Should I quit instagram?

Internet DNA Podcast

Should I give up instagram? Would you? How does it really make you feel, we discuss FOMO, the idea of hiding metrics, rage quitting, how a feed about how rubbish your life was may actually make people feel good about themselves. And perhaps the solution is to take control of your social media, curate it in a way that inspires you, not be enslaved to the machine (or your friends' perfect lives). You can find Abi's new art gallery at @abismalll and blue ants anyone?



(this transcription is written by robots… so don’t be surprised!)


Hello this week's episode. It's tempting at the Abbey and me this week. What guides discuss? Should I quit? It's dram. What

not the reaction I was expecting. Are you on Instagram?

Uh, I'm a lurker by nature. I am on Instagram. I don't post very much.

Are they private or public? Private. So only friends. Yeah. Why did you go? What? To me when I said should I quit Instagram? Well,

yes, because you're quite a visual industry. For me it's what the odd photograph of my bikes. But really other than that, well I really use Instagram for is so catch shop on other bike news. So I use social media in a very odd way, like a feed of stuff that's happening. So I only follow people who are quite local and your cousin peers. But it's all bike related.

Apart from my pictures, I hope. Are you on my Instagram? Oh, here we go. This is why I have got the plight that I'm wondering where is quit Instagram. I have about two and a half thousand followers. I only ever post my art. I'm not into photos of me or my family or what I'm doing or anything. So it's all art. And I would post one a day and get some nice comments and I've maybe sold one or two pictures through it. But I haven't posted for a while possibly. Cause I haven't been doing any new art for awhile. But every so often I felt I should just go and check. I have messengers and I end up scrolling through stuff to get a not very nice feeling when I come off in that, oh look, there's no, they always look like they're having a great time.

Maybe I'm not having a great time and I get a really horrible unnatural and I always thought it doesn't happen to me. It happens to other people and not me, but a sort of Fomo. And when I even think about it or talk to my husband about it, I don't want to be where they are doing what they're doing. I'm very happy doing all the things I'm doing and I don't like to post or shout about it because I like to be in the moment. So why am I starting to get this feeling? And if I am, therefore should I be on there? I'm quite surprised that

you of all people haven't had that feeling before. Not because you live an ultra boring life and everyone else having a great time, but in fact quite the opposite. But you've always had a slight difficulty with choosing what you want to do and then being given a load of options of what other people are doing. That's to me

menu MV. Yeah, exactly.

But for me it's like it doesn't really matter. Also, oddly, I follow people I don't really know other than peers.

Yeah. And that's fine. And I follow artists that took great art. Um, but that's a couple of people that are always low, great time they're having and I know know how people feel. And do you know what if you were a teenager that you're only looking at your friends and what a great time they're having. I can see that. That's quite damaging.

Yeah. And so there's been quite a drive for a thing called de metrification. So what does that mean? That stops showing how many likes people have got, how many followers they've got, how many to other people,

but I don't think it's still showing followers does it? So there is a demystification and it doesn't show the likes of use, but I think you could still see the followers.

I think there's an ongoing idea that d metrification is quite important. And not for people like me, but for my kids, how many likes they get on an Instagram is like almost a measure.

But you can see your own. You guys will be able to,

yeah. What's starting to happen is he got 400 likes. I only got 300 likes. He's obviously 25% better than me. Yeah. That, that kind of thought process. I'm not seeing me. Yeah. It's not that exact. But now you're starting to measure yourself on how many likes you get. I mean, I've always said the internet is just starting. Social media is the same. I think luckily for us, Facebook have walked into an absolute minefield. The problem for me has always been that the people making the laws are about 30 years too old. Yeah. So they make stupid laws that almost mice, the whole thing about GDPR is what is it actually done is it's made people sign their life away, which is

yeah, because no one ever reads terms and conditions as we know or instructions or anything else and therefore you're ticking a box to say yes when you have no idea what you [inaudible].

Yeah, and my favorite one and think it's the daily Mash where when you click it it says, yeah, whatever, and that's pretty much what people's attitude is. Yeah.

I don't think we talked about that and what I think is interesting about the metrics is if you can't see how many followers someone's got, you completely level the playing field at the moment. It's quite an uneven playing field. I, you've got the influencers who have hundreds of thousands or millions of followers. You have people that have done quite expensive marketing to get high followers and therefore they're doing the sales. They're doing that well. They are using it as a marketing tool and it's the snowball effect. People go, wow, they've got lots of followers, so I'm going to follow them. Yes, this person over here with that two and a half thousand followers, I'm not going to follow her cause she hasn't got very many followers so she can't be cool. But if nobody could see yeah. On whether you like the content or not, which I think away from the nine out of 10 cats before. Yeah. I think that that's part of their plan because I think they still need to make money from it and they still need to entice people to do it. And so I think this competition, which is what these followers and likes. Okay. So I don't think they're going far enough.

No. And I don't think they will go far enough because as you say, first of all, it's compassionate. Yeah. And so that's, you legislate for it. And the problem is with having people in there, let's see, sixties and seventies legislation is they don't really get it. So what you really need is a bunch of people who are much younger feeding back on what are the actual issues. In fact, what you need is an age range. You need everybody from, I'm guessing sort of 12 ish through to 72 ish. And that they all have kind of an equal say as to what the problems are. It's directed from the top. The problem is, is that they think in a very old world way just because they're from an older world.

Well it's not just that I that one country England outside of the European Union can do very little because you might make laws in your country, but then you've got the rest of the world anyway. You almost need global governing body.

You know, I play a game called world of tanks and they do these loot boxes, which are another big thing. And media world. Is it gambling? Is it not gambling? So if you were in Belgium, you can't buy them from bell just against the law, that gambling and therefore you can't do it.

Yeah. And then that box is in the game.

Yeah. So basically what you do, you can earn the loot boxes through playing, which I think is fine in Belgium. But what you could also do is go and buy Certi loot boxes. But because the prizes are not defined because the loot boxes, you don't know what you're going to get in them despite the fact that you will get at least your value in the in game currency because all the other prices are undefined. Cause that's why they loot boxes. Otherwise you're just buying a defined thing. In Belgium that is classed as gambling and therefore in Belgium you're not allowed to do it. You're just, they don't allow you to buy them. So it's not that you can't as a country say, let's say the Britain said it is illegal to Metro Phi social media and you'd have to define social media quite tightly. Otherwise you're gonna get into legal arguments about is this or is this not social media. But if you came up with a law that was fairly watertight that says you are not allowed to show stats to

also uses, could be, yes. Well within the technical ability to say if they are based in the UK, do not show stats, but I don't think it helps with that appetizing. So I'm not sure how far it's going to go. Although it's an interesting concept, but I think you have nothing to do with that advertising. What it is to do with is, well, the popularity and the people's screen on time, so if you look at my kids, you can see them getting agitated. If they can't

access to their computers or their screens

for periods of time, it's actually easier if you say you can go on at six o'clock and [inaudible] that's fine, but if they're like, I don't know if I can, or I have my rescreen,

they get agitated about it. So we found that just making it very clear when and when they can't have those Greens is much easier to deal with some having some sort of running commons.

The unknown. Yes, I agree. It's not funny. It's his addiction.

Yeah. I'm an ex smoker, so I had a pack of cigarettes in my pocket. I could easily go 12 hours without having one, but literally 30 minutes without a cigarette as in I didn't know where I was going to get. My next one was torture. That's kind of I guess an addict's mindset, which is as long as I know I can have it, it's much better than not. No.

Okay. So metrics might change.

I think that as we get older or as the technology gets older, we will adapt to social media. I mean every new technology takes time for the population to catch up with.

Yeah. And find a happy place for it. Yeah. Not necessarily. So you don't like happy do you a content place to sit within their lives?

You know, I think television is one of those things that we didn't assimilate into our culture that our culture got assimilated by TV. I think the same is probably happening with the Internet, whereas the radio became a part of culture almost the other way round. The Z is very visual systems where humans are quite happy to just stare at things for hours and hours and hours. So yeah,

for sure. Where are we going with it? Okay, so let's go back to, should I quit Instagram if you think there are big problems in my life because I want to quit and they're all bigger problems. Just to say

I don't look at it. Yeah. Unless I'm doing something like I'm thinking, Oh, where would I like to go to ride this weekend? Then I'll open up an Instagram flick through all the bikes, probably go onto Facebook, scraped all the bike groups and see if people are writing. Whereas good if there's anything new anywhere, but that's how I use it. Use it much like a search engine. I'm not on their gate, hi, I've just had lunch. Yeah, I don't do any of that. Or here's another picture of my children somewhere else. You know, I don't do any of that.

That's the stuff that gets this horrible sort of inadequate feel when you turn off. It's all that stuff of hi of I that say I do come off Instagram. So I was thinking of all the different ways that I could therefore make sure that I sell art and it came to perhaps I should go to into more galleries because galleries and cafes get me the most sales and that also in turn generate sales from my website more so than Instagram. So instead of doing Instagram, I should possibly go out and do more real promotion.

Well I think you should probably do that as well, but when we're talking about Instagram and Fomo, I think we probably the best thing to do is get rid of all your friends on Instagram and just put on other artists.

People have said, well, just get rid of the ones that you don't like but would friends but as the same. But they are friends like, well they're friends. But if I thought of it in a different mindset and I only followed people of art that I found inspirational and get excited about my creativity or help sort of generate ideas, then suddenly it's a bit like how I use Pinterest. It's an ideas generating place. You've just, so my problem, what I'm saying is you don't have to have a binary. I do. How do I

so use this too? What do I want from this tool? Do I want to feel like everyone's having a great time or do I want to do it for the things I'm actually doing it for, which is my art and therefore what I really want to do is that my Instagram becomes like a pool of art references.

Yeah. Which I love, but like gallery.

So you're in control here and this is the thing I keep saying to my children, which is if you allow it to enslave you because you haven't thought what you want from it, then you can't expect it to do anything other than one you up because it's not doing it

well. That social media falls stuff, isn't it? You let it run your life and you've never stopped to think, oh well actually if I used it in this way, this would make me happy because this is what I was after as we've talked about with Pinterest, because the way a Pinterest was set up as a scrap board mood board, think of it in a complete different way from Instagram, which I just assumed I should follow my friends and I should just put up with it. But no, that's turn it into a real,

do the same with Facebook. I often have a problem with, oh I put it on Facebook and I'm like my don't follow any of my friends on Facebook because what do you post on Facebook?

Well if you're having a really exciting life then you've got lots to post. Even if you're having a really boring life, you only post the things that look exciting gets me when I'm having an exciting time. The last thing I want to do is stop and document it. Exactly.

So I actually had an idea on a train with a friend of mine that we should just basically shit posts on Facebook only post the shit that goes on in your life. Yeah, the fridge is broken, you've got a puncture, that sort of stuff. And that would be a form of social service wouldn't it? Which would be basically you think your life's bad, bad forever.

Everyone was stuff falling down cause I go, this kind of makes me feel so good having another Ricky badge,

the, I don't have a lot of shit. Things are happening in my own. I don't have a lot of great things that happen in life that I live a fairly, like most people sign wavy life sort of in the middle.

So I'd say mine waves go quite up and they could get quite choppy.

Yeah, you're probably a lot more choppy than me. Oh, maybe that's just how I see them all. Life is perception.

That is a good idea. Well, I was thinking when I was going to leave Instagram that I'd stop posting so long. I hate watching you all type posts. It went down.

Yeah. That's almost like rage quitting. What you really want is pictures of the calcium around your tap, which is like Bam, screw up. This again will affect your readmission blinds and covered in dust. You know that at the moment. Yeah, exactly. In like really just life have to be this bloody awkward. All like every time your train is delayed, that sort of thing and then say actually, okay. It's an equally unrounded view, but it makes people feel their life is better in many ways. That's what I hate about social media, which is it's stuff. It makes you feel worse. It's advertising how great you are. I think it's self serving and a little bit egotistical. But anyway, that's just me.

Well, you've answered my question. I'm going to take control of my Instagram, reorganize it, have some beautiful, uh, anyone out there that said, artist follow me and I'll follow you back. And

Oh, that's my other thing is dandy. Well why, what you don't want me to? Well, if their stuff is interesting but not just because they're following you, that's almost my real hatred of social media, which is this kind of mindless reciprocation of, oh, they followed me. I don't know. They are.

Let's take a few steps back. I follow people that I think are interesting and I'll follow back if I really like that stuff, but I don't just follow back because they followed me. But I was thinking for the purpose of this show that I wouldn't know who these people were unless they showed me who they were by following me and then I could follow them back. So there was a very good reason why I said that. Creative inspiration than almost definitely follow you back.

So now that you've become basically an editor of your own social feed because you're operating now, what kinds of information and what kind of things set up a gallery. I've always liked the idea of having a real gallery and now I'm going to have a gallery and that's what you're doing. I love it. I'm glad to solve that problem for you. Oh, it's just perfect. So what are the takeaways? Don't follow your friends. Look for inspiration. You're right, you're right.

Yes. In control of your Instagram or any social media. I think what you really want from it, not what it's taking from you and use it in a way that will make you happy. As you say that you have constructed, I want creative inspiration, therefore I'm going to create my feet to bring me that. I do want to feel Fomo, so I will remove those things from my feet. But stay on that because all awareness of my art is helping me sell pitches.

Yeah, exactly. And it's eyeballs on and actually if you think about it in a different way, which is if you cure rates for yourself, a really interesting group of artists, it reflects back when you in a blue and to sort of way the fact that you're interested in that kind of follow my dream and perhaps in the end I'll be able to take those artists and create my gallery. Is that true? That at least connect with them and have some of them hang the pictures up in a wood, do something really different.

Fantastic. Good. As long as I showed him me pictures of art and not pictures of what a great time to have it.

Yeah, we were always going to get a bit of slippage of some [inaudible]. So often I'm happy to see if it's having a really

good show then I'm very happy to see that cause it's tough. But I think that's what's difficult and I think maybe that's what I was struggling with in that just removing, moving. A couple of my friends felt really, not very friendly, but the whole black and white, we'll just get rid of all your friends. It's a much easier thing to do because I'm not choosing, I want you as a friend. I don't want to use a fan of just saying actually this isn't about friends. I post art, I want to see art and that makes it a much easier change to make.

And I had a really interesting conversation with an older person about having an email address and they were like, well I'm worried about if I have an email address that no one will talk to me anymore. Which while yeah, it was a bit of a weird statement to say if you force your friends to actually call you and contact you rather than passively hoping you will look at that, perhaps you will have a better, like we have a quiet group friendship cause we talk on a weekly basis.

Well I think that's a really insightful and amazing thing to say and so true. So true that people are calling them on the phone and that's what they need. Yeah. Amazing. I think more people should think like that. It's kind of, it's, again, isn't it a structuring technology the way you want it to work for you, not just falling into the trap of doing it because that's the way it's said you should do it. Yeah.

I'm trying to reconnect with people in a real and honest and human way rather than relying on technology to disseminate information.

Chanel, it's reinvigorated my Simonton humanity and technology and how we can possibly get it right.

Anyway, I think this is timing. At least speak to you next week. Bye.

Dan & Abi work, talk & dream in tech. If you would like to discuss any speaking opportunity contact us.