Why do I Post on Instagram?

Photographer:  Heather Jackson

Photographer: Heather Jackson

I’ve been analyzing  why I post on Instagram. What’s my motivation? What do I get out of it?

I want to be mindful of my actions and the motives behind them. Which means I have to ask myself some tough questions that require me to be brutally honest with myself. 

I share some personal stuff on my social platforms and I never felt like it was because I was looking for sympathy, support, or self-gratification. For me, whenever I was going through a hard time it always helped when I knew I wasn’t alone. That’s why my first instinct when I’m confused, sad, or upset was and is to turn to music. Choosing songs that made me feel like I was a little less alone. Me sharing the lows and challenges is my way of paying it forward since I’m not a music maker. 

I do feel like I’ve been pretty genuine with what I choose to share, especially lately. I try to pack some meaning into my captions to keep things as real as possible. If I don’t then I’m just putting a photo up for the sake of what? Wanting others to see how “awesome” my life is? To maintain my following? Maybe to simply just share some beauty…? But for many it’s to feed the ego. So, what are you willing to admit to yourself? 

There are so many times I’ve posted just to feed my ego. The likes and comments would send shots of endorphins through my brain after posting a photo I thought I looked pretty in. Self-gratification is a drug that is way too easy to get these days. 

As many of you know…I do have sponsors. Sometimes posting is a requirement and having those sort of requirements can make it very hard to always pack meaning into what I put out there. But I am lucky enough to have sponsors who don’t require me to sacrifice my authenticity for them.

I run a business, my sponsors rely on it, and I wish to someday get recognition for my writing. Having more followers can help my career. Which is why I won’t get rid of my account but social media sabbaticals are essential. 

I guess what I’m getting at is I don’t want to post for the sake of posting. I want to post when I have, what I believe, is something meaningful to say. Fuck the algorithms and the click bait. Instagram is already very surface, especially for those that don’t take the time to read captions judging someone’s account strictly based on appearances and photo quality. 

So why do I post? After I post something fairly personal I get lots of messages from people expressing gratitude for my openness and vulnerability. My vulnerability has inspired others to be more vulnerable and open, not on social media, but towards their loved ones. I’ve had young girls write to me saying they look up to me and that I make them feel like anything is possible. I give them hope that the darkness will lift and the sun will shine on them once again. This is why I post. Sharing is way of giving back and offering 1, 2, or 100 people some of the lessons I’ve learned or am learning. I post because I know what hopelessness feels like. And knowing your not alone in that can turn hopelessness into hopefulness.

It may not seem like it right now but we are all very similar and we are all connected. Each person has something to offer, a lesson to teach. Right now, we have a tool that gives us the ability to teach and learn our lessons on a very large scale. Are you going to take advantage of that or are you going to use it to feed your ego?