And it's the best decision I’ve ever made.
Let me start off by saying, although I am an impulsive person by nature, this is not a decision I made lightly. After all, this has been part of my life for a decade & has been my career for the last 5 years. However, this decision has been a long time coming.
"Contrary to popular belief, being an influencer is a difficult job. "
No matter what anyone says about me, you can’t deny my work ethic. I am the type who takes pride in working myself to death. As such, I approached being an influencer with the same vigor I do everything else in my life. Contrary to popular belief, being an influencer is a difficult job. I always say my life was easier when I had 4 jobs simultaneously than I do now.
Something that started out as a fun outlet in my early 20s, became a career of mine which eventually turned into this pretentious, superficial & fabricated version of what everybody’s lives were. About 3 years ago with the constant changing of the algorithm, I started to feel what could only be described as anxiety attacks if/when my posts does not perform the way I had expected. I’ll sit and compare myself to other creator’s pages, and the veneers of their lives. Trying to figure out what I am doing wrong. If they get a campaign I want terribly and I didn’t, it would spiral me into days of gloom.
Eventually, it became reminiscent of High school. The cool kids V the nerds. Guess which group I fell into in High School? Instagram certainly brought up all the trauma of being a nerd who was bullied all throughout high school back to the surface. The nagging feeling of quitting Instagram swallowed me daily, but unfortunately, it was my main source of income. And, with a team who depended on me for their livelihood, quitting was not an option.
Serendipitously, two years ago, I was approached by TikTok to come on the platform and teach skincare. What felt too good to be true (because I had never even heard of TikTok) quickly became the greatest life blessing I’ve ever experienced. It! Just! Felt! Right!. The anxious feelings that plagued me on IG cease to exist. I felt at ease when creating content. The community I started building on TikTok were kind, supportive & more importantly, incredibly appreciative. Contrast that to the vicious attacks and barrage of insults that accompanies every single video I post on IG reels, coupled with lack of engagement, & lack of growth. I’ll post a video on TikTok & it’ll be filled with positive comments with the words “thank you” echoing throughout the comment section. I’ll post the same video on IG and lose followers or get criticized. I started to realize that the decision was being made for me whether I like it or not.
I slowly started asking all the brands I currently have contracts with to move my contracts over to TikTok. I even convinced three brands to create TikTok accounts, to which one of the brands moved all their influencers over to TikTok as well.
"Each social gathering with friends would leave me depleted and unfulfilled."
In retrospect, every precious moment this past decade of my life was documented. From dinner with friends to thanksgiving with family. It got so bad that my friends would have to ask when they could eat because I had to get the perfect IG picture first. My family eventually banned phones from the dinner table when I come home. I started to feel uneasy when I’ll meet up with friends and in lieu of catching up, they”ll describe to me in vivid details things they saw me doing on my stories. I’ll tell my Mum “they are talking to ‘Specsandblazers NOT Niké. They are no longer friends with Niké, they are friends with “specsandblazers." Each social gathering with friends would leave me depleted and unfulfilled.
When my Mother fell ill, it dawned on me that I was living for people that I’ll never meet while neglecting the closest people to me. I had a teachable moment while dating an incredible man couple years ago who had a “no-phone” rule when we were together. The addiction to Instagram became glaringly clear. This aided in my decision to mute the entirety of my feed.
The straw that broke the camel’s back and lead to my decision to quit permanently, was a nasty death threat on my last reel simply because I said that using St.Ives scrubs isn’t good for our skin. A well-known fact within experts in the skincare community. I woke up that next morning & quit cold turkey.
By Quitting Instagram, I’ve experienced:
1.Much less anxiety
2. No sense of comparison
3. Productive days
4. Present with friends/family.
5. No toxic friendships
and the list goes on!
Needless to say, it’s been lovely. I am looking forward to savoring special moments & strengthening relationships with my friends & family. Since my employee runs my TikTok, I get to have a healthy relationship with the app, and barely use it unless she alerts me to answer some comments. I’ve always been a voracious reader, but now I get to read a book a week which just makes me incredibly happy. I also get to write on a consistent basis like I did when I first started blogging. Recently, I had a “no-phone” get-together at my loft last week & what a feeling that was. I now cringe when in public and see couples on their phones at dinner, or when I see a group of friends together and they are all taking turns getting their perfect “instagram pictures”. There is a special kind of satisfaction I now get from knowing that no one can have access to my life unless I choose to let them. It’s a powerful feeling to know others can stalk, lurk & compete, and I get to be oblivious to it all.
“I quit Instagram, & I regretted it”.
- Said no one ever…..