Thank you.Thank you for all you’ve done for me. I’ve been obsessed with growing my followers, because you know without a big fat following I’m no one right?
I’ve been worrying about the numbers again and I’m sorry. Really sorry. See I know I’m more than my number of followers or my engagement level, but I seem to forget this a heck of a lot.
Constantly I hear to be a successful blogger I need a large following and so I started to worry. Worry that I just wasn’t good enough. That my photos are crap, my content sucks and that I’m just not good enough because if I were then surely I’d have a larger following? These are the insecure thoughts I have when my following doesn’t grow or worse declines.
Instagram, I have sinned. I’ve blamed you for my insecurities. I’ve cursed people playing the follow/unfollow game when I haven’t been so innocent myself.
See I’ve followed people thinking “Hey girl, we are in the same location and everything or we are both *insert similarity here* so surely we’ll wanna support each other (to make this clear, I’ve not said this out right, just how my crazy mind works).
Then I’ve got so pissed off when they’ve not followed me back that after weeks on me engaging with them, I’ve unfollowed them. Purely because I’ve decided that they thought they were better than me.
You know because why wouldn’t they wanna support a fellow blogger in the same location or field other than they don’t like me?
Well, there are many valid reasons, but my mind has chosen to see it as rejection. That I’m simply not good enough and Instagram I’ve blamed you for that.
Instagram, I’m sorry I keep blaming you for my low self-esteem. See I decided to have a large following meant I’d proved myself, that I am worthy and oh I’ve made it.
I asked you to validate me with a large following and when you didn’t come through I blamed the Instagram algorithm, people buying followers, the dodgy bot accounts and those playing the follower/unfollow game.
Not once did I blame me. Not once did I take responsibility. No Instagram, it was all your fault my followers weren’t as large as I needed them to be to feel worthy.
I’m sorry, what an entitled brat I’ve been. I hope you can forgive me.
You’re teaching me that I’m more than the numbers, but I’ve been too stupid to listen. You’ve been trying to teach me that some will see my worth and some won’t, but I can choose my worth any time.
I can set the bar and raise my standards. That standard being, I’m at ease about the numbers because I am worthy. I am enough.
I can tell the brands that don’t see my worth because my following isn’t high enough, that I understand. I don’t need to take it personally. I don’t need a brand to validate me. I can do that all by myself.
You’ve challenged me Instagram, to grow a thicker skin, but instead, I didn’t see that. I felt sorry for myself. I had a pity party about not hitting that 1k milestone or even getting close.
You’ve simply given me opportunity after opportunity to raise up and laugh at the hideous game of chasing the numbers.
I’ve chased numbers, even though I know it’s never made me feel good.
Instagram, you’ve given me an opportunity to not judge. Only I choose judgment.
I choose to judge those who I deemed as cheating their way to a large following. I allowed myself to get angry at the game. I allow myself to believe they don’t deserve it and feel it was unfair.
Instead of seeing these people as simply being proactive I cursed them. I may not have any desire to do what they do, it doesn’t sit right with me. It feels fake and cheating, but to judge them is toxic.
We aren’t that different, we both desire a large following. We both seek validation. Only they do something about it, whilst I hope. I may ‘like’ or comment on someone else’s post whilst secretly hoping they or someone else will see it and pop over to my account and fingers crossed they’ll follow me.
I’ll tell myself that’s OK because I ain’t playing the unfollow game, using bots or buying followers. I’ll tell myself that I’m doing it morally and they aren’t.
Instagram, thank you. See I understand now. We are all, in fact, playing the same game but different tactics. We are all playing the ego’s game. We all want to look good. Desiring a vanity number of following or if you’re like me, just a number that doesn’t feel embarrassing for a blogger.
Instagram I’m ready to just love you. Love you as a place to document my journey, share memories, have a voice, discover new people, be creative and most importantly as a constant reminder to myself, that I am good enough. We are all good enough.
Every time I feel rejection, low self-esteem or that I’m not good enough is an opportunity to choose again.
Thank you, Instagram for challenging me,
The blogger that used to curse you x
It Did Do Harm – An open Letter to Grandparents & Those With Adult Children
(Blog post on generational trauma)