I knew nothing about Instagram until several years ago when my business consultant who helped me set up my konjac business told me businesses HAVE to be on Instagram. What? Why? Well, because this is the society we have become. People don't have the interest, patience, or attention span to do anything except look at pictures.
My account is a joke because I hate taking pictures, I suck at taking pictures (though I have never bothered to try and learn anything about photography), and I hate posting. It didn't take long to figure out that certain hashtags are necessary (at least in the food business) to get likes. It's all pretty revolting to me.
I am also horrified by reports that teen girls often have 4-5 different personal accounts and can spend up to 8 hours a day on Instagram, trying to get 'likes' for their photos. WTF??? I also hear from my Millennial counselling clients that they use it to communicate with friends as well as to meet people (as in, someone might 'like' one of your photos if they are interested in you...based on nothing but the photo). I will spare you my rant about what this is all doing to interpersonal communication and relationships. But its not good.
Another issue with Instagram that comes up for my counselling clients is that they see other people's accounts (much like people often do with Facebook) and conclude that 'everyone' else's life is better than theirs. I now regularly discuss with my clients what social media they are on and what types of accounts they are exposing themselves to. Most of them admit to following people that make them feel terrible (usually posting selfies of their perfect bodies, perfect clothes, perfect relationships, etc.).
STOP! If this is you, I highly encourage you to edit what you expose yourself to. Stop looking for 'inspiration' from social media. Instead look for entertainment/enjoyment and/or validation.
Here are some examples of accounts (or types of accounts) that won't make you feel like crap.
Cute Animal Sites
No matter what type of furry (or feathery or scaly) creatures you prefer, you can guarantee there are sites out there for you.
Little A and I follow a ton of kitten fosters. We love to hear about the rescues and see the little sweeties bottle fed and getting the love and nurturing they need. Our favorite one is Kitten Faces . But there are tons of other adorable ones that make our cat-loving hearts happy!
Feminist/Body Positivity/Activism Sites
If you want to feel empowered, check out Feminist Fight Club, Beafeministgirl and Beauty Redefined.
An unexpected site that I love is actor, Matt McGorry's (from How to Get Away With Murder). Funny, I hate his character on the show, but in real life he's awesome. If you don't believe a man can truly be a feminist, he will make you rethink that!
I have clients who also find sites about art, travel, design, music, etc. can be enjoyed without making them go into a negative spiral of social comparison (though it depends on your motivation and interpretation).
Unfortunately I have found that some of the worst sites are supposedly fitness sites. I find they are actually soft porn clearly meant to attract gawkers (and perverts). No you will not be inspired to workout by seeing half naked photos of very buff people. Believe me, my clients who follow these sites just end up with a negative body image!
Almost nothing is more therapeutic than a good laugh. Check out Mr.Bean or the EllenShow or Canada's own, Baronvonsketch.
If you are a user of Instagram or other social media platforms that leaving you feeling like 'everyone' else is prettier/fitter/richer/more popular, etc. etc., than either quit using it altogether, or stop following any account that makes you feel that way. Its all bullshit anyways. No one's life is the photoshopped perfection you see online, its messy and imperfect just like yours!