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The Jaguar Journal

The Jaguar Journal

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How to Have a Positive Experience on Instagram

A “How-To” Guide on Conscious Instagram Use

Like many other teenagers, Instagram can make me mad. Yet, the app and the content available on the platform is so deeply ingrained in the culture within my own personal communities, but also in my school, local, and global communities. Truthfully, if I were to completely disengage from Instagram, I think I would be missing out. I like sharing pictures of myself and what I’m doing. I like making my page look aesthetically pleasing. But along with those aspects of the social media platform Instagram, comes the downsides of sharing parts of your life online- seeing what other people are doing, who they are with, and what they are wearing. At the end of the day, constantly ingesting content based on other people’s lives can generate feelings of insufficiency and discontent- it is just the reality of human nature. 

So, I’ve developed some strategies for scrolling instagram without feeling like an insignificant piece of nothing after. Without further ado, here is how to have a positive experience on Instagram. 


  1. Practice intuitive thinking after your time spent scrolling. 
    • Actually evaluate how you feel both emotionally and physically after you have spent time on Instagram. Do you always end up with feelings of jealousy and insecurity? Do you think to yourself often, “Wow, I really wish I didn’t just see that picture” or “Do I really care what this person that I brush shoulders with in the hallways was wearing at homecoming or who they were with?”. If you are constantly being bombarded with these types of thoughts and feelings after being on social media, it may be time to reevaluate the way you use the app. 
  2. Turn off all notifications. That includes notifications of any likes, comments, or tags you receive, as well as direct messages sent to your account. 
    • So, assuming you are an iOS user, you can either just turn off all push notifications instagram sends to your phone in the Settings App, (my recommendation and what I personally practice) or in the app you can adjust what notifications will be sent, meaning you can choose to get rid of like or comment notifications individually, in case you can’t part with certain notifications. Even if you turn notifications off for the app, all the interactions your account received will still show up once you open the app, so you don’t have to worry about missing anything. This strategy actually kills two birds with one stone. First, since you won’t be receiving any notifications you will be less tempted to check the app. But here’s the bonus of turning off your Instagram notifications- you won’t be constantly worried about if your recent post is getting the amount of likes and comments that you expect, and if you get a direct message you will have an easier time formulating your response if you don’t see the message immediately. 
  3. Figure out why you’re posting what you are 
    • Who are you posting for? Yourself, your friends, your family? Are you using Instagram to promote yourself as a brand or content creator? Unless you are actually making money or have the potential to do so on the platform, who cares what you’re doing on the app. Once you lower your expectations for your experience on Instagram and realize you are just a person in the world free to post whatever you want, you’ll be able to have a much more enjoyable experience on the app.
  4. Filter the content you are seeing. Practice wearing a lens when you engage online. 
    • Another way to reduce the bad feelings you get from going on social media is just simply blocking/unfollowing the accounts you don’t want to see on your feed. This includes both influencers and people in your real life. There is nothing wrong with disengaging when you need to. Similarly, understand that the content you are seeing on Instagram is not reality. I’m not just talking about photoshopped and filtered photos, no, but also the manufactured personality that both influencers and people in your real life don online. Realistically you are not the person that you portray yourself to be on Instagram. Anyone can make anything look anyway online, so remember to contextualize the things you are seeing on Instagram. 
  5. Literally just delete the app whenever you are bothered. Instagram is pixels on your phone. Seriously, don’t trip over pixels. 
    • If, after intuitive thinking and personal reflection, you are discovering that you are consistently feeling down and. Just delete the app from your phone! It’s not like you are deactivating your account, though that is another option, you are just temporarily removing the software from your phone. It is totally ok to say “I’m done viewing content on Instagram because I got upset with what I saw,” and just delete the app for the day. You have the option to come back whenever, in an hour, a day, or a week and resume your Instagram use. Trust me, you won’t miss much.
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About the Contributor
Ruby Chacon
Ruby Chacon, Editor
A hardoworking NCHS Senior Instagram Account Manager
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