What I learnt from having a public Instagram account?

DisclaimerMy post is not by any means directed to the wonderful people I have met virtually and exchange words below many of their posts. I think by now you know me, though we have never met yet, and our connection is mutually based on respect and love. 


I have always been a private person, I mean it takes guts for someone to openly expose his life to all of his friends, close or not, yet alone strangers. However, more than a year ago I decided to make my Instagram account public for all the wrong reasons.

Let me be honest with you; the main reason why I switched from ‘private’ to ‘public’ was to expose my photography shots to the world by using popular hashtags and get credit for it. On the long run, however, without noticing much (honest!), I fell into the category of people exposing their whole life and anticipating approval from random strangers on anything and everything I was doing daily. Not only did I expose my privacy but I messed my friends’ by revealing our get togethers and outings.

Receiving positive feedbacks under each pictures from people I could not care less was somehow an ultimate reward for me. I know its very lame yet I unconsciously had this feeling and I am sure a lot out there do & feel the same. Posting useless edited selfies went from one or two to many on the long run. I did read a couple of articles on the subject matter but I guess my brain was shutting the info out unconsciously. My followers numbers were increased from 200 to 970 (although many followers were blocked when I noticed that their accounts bore only 1 or 2 pictures and some of them were fake and I didn’t want them among my followers). I mean quality over quantity right? Right yet at the same time wrong because I let strangers I know nothing of scrutinizing my life.

I am not an Instagram star nor a digital influencer nor is my aim to become one. I couldn’t care less of digital stardom. Within the year and a half the main reason behind my decision lost its meaning because of shallow gratification.

Two nights ago, it finally hit me and I erased all my personal pictures from Instagram & Facebook alike. It should’ve been decided a long time ago but its never too late. Better late than sorry!

Few of the reasons behind my decision is as follow:

  • There are predators out there; some people follow you religiously without you being aware and next thing you know they are reaching out as if you are friends since ever. You cannot blame them, you gave them the tools to feel that way.
  • In the States, Europe alike, we have been hearing of cases where stalkers are taking the follow/friend accepted very seriously; a step up from being some sort of internet loner to living digitally within your circle. Since these people have a deficiency in their own lives, their brain is directing them to unimaginable acts to be closer physically to the object of their fixation. Maybe Lebanon is still a step behind this phenomena, yet one should prevent such acts before its too late.
  • Social media posts about outings and get togethers are very over rated. Every single person posting about a lunch/dinner or/and celebration is sugar coated overly. The captions are written in proses, quotes stressing perfect relationships and friendships, emoticons and comments exchanged back and forth to stress and over ride a very important feature >> the hypocrisy in real life of the people involved.
  • I realized that my Instagram’s theme revolved solely around my private life and every day doings. Which is pointless and a bore if not sugar coated with edited personal pictures. I mean how to gain popularity without showing some face now and then. And since I am no longer following that path, my decision to revolve my profile around art. Art being my passion and my work centering my goal right now (see two previous posts behind whyI will not become another employee in this country).
  • Further developing the previous point, centering my profile on art and my work, I have decided to develop my passion by interacting with fellow artists worldwide whose work is interesting and helpful.
  • An Instagram theme will attract exposure from people similar to oneself. An interesting and a learning experience for self growth.

I will stop here because I think I made my point clear. Social media has changed our perspective on life and the way we behave. It has taught us to await for unnecessary rewards & gratification from everyone, whether these people are dear to us or not. It has molded us into shallow brainless creatures. And most importantly it has made us into followers

Do not forget who you really are. Do not put aside your true self and most importantly do not invite complete strangers to your life for the wrong reasons. In the end its not the positive feedback from both hypocrites & strangers that will lift you up. Its the love you have towards yourself that will make you the winner of that book under writing entitled “My Life”.




Author: Patyl-Astrid

"Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the common place, the slaves of the ordinary." Cecile Beaton

3 thoughts on “What I learnt from having a public Instagram account?”

  1. It takes a courageous person to face up to the truth and write it out for the world to read. And you, my friend, are a brave lady for admitting this to yourself first and foremost. I have left Facebook around 7 months ago for many of the reasons you mentioned (I even blogged about it) and put down all my personal instagram photos. It brings me no pleasure to receive likes or comments and working hard for virtual approval makes no sense to me. I’ve started living a real life with real friends, savoring every minute with my family and focusing on my freelance career and passions. I hope you too can find every joy in your decision to become “faceless” in a virtual world that glorifies personas. Bravo & Good luck!

    1. Thank you!!! Can you believe that after writing this post and publishing it I felt like a burden fell off my shoulder… I was so happy!!

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