure, I knew about it and my kids were on it, but I never understood the fuss.  Now, after 36 days, 12 hours and 4 minutes, I’m eating, sleeping and thinking Instagram 24/7.

I find myself on the phone in the middle of the night checking to see if I have any new followers.  If I realize that somebody dared to “unfollow” me, I get on that phone and “unfollow” them back as quickly as humanly possible.  I keep lists of who I started following first to see if they follow me back.  I was giddy when I got to 200 followers two days ago.  Seriously…it’s a sickness.

I will say, because I have a touch of OCD, I’m good at it.  I don’t just slap up a picture of our pet (maybe because we don’t have one) or what we had for dinner (because I’m usually eating it before I remember what a great shot it would make), I give these posts serious thought. They are an interesting combination of funny sayings, helpful tips for organizing, and family shots so people know I’m a real person.

Another great example of a picture I posted on Instagram. Who doesn’t need a “to do” list like this?

But I can’t leave it alone.  I’m embarrassed to admit, I have lists of things that would make good posts.  Even more embarrassing, I go trolling through free photo sites, looking for even better pictures for better posts.  (Usually these are the funny sayings because they are hard to think up on the spur of the moment.)

I mean, really, what is the end game here?  Last night I even looked up one of my kids, the one who I thought would have the most followers and sure enough, (dang it!), he’s has 702 followers and has 711 people following him.  Even worse, his dog has an account that he started Feb. 12 OF THIS YEAR and Freya has 112 followers already.  I did tell Jon if Freya ever gets more followers than me there will be blood.  (Of course, Freya is a German Shepherd puppy who weighs in at 80 pounds, so maybe I should go light on the threats!)

Stupid, stupid, dog!

Anyway, today I finally decided enough is enough.  I need to wean myself away from Instagram.  Not entirely, because as I continue with my organizing business for campers, I’m going to want those contacts.  But I need to stop spending so much time and energy on it.

I’ve decided it’s kind of like having the Jeep Wrangler.  When you have a Jeep, you are supposed to wave to other people in Jeeps and it’s such a little dumb thing but it’s always fun to feel like a part of a community and Instagram does that for me.  I write cute little comments to people and they write back and it’s just a moment of connection that feels good.  And…in my defense, tonight we are meeting an Instagram family who is at the same RV park in southern CA where we are.

Meet Riley. We got her last year and she’s a sweetie!

I honestly think, as my followers grow, that it might provide some real connections and that’s exciting.  But then I get way ahead of myself and think if I can’t keep up with 200 followers, what will happen if I ever get to 1,000?  Do you see how tangled this web can become?

Everything in moderation.  Heavy sigh.  Well, I will try anyway.


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