It has been almost a year since I quit Instagram.
As the world around me continues to be more and more dependent on Instagram for creative inspiration, almost to the point where it seems almost impossible to thrive as a creative professional without it, I had taken an informed decision about 10 months ago.
My primary reason came when I stepped back and looked at the kind of work I was creating. I observed patterns where my work was almost a blind, robotic copy of things that I was seeing on my feed. Maybe this is why they call it a "feed". It disturbed me immensely that my sense of self was controlled by other people and their sense of selves were constructed by other people. It is a vicious, endless, ugly loop.
Think about it. Your choices, your likes & dislikes, the norm of what should be, political beliefs ... everything that forms you is based on other people's version of themselves to the point where everyone is in a parasitic relationship with each other. "The Social Dilemma" had beautifully shown how a young teenager's political alignments were merely constructed and formed by algorithms that are designed to use what generates money. It was scary, yet insightful.
Yes, we are the sum total of our experiences, environment and things that we absorb. However, when this intimacy between you & the world is left in the hands of a money generating algorithm, it is arguable that your sense of self is truly constructed by you.
I want to be my own graphic designer. I want to continue my individual practice based on my own unique observations and not by the mere constructs of society. Keep in mind, I am not disconnected from the world. I do read, keep myself updated with an unbiased mind & stay in touch with what is happening. However, this attainment of information is self-generated and I remain in control of my life.
I decide who I want to be, what I truly like because of who I really am.
Update: 04 May, 2021
I've taken the decision to rejoin Instagram after being off for more than a year. Why?
Well, I'm happy with the way I developed over the past year in forming my own individual expressions and outlooks & this has now given me (what I hope will last) the ability to define my identity inside this matrix and hopefully (really hopefully) not be influenced by the matrix. A red dot in the middle of all these black dots.
I wanted to join Instagram solely because I was carrying out a lot of graphic design exercises and needed to document these formally. A website hinders that process because I have to ensure that they form a series or are a part of a project.
Anyway, that's that. Let's see what lies ahead.