Just the other day, I had a chat with my manager about the way I (and most people) use their Instagram accounts, and whether or not I had ever deleted my account, and I must say that I never have. Sure, I’ve taken a break from it for a certain period of time, and have promised my boyfriend I wouldn’t focus on my next ‘gram when going on vacation, or when at a nice restaurant, but never have I been tempted to completely delete my account. So why are people deleting theirs, and are they onto something here about our society?
It’s safe to say that most Gen Z use their social media to capture every single moment of their much too exciting lives, but I’ve also noticed some older photos disappearing from my 18-year-old cousin’s account and couldn’t help but wonder why?
I personally use my account as an archive. I enjoy scrolling back to my college years and seeing the mad parties I used to go to, or discover how much my nieces and nephews have changed. But it seems the younger generation are not into this idea of archiving, and are more into the idea of purging their memories.
We live in an age of surveillance after all, so could they be onto something here? I must say that after watching The Great Hack on Netflix, I am feeling slightly paranoid about all those social channels.
On the other end, could it also have to do with Instagram causing anxiety, stress and an overbearing sense of responsibility? We did brush up on the topic a few weeks back when we mentioned the new JOMO trend, or the Joy Of Missing Out, which is when people are enjoying missing out on our friend’s news on Facebook and various social channels. But could this trend be even more rooted in today’s culture than we thought?
I then started growing very curious about this particular topic and stumbled upon an article on Mel Magazine, about how the younger generation feels that their images are usually “just pictures of them wearing a face mask in bed” and therefore didn’t think these photos were worth the longevity.
“I only want people to see the photos that I think represent me the best. How I feel about my photos changes, too — sometimes in a few days, sometimes over months. Sometimes, I’ll post a picture because I want to feel good and get some likes. Other times, I’ll post a picture of me and a friend just to show people in our class, but those pictures don’t define who I am or how I feel” says 17-year-old Ellie Moor to Mel Magazine.
Does this mean that people also delete their accounts depending on their moods or level of happiness? I personally believe that Instagram shouldn’t be bringing you any type of stress or anxiety, but should definitely be bringing you joy, especially when seeing pictures of your friend’s latest puppy, or stalking your exes on vacation… Ok these might not all bring you joy – but at least not keep you up at night!
If you take a look at our own TWC Instagram for instance – which you should most definitely be following if you don’t already – we love to share some iconic fashion photographs, or a fun pop culture reference, all with the goal to either make you smile, or daydream a little. So why use social channels as a source of stress to the point of deleting your account to find peace?
When I asked my 18-year-old cousin about the way he uses his Instagram account, he bluntly told me that he didn’t consider his account a photo album the same way I did; but still enjoyed that the older generation did. Side note: may I just say that when he referred to me when speaking about “the older generation”, it made me feel extra strange… But he just has never felt the need to look back at things he has done in his life, and believes today’s Gen Z way of thinking is much more about living day by day.
Funnily enough, I actually strongly disagree with him. I wouldn’t be able to tell you how many times I felt that he was missing out on the actually present because of distractions on his phone, but of course, that’s something he’d never agree with…
We’d love to know if you’ve ever deleted your account, and why you felt the need to do so. Was it because you saw something on there that hurt your feelings? Or because you just needed a break from social media? Tell us in the comments below!
To celebrate this new generation, here are some hip clothes you’ll need this Winter
Images via Unsplash
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