The Future of Instagram & FaceBook

It’s been half a year since I stopped using Instagram. I still have no desire to go back. Recently I pondered on the future of this app. Everything evolves with time or gets left behind so I thought it would be fun to imagine the future of Instagram evolved.

I know recently Instagram added a new feature where you could remove the “likes” button on your pictures – That’s progress. However, I think Instagram still has a lot of work on its hands when it comes to improving the app. The problem is some users are there for personal reasons while others are there for business and it all gets muddled together. You’re trying to talk to a friend but you end up getting bombarded with ads and people flexing. That’s not exactly how I like it to go when I’m looking to catch up with friends.

Social media constantly promotes a spirit of competition. So many people get caught up in trying to outdo each other. While people have always been this way, it only became enhanced on steroids with social media. Especially with Instagram. I realize the way people flex is different since the pandemic hit but the flexing has continued in its own ways despite it.

For the record, normally in the past (before social media) people tended to only compare themselves with their neighbors or social groups in real life. It wasn’t many people and normally it was within their social class. Since I left social media, I can attest this to be true. I have a few neighbors (I live in the country so we’re a little spread out here) and we are all more or less in the same social class so there’s hardly any pressure to “out do” each other. We country bumpkins just don’t care about that stuff hahaha.

In other words, the pressure is off when you leave social media for most people. You might still want nice things but it’s not to flex. It’s for your personal enjoyment or to share with close friends and family. What a concept eh? Yet some people don’t even feel it’s worth it if others aren’t going to see what they have or where they’re going or what they’re eating. For most though, when you disconnect from social media you realize that needing people to see your happy moments is actually a backwards way of living. You’re happy and whether people see it or not doesn’t matter. Life is meant to be enjoyed inwardly, privately. Without flexing.

I think the future of Instagram will be an app where you can keep up with close friends and family members through photos but without the “social media effect.” There won’t be “likes” or “follows”. People will give access to users to view their photo albums but the owner of the photo albums will decide which albums or photos that person is allowed to view. So you’ll be able to separate what you want friends, family, co-workers, boyfriend/girlfriends, or business prospects to see. They will be sent a notification that they have been invited to view your photos once the request is accepted or the link Is shared. As a result no one will feel like a creep or “stalker” since they were personally invited to view your albums.

As far as a business app where people can advertise their business, let’s be honest: we don’t need to buy a million products. We already consume too much as Americans. Let’s stop spending so much money on things we don’t really need and won’t really use. Over consumption in America is destructive and shouldn’t be encouraged. However, products and services that are needed or highly valued will always be ok. It’s the over consumption of things that hurt our pockets, take up space and then ultimately end up in a landfill that become the problem.

I don’t see a need to develop a new app for business advertising. We already have Yelp!, the Facebook marketplace, and Tiktok small business. I enjoy those three forms of business advertising and the only thing that would be better would be an app that combined aspects of all three features together. Users could choose to see products and services in their city as well as any city or state. You would be able to choose from tabs different businesses to look at such as repair businesses, health and wellness, food, furniture, home goods, ect.

I believe that these changes to social media and business advertising would help improve people’s mental well being and allow for people to interact in more meaningful ways with each other.

Thanks for reading,

Denise

Life Without Social Media

I have two fascinations that are really no surprise to anyone who follows my blog. I’m fascinated with the effect of social media on people as well as cult religions. Naturally, I talk about those topics often. I am unplugged from both and so it fascinates me to look at them from an outside perspective or should I say…without the rose colored glasses.

I don’t believe social media should exist. Neither should dating apps. They are both unnatural to the human psyche. Not only is it a terribly unnatural way to connect, but people in general don’t usually put their best foot forward online. We tend to say what we shouldn’t, post things we later regret where we either said too much, showed too much or looked a little too silly. We tend to joke about things only our friends would understand and get upset the whole internet didn’t “get it.” I mean it was just a joke guys. Haha. The truth is there’s a sense of humor that is shared only between us and our closest friends who share our views on life. Inviting everyone else in is usually asking for a train wreck.

Is it wrong to show our true selves on the internet? Not necessarily. We’re imperfect and that’s ok. I love people who are confident AF and comfortable in their skin. However, to truly be loved and accepted by others people usually need to warm up to us first. Not everything we say or do sits well with others specially without warming up to us.

The internet sort of hits everyone’s quirkiness, craziness, and oddness right smack into people’s faces without any warm up session beforehand. I think we should at least be aware that it takes TIME for people to warm up and accept us as we are. While we can aim for a certain amount of people to accept us as we are and love us despite our crazy weird sides, it’s not realistic to believe the whole internet full of strangers will do that as soon as they “meet us.”

I see more down falls to living a life online than positives. A lot of people lose their jobs over their social media accounts, and while that might sound unfair, the truth is not everyone needs to know every thing you do, think and breathe. Sometimes its really better that they don’t because everything we think and do isn’t always the best thing. Many times we are still forming our own ideas and they are still interchangeable. It’s nice to make transitions in private instead of publicly. It’s harder for the public to accept you’ve changed your whole belief system even though that’s natural as we evolve with time and new knowledge.

I think the internet used for movements of justice and freedom is possibly the greatest thing in the world. Justice and Freedom will always be the most beautiful thing we can get together on in person or on the internet.

‘Personal use’ of social media is a judgement zone though. I don’t see why anyone needs that kind of scrutiny into their life. We easily assume things of others that are simply not true based off a few posts. We hate when others do it but we do it too. It’s so easy to misjudge and assume what we don’t know. In fact, I would bet a lot of money that it’s one of the easiest things for people to do.

I’d rather not put my life out there for people to misjudge. If they’re going to get it wrong I’d rather they get it wrong about someone else. They can turn on the tv and watch the Kardashians if they really need to feed their “assuming” tank. They might even be right with the Kardashians.

I know people mostly seek validation from social media but people need to learn how to validate themselves. People need to learn to heal their inner child and fix their self esteem. So many people have shattered self esteem and they depend on social media like a granny depends on her… depends. Sorry. I had to. Haha.

Sometimes I’m driving in my car by myself through the hills and I ponder and meditate about life. I’ve thought about how much I enjoy my life and how no one really knows about it except my family and close friends. I like that privacy. I wouldn’t have said that a year ago. I used to love sharing it all on social media. I’ve come a long way though.

I ponder on how much joy and fulfilment I get from interacting with the locals in the town I live in. They’re wonderful people. The beauty of this small town is breath taking. It looks like a movie scene on every corner.

I’ve thought about how much I enjoy the weather, the views, my car, home, food, family, friends and fun activities. I used to see everything as “post worthy” before and now I hardly reach for my phone except to take a photo for my personal memory. I love that I live a real life, not a social media one.

Ive learned to live in the moment without social media. When my eyes open in the morning I instantly feel happy. I can’t believe I’m me. I feel the soft giant blanket over me, the beautiful light coming In from the window, the stillness of the morning and my room which I’ve decorated to my taste. I love taking in that sweet morning joy as I lay for a while snuggled in my blanket.

When I drive, I really enjoy the views and I drive at the speed limit which ironically seems to be too slow for others. What surprises me is when I’m driving through country back roads at the normal speed limit and everyone starts passing me. It signals to me that everyone else is in a hurry. A hurry for what? To die? So many people forget to live in the present moment and enjoy being alive.

I’ve fallen in love with living a REAL LIFE. I love that I have no social media. It’s a huge weight off my shoulders. I don’t worry about posting, keeping up with anyone, or checking my DM’s. I’m not submerged in anyone’s online drama. I love that people can’t find me online. They would most likely try to form an opinion of me and my life based on incomplete data. I’d rather have people wonder who I am, and what I’m doing. I’d rather be a blank space in their head. The truth is I’d rather live organically, the way it should be.

I still do all the things I did when I had social media: I still go on trips, I still buy cute outfits, test out products, plan parties, work out, enjoy time with friends and family, have fun with my daughter and niece, enjoy delicious meals, remodel and decorate our home, and stay busy with my To-Do list and life goals. I just don’t post it on social media and I found freedom in doing that.

I realized that I really only have time to live my real life. I don’t know how I used to spend hours on social media in the past. I was wasting my time. I think social media is a trap. We weren’t supposed to be bombarded with everyone’s thoughts and posts. The reality is we don’t have time for that. I do allow myself a certain amount of time for entertainment per day though because I believe it’s healthy to be entertained and let out a good laugh but not by social media. Tiktok provides feel good feelings. YouTube provides informational entertainment. A good show provides excitement and insight. Instagram, Twitter and Facebook leave people drained and insecure. We have to use our time wisely and choose the right forms of entertainment.

At the same time I feel that people normally seek social media not just for “entertainment” but also as an escape from their real lives. I’ve re wrote my life to the point where I no longer want to escape from it.

I’ve removed toxic people from my life and I keep my circle small. 2020 started out rough. I left my cult religion, I left a pyramid scheme company, I closed our family mechanic shop, and I dated the wrong person. Despite it all, my eyes were opening along the way. It was a year of transformation. I was removing everything that didn’t serve me. 2021 has been the best year of my life. I feel like I went to a school of wisdom and my eyes opened at once. I’m not entirely sure how it happened but I feel its crucial that I pass on this wisdom to others who can benefit from it.

For the first time in my life I’m happy. I used to hate my life. I used to look for distractions, and people to fill the void. This is the first time in my life I’m not looking for distractions or people to fill a void. I’ve taken the steps in making a life for myself that I actually truly enjoy. It took leaving a cult religion, a legal pyramid scheme (also known as MLMs), a toxic family business, a toxic boyfriend, and finally…toxic social media…to achieve a life I truly enjoy.

I also learned to create my own reality and stay in a happy place instead of living in a triggered state of mind. I learned to manage my emotions and my thoughts. I learned how to get rid of demons and I learned how to love myself more than I ever did.

I remember being in my 20s and being self conscious of my body. I laugh at that because I absolutely love my body now, imperfections and all. I admire myself and can’t believe I’m really me in this young body. Most people never appreciate their bodies until they’re old and gray. I appreciate how the collagen is still there. I appreciate how soft my legs are (when I shave haha!) I appreciate my feminine hands, the shape of my eyes and lips, and on and on. I literally appreciate the wonder that the body is!

I realized recently that I’m still a tomboy. I have a hard time washing my makeup off at night and putting on night cream. I rarely dress up or do my hair or makeup. I don’t diet. I hate taking selfies. I just…don’t really care about being that “hot girl”. I guess I’m still a tomboy at heart. I do however appreciate the wonder that the human body is. I’m so glad I finally see myself with wonder and admiration to be in my body. I’m living a human experience and I love it.

My wish is for people to unplug themselves from everything – social media, cult religions, pyramid schemes, big pharma, and news channels/websites that lie to people like Q-Anon sites and CNN – it’s always a bit of truth sprinkled on lies to keep people dormant and sedated. Dating apps, toxic people, and habitual drug escapes are also traps. This world is full of traps that lead people to meaningless lives. It doesn’t have to be that way. We can unplug from it. There’s a real life waiting for you on the other side. Let’s stop falling straight into the traps. A real meaningful life is waiting for you.

Thanks for reading,

Denise

3 Reasons I’m not a Fan of Influencers

I can’t stop thinking about how fake most influencers are. I never even understood the word “fake” before…until I got unplugged from Instagram months ago.

Recently I’ve realized how inauthentic and not normal this influencer craze has become.

I cringe when I think about how at one point I actually wanted to become an influencer. I’m cringing again just writing it.

I get it – it’s a way to make money (some make very good money) but the price that comes with it is just not worth it in my eyes.

Here are my top 3 reasons why I’m no longer a fan of influencers:

1. Most of them strive on maintaining a life they don’t even have. The reality is most influencers want people to look at their curated photos and say, “I want to be her. I want her life.” But do we actually want their life? Most of the time their marriage is not as great as they make it seem, they’re not over their ex, they have fake friends, and they’re usually angry trying to get the perfect photo, not to mention their happy moods are usually dependent on alcohol.

As far as the traveling, having cool clothes and nice cars… I have a luxury car and designer clothes and let me tell you…it’s boring after a while. Unless of course your self esteem is low then I imagine material things become an obsession but when your self esteem is good…material things are a bit boring after a while. Your worth doesn’t depend on them.

I only know a few influencers who are completely themselves. One is @RachelParcell from Pink Peonies. Another is @Elizabeth_._Johnson . They will talk to the camera with zero makeup on sometimes and share embarrassing parts of their life but they keep it real! Maybe too real haha but they’re relatable! They’re probably the most humble and gorgeous people out there and it’s nice that the fame hasn’t gotten to their head.

Side bar: Rachel Parcell has a successful line of clothing in Nordstrom so her fame does come from actual talent. She remains very humble though.

Rachel Parcell with her daughter
Elizabeth Johnson

Elizabeth Johnson is a home maker, married to a surgeon. The reason behind her fame is her amazing personality. I have to say if personalities could win Olympic medals hers would win 1st place. Everyone needs an Elizabeth in their life.

I’m sure you know some honest influencers as well.

For the most part though, influencers thrive on making people wish they had their “mostly perfect” life. It’s a “look at me, don’t you wanna be like me?” In an effort to be relatable though, they share some of their bad moments but usually these posts are curated to come off as charming instead of raw and authentic.

2. Most influencers live in a weird reality. It’s no longer …well: real. They have “photo shoots” everywhere and for everything. Especially if they’re being paid to promote products, clothes and places. This usually gets tiresome especially for the family or partner who has to join in or take the photos or simply be part of the “ordeal.” Everything…starts to feel…staged. The influencer will normally stay oblivious to this despite how annoying it may be.

Then there’s the influencer “poses”. Oh my god…the poses. There’s only a few and they range from: a super excited open mouth expression with your hand up in the air (usually seen in vacay pics), the “I’m so cool, you wish you were me” expression, or the “hot squat” pose (again, It’s the “I’m so cool” look) and of course…of course….selfies. Lots of selfies. It’s just not normal.

What…is this? did something get in your eyes, close them, make your mouth open and jolted your arm up with a peace sign? Is this a medication side effect?
Ok so we’re cool…but it’s still cringe sitting on your car seat like that
What in the “I wanna poop” is this pose?? Like…what is that? I’m sorry haha…but no. Just no.

After being off Instagram for so many months I’ve become so unplugged that I can actually see influencers “fake-ness” and cringe now.

I’ve realized that their photos are not normal. Posing the way they do is weird and not natural. After getting back from vacation with my family I realized that Ive started posing for pictures differently than I used to. I no longer do any staged photos or act like I’m in a photo shoot HAHAHA (so cringe.) I just…act normal. I’m honestly relieved I zapped out of the influencer…well…influence.

I think we all need to go back to how people took photos in the 90s. It was simple. It was for the purpose of keeping a memory. That’s was it.

No weird poses, no exaggerated face expressions, just normal people

3. Influencers for the most part get caught up in the fame and money. They don’t really care about others even though they try their hardest to come off as “good samaritans.” In reality they will promote brands they don’t like or haven’t even tried simply because the money offered is good. Of course they’ll tell you they only support brands they “love.”

As far as fame goes, a lot of them are what you call “fake-famous.” Social media fame comes from the connection the fans feel with the influencer while the fame an actor or singer obtain comes from their actual skill or talent. Therefore social media fame can be very fragile because it’s quite easy to piss off your Instagram fans as many have found.

Despite it being “fake fame” it feels almost no different from real fame. Influencers feel engulfed with attention from fans and they begin to believe that they truly are the most incredibly interesting person alive. This often creates a dull person as they now only think of themselves and in order to stay insta-famous they must continue to nurture their narcissistic psyche. Be careful what you wish for, as they say…

I really hope people wake up to this toxic trend of online influencers.

The truth is, it doesn’t matter how you look. You don’t need to buy their skinny tea, or their detox or their “anything” in hopes of looking like them. Do what you want for yourself and for your health but not in hopes of looking like someone else.

I gained some weight a week ago and I honestly didn’t even care. I think I even looked kind of cute. My boobs and butt got bigger – so there’s more to love haha! At the end of the day I know how to lose weight – I just stop eating big portions. What I want to say is: we are love-able no matter what. Our bodies and faces are just a suit. Don’t take it that seriously. I mean sure, take care of it, but don’t obsess over it and don’t compare it to others. The most important part of our bodies is the soul that lives in it temporarily.

Ive also started to wear less makeup recently.

Layla always tells me not to wear makeup – she doesn’t like it on me. Last night Sophie looked over at me on the sofa while watching a movie (I wasn’t wearing any makeup) and she said, “I love you mommy. You look bea-ful.” Then a few minutes later she tells me, “mommy you the pretty.” She stared at me lovingly. I laughed and hugged her.

My boyfriend likes me better with less makeup too.

I think there really is something about being make up less. I think it makes people feel more comfortable because its real…it’s the real you.

My legs and upper body don’t match at all right now – oh well haha – anyway this is me sans makeup

I no longer feel the need to fit into any social media norms. I don’t care if I’m weird. I don’t care if I’m not seen as “cool” or “fit.” All I know is life is better when you’re not striving to look like the influencer selling fit tea.

Thanks for reading,

Denise

6 Reasons Why I Won’t Ever Have an Instagram Again

It’s been almost two months since my Instagram got disabled. In that time I realized some really eye opening things.

1. I like to document my life. I always have. It’s just fun to look back on. I used to document it on Instagram but I didn’t feel that I really got the whole story on there. It’s not really possible since Instagram is mostly a place to share pictures not full blown essays and blogs haha. So many times I felt what was portrayed in my pictures wasn’t accurate with what was going on in my life. I would feel frustrated. It just wasn’t the best way to document my life and invest the time into it. Especially since I wasn’t being paid to do it. It also isn’t good for people to look at pictures and compare their lives without really understanding that persons life. It set up that way though when all you see is pictures, small captions and you’re not actually getting to know someone. I don’t blame people for falling into the trap of comparison. It’s almost unavoidable the way IG is set up. I prefer blogging where I can document a day and write down exactly what I was thinking, feeling, what was said and done.

2. I really believe that you cannot keep up with a hundred friends online. It’s too much to watch everyone’s stories and message each other to stay close. I think the most we can realistically keep up with is about 5 friends. I really don’t have time to give 100 people love and attention. It’s unrealistic. However I felt guilty if I couldn’t. I made so many amazing friends easily on IG but then I couldn’t keep up with their lives and it stressed me out. Now I realize that we’re not built to keep up with 100 friends. The max for me is 5. However being on IG makes it nearly impossible to stay at 5.

3. The content on IG isn’t always ground-breaking. I get better content and information from YouTube and TikTok. The only reason for having an IG for me would be to follow pages that pertain to my hobbies like roller skating, doll houses, reborn dolls, and trends / fashion. Other wise I feel that I’m wasting my time and time is precious!

4. I think it’s odd to share your life the way IG has it set up where you get validated with views and likes. On platforms like YouTube, TikTok and blogging I feel that you are more of an actual creator. You’re showcasing a talent. So having followers like or view your content is fitting. However it feels odd that to be validated in the same way on platforms like FaceBook and Instagram for sharing a picture of your dog or grandma. That means your personal life is being assessed by the public and deemed worthy or not. What in the bull crock… I’d rather share family pictures … with my family. If we have a family event and took photos I will send the photos directly to my family through text or a link. It’s more personal and they get to keep the pictures. They also don’t have to awkwardly “like” the picture along with all your other “followers” as if they were a groupie. Cringe.

5. It’s the worst place for couples. Omg. Don’t even get me started. The things that go on with couples on Instagram and Facebook is insane. I don’t blame the couples. I blame the set up. Instagram and Facebook set couples up for failure. You want a good relationship? One or both people have to be off those platforms.

6. Instagram almost seems like a Red light district. Am I wrong ? We all know it’s where the half naked girls are at. Instagram is like driving a car through a city. You have the middle class neighborhood with the moms and babies, the park with the fitness people, the wealthy neighborhood with the designer clad influencer moms, the ghetto neighborhood with the guns, gold chains twerking and rapping, and then you keep driving, take a left, keep going… ok now were at the red light district. Hello booty pics and everything in between. The thing is normal every girls take it upon themselves to be strippers for free on Instagram. It’s mind boggling. I get that they like the attention and validation but it is just the farthest thing from having self respect. Even strippers know to get paid for taking their clothes off. Instagram really outdid itself in getting people to fall for its set up.

In the end, Im no longer the biggest fan of IG. Sometimes I think that my spirit guides and angels purposely had my account disabled so I could wake up and focus on the things that will actually be beneficial in my life. It was a blessing in disguise.

Thanks for reading,

Denise