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5 Ways Instagram Is Ruining Your Life (And What To Do About It)


Like it or hate it, Instagram has changed our culture in a very distinctive way. With over 300 million users, Instagram became an unavoidable giant, which lead Facebook to buy it out for 1 billion dollars. Though Instagram has brought a lot of good, including the ability to stay connected with loved ones, be inspired by others, and help small businesses boom, Instagram is also causing a lot of damage in our lives; not recognizing and fighting those things can only bring more damage. Here are 5 ways Instagram is ruining your life and what to do about them:

1- Measuring Your Value or Someone Else’s Based on Their Number of Followers.

You see someone with a lot of followers, and you automatically have more respect for them and an increased desire to get to know them. We must recognize that being “Instagram famous” and being loved are not the same. A lot of times, they are actually the exact opposite.  Recently, I had someone with several thousand Instagram followers share with me how he doesn’t have many friends and how he has a difficult time connecting with others.

What to do about it: Remember, there are many people you and I know that have little to no followers on Instagram but have a rich lives because they focus on actual real relationships around them rather than focusing on a number on a screen. Follow their footsteps and invest in real relationships around you.

2- Developing Insecurities.

You follow someone who inspires you but what you don’t know is that they are not really inspiring you, they are just making you feel more insecure. You see a wealthy guy “living the life” but they are not sharing with others how to succeed. Instagram only provides a split second of that person’s life. Often times, this person was handed the money by their wealthy parents, or those photos are staged, or they actually struggle with depression. Girls look at other pretty girls looking “perfect” but they don’t know that many of those girls have eating disorders, hate their own bodies, are desperate for attention, and are spending hours using makeup and Photoshop to mask their fears. Here is an article about a girl with over a million follower who quits Instagram stating that it was not real life.

What to do about it: Be authentic by sharing the good and the bad. The most “likes” I received on social media were when I was vulnerable. It inspires others to do the same and it gives others the permission to embrace imperfection and disappointments. Surprisingly, being vulnerable is a key that will bring you more followers; and more importantly, positive impact.

3- Increasing Your Fear of Missing Out Instead of Living in The Moment.

That’s an epidemic in our culture. Instagram has exposed us to what is happening all the time and it lead us to constantly feel that we are missing out. The truth is, it is impossible to be at every party and with everyone at all times. This prevents us from living wholeheartedly, we become less invested in those around us because we are daydreaming about other people and opportunities out there.

What to do about it: A study has shown that your level of happiness is directly connected with living in the moment with those around you. The more friends you have, the harder it is to go deep. So, instead of living in a fantasy that you can somehow be friends with everyone you want in all the different states, go deep with those around you. Who are you locally spending time with and how are you inspiring each other?

4- Being Ungrateful.

Comparing your life to what appears to be”flawless” will lead you to become ungrateful and unable to see all the good that surrounds you.

What to do about it: Recognize that what you see is a very small picture of someone else’s life. It is impossible to sit around taking perfect pictures of yourself on yachts all day. It’s not real life. Even those who have it tend to live a life without any challenges, goals, and dreams and they tend to attract insincere individuals, causing difficulties to build genuine friendships.

5- Creating Awkward Tension With Those You are Not Following.

Choosing to not follow or unfollow someone you personally know can cause awkwardness. People can asses whether you really care about a relationship with them based on whether or not you are following them.

What to do about it. Define who and why you are following those you follow. Instagram can actually help you define your boundaries. I recently had someone ask me why I don’t follow them. I kindly said, “I mostly follow people who are involved in my life regularly so I can stay focused on going deep with them. Otherwise, I won’t be able to track my closest relationships’ updates but I use Facebook to follow on your updates”. I recommend that you focus on following those who you care about the most. unapologetically, unfollow people who make you feel insecure and inadequate and replace them with those who can bring good into your life or those who you can bring good into theirs.

Why I Launched a New YouTube Show.

I have been working on a YouTube Show called “The Johnny You Show” where I interview individuals with big platforms so that they can share their stories behind what we see on the little screen. So far, I have interviewed an outdoor photographer, American Idol top contestant, an influential YouTuber, and a writer who just published a new book. My hope is to replace the negatives that social media is bringing with more positive. The goal is that viewers and followers can gain confidence and get inspired through the vulnerability and the content that is shared so that we all become better together rather than compare ourselves to others. The first interview will be published next week and you can view it by subscribing to my YouTube Channel here. Here is the trailer for the first interview:

What’s your thoughts and is there any point you would like to add? Comment Below!
– Johnny Youssef


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  • Arin Gilbert Jan 25,2016 at 11:07 pm

    You make some fair points, but why are you an authority on this or other topics? Seems like a pretty wide net to cast by making some pretty great generalisations.
    Have you ruined your life by making these mistakes?
    Looking for some perspective here. I generally like what you have to say and for the most part agree with you, but then your articles seem like you are writing them to attract social media attention and get passed around the web. Is that accurate?

    Lately you seem to be making some pretty bold statements and ways to positively make a difference or how to be the kind of individual you think they should be, while informing people what to not do, or how they should be living. Are you seeking followers? Is it working? Seems like you would take time to establish credibility to your audience instead of finger pointing. Are you hoping to establish a brand? Attract followers to your blog and new YouTube channel and then utilise ad marketing to profit from clicks?
    What do you hope is the end result of your marketing?

    • Johnny Youssef Jan 26,2016 at 3:32 am

      Hi Arin! Thanks for the comment.
      Of course what I stated in the blog will have generalization. It’s impossible to be able to claim how IG affects each individual separately. However, those points are issues that one *MAY* face if they are not careful. The intention is to know what those issues are and each reader can decide for themselves. A blog titled “5 ways alcohol can ruin your life” doesn’t mean that it’s a great generalization, it simply means “watch out for those 5 issues because they have affected others’ lives”.

      As far as pointing fingers, I fully disagree. My blog wasn’t titled “If you don’t quit Instagram you are an awful person”. Not sure how the post is pointing fingers. You are saying that recently my blog posts have been pointing fingers. The most recent two titles were “5 Companies That Give Back For Every Purchase You Make” which is a post about companies that are doing good and helping others and the one before it was “6 Lessons Christians Can Learn From Justin Bieber” which discusses good lessons that Christians can learn – not every Christian because everyone is different and some are more mature than others, but the post is uplifting and what I have been told so far is that it is encouraging compassion and forgiveness towards those on the platform so I am not sure how that’s pointing fingers either….

      It’s heartbreaking to hear that my posts sound like they are pointing fingers while the main goal is to uplift and encourage…but what’s even sadder is that this was linked towards an intention of trying to “gain followers”. Well, Of course I want more readers to read my blog because we all want to succeed in what we do…but am I trying to point fingers so I can get attention so I can gain followers? No.

      I have had this blog for 6 months with ZERO advertising. My goal is far away from trying to make profit for clicks. I started it because I had passion to share my thoughts and encourage others through them. Posts like “My experience with IHOPKC” and “The 3 Responses Christians Should Have For The Supreme Court Ruling on Gay Marriage” have gotten a lot of attention and hundreds of comments and emails of people being encouraged: So, clicks and cash isn’t the goal, people are. I was told that I was crazy for not at least allowing ads on the website so just yesterday, I got ads on the website. Not sure if the ads will bring enough money but if they cover some expenses for building the website and the equipment that’s being rented for thousand of dollars for the interviewing show I started, I would be grateful but I doubt they will even pay for half of the cost. So, this is actually costing money not bringing any. I am not opposed for profit but it’s the last thing on the radar and this would be a terrible investment if that was the goal; after all, I made a lot more money being full-time in real estate and slowing down for the website/show has brought financial loss….So, what do I hope as the end result of my marketing? To be able to impact and inspire others practically and spiritually.

  • Khalome Jan 25,2016 at 4:34 am

    Whoa Hooooo John-Nay Hun-Nay!

    You are stepping on a lot of toes out here buddy. I saw the title in the subject line and immediately gasped of laughter in shock! Bold article, and I do mean bold in all caps. This is so good. I just find it so rejuvenating to read something that falls in line with what I felt and experienced when I wrote an article called “Why I deleted my Instagram” back fall 2013, never published or anything. To know that its really real and Im not being “extra” or a “super” (a super christian or holy roller or just a weak person). To me it doesnt necessarily have to do with being a “christian” its a “human” issue. I had an Instagram for all about 6 months. I can totally relate to your post, although I fought my darnest not to in 2013. I didn’t want to face the cold hard facts, because “Im suppose to better than that” and I was actually pretty ok with who I was. But to see that I had THOSE kind of weak spots, was too weak for me. But when I wrote my article, I felt confident in my discovery of who I was, cause it was fixable and not permanent. But now seeing your article, I feel…NORMAL. LOL. I have learned you can have the courage to be YOU and still not feel “normal”. Its kind of a empty piece there when I don’t always blend in but I have learned to always move forward. Not sure if that make sense. I absolutely love IG to visit or look up cool things or pics of friends. But I haven’t had one since I deleted it and don’t really care to, maybe Ill get one again in the near future. But this was my experience with IG below that I wanted to share with you.

    This is what I wrote:

    Why I deleted my Instagram

    Over the summer, back when life was nice, warm, and toasty. Like most people do when they feel that nudge for various reasons, I decided to delete my Instagram. Cool I thought. What was not cool was my lack of preparation to answer “the dreaded question”. “Why did you delete your Instagram?” Didn’t think the world cared whether I had an IG presence or not. You still got my cell number, text me, I can reply with a picture text or email you a couple of pics of selfies. Bam! IG gone wild! Ha!

    Of course this was not the answer to the question. My mind was then bombarded with the infamous replies; “I dunno, just felt like it”, “Got tired of it”, “Too much drama”, “Aint nobody got time for dat”, in my Sweet Brown voice. This question had me thinking, ‘Why did I delete my IG?” No, like for real. For REEEEAL, real. What is my honest answer? This was my reply to a text that asked me that very question.

    “I have to. It’s causing me to fall in love with the world’s beauty, style, fashion. I covet other women’s beauty and style of clothing. Mimicking their vibe and the way they do things. Even down to hair. It’s the closest thing I can get to be something I can never be. Internally I have a divided heart and yearn for the world’s glory. It is causing me to cheat in my marriage with God by not staying truly focus in Him. I start to lust success and the appearance of it. It feeds my appetite to stay alive and vibrant and hot. To want to give people this persona of me. Of how I want people to view me. Not how I can better advertise the Christ in me. It feeds my desires that hasn’t died yet. Cause I keep feeding it.

    Even my appearance. To be “regular”?? ‘Eeeeeew’ was my thoughts. ‘What’s the beauty in that?! The beauty in being a “plain Jane”?’ Looooow self-esteem. I need clothes to feel powerful or untouchable. Its not even about “clothes”, clothes/fashion/adventures “the look” THAT “look”, the look that clothes GIVE. It help brings in a cloud and vibe I so desperately want. A vibe that the WORLD carries. The “LOOK” that the world carries. Like this glorified walking in air can’t touch me I know where I’m going and headed and no one can stop me…that confidence that they posses. I wanted that…LOL! All in IG, eh? really? ☺Hahahahaha. No but yeah. IG is not the only thing. But it definitely plays has its part and plays a part on fueling it.”

    After actually tapping send. I realized this was honestly, MY honest answer.

    I begin to share my honest answer with people when they asked me that question, and yes I would actually read to them aaaaall dat! By my surprise, people of both genders and spectrum of ages were able to relate. Some even had tears in their eyes. A simple text has now become my text-i-mony.Ha!(cheesy, I know. I just couldn’t resist).

    This is not to say IG is bad or good. The moral of this article is to encourage readers to be honest with their heart and share honesty with others. You never know who it may relate to or be an encouragement for.


    Thank you!

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