Instagram is for sharing images

That’s what I was always thinking, you know? Recently I found out it’s for building following.

When I set up this blog in July 2021 I had no idea there are autistic advocates blogging on Instagram. I found out this year, probably in March, after reading an article in media. I started following one or two of them at first but since then I found out about many others so I started following those too, just to be aware what is happening. And the problem is, I still don’t know that.

Some of them have really large numbers of followers and loads of engagement from them, but I can’t see anything particularly interesting in their posts. Moreover, they sometimes make a few slides into a video but don’t leave enough time for each slide and I was unable to read all the text. I found that extremely irritating.

The other thing is that, as I saw they’re constantly sharing each other content, I wanted to be part of that, so I reached out to four of them, and only got one response – from a person whose post I shared on my blog. The other people didn’t even say hi.

And I actually really wanted to share others posts, but it was all too general, you know? Like ‘Years of misunderstandings taught me not to trust myself’ – what that makes people think? ‘Well, everyone has misunderstandings sometimes’. Some more details would help here, so that neurotypicals could admit ‘ok, you’re right, that would be unlikely to happen to me’.

I also saw somebody, one with really large following, stating that we are better than neurotypicals because we can win conflicts with them due to our autistic traits. And although I won a couple of conflicts due to my autistic traits, I really don’t think we should be saying that to people who have poor social imagination. Because the truth is, we can also loose conflicts due to our autistic traits and this is even more likely to happen if we believe that we’re going to win.

That was a few very difficult weeks for me.

As you may know I decided to go on digital detox a week ago but initially wanted to keep Instagram without any changes, I just severely limited my time spent there. That was not enough though, so yesterday evening I made a very difficult decision to unfollow all of them, and a couple of others: couches, psychologists, therapists and even Cecilia McGough. I do admire Cecilia but I find it difficult to understand what she’s doing on Instagram. People would work with her for all the effort she’s putting consistently to support people with schizophrenia, she doesn’t need Instagram account to post photos of herself every day. It just really doesn’t add up for me.

Now I only follow 5 people: two interia designers who like using loads of patterns, two fine artists who incorporate patterns into their work and a photographer who I know from high school. Instagram is for sharing images, isn’t it?

I also unsubscribed from number of newsletters, deleted numer of text messages and uninstalled number of apps, including the block sudoku game I used to play for hours on end hoping it will help me think more flexibly.

I also unfollowed every single friend  and every group on Facebook and most businesses, now my feeds stay the same for several hours. I didn’t know this is possible to achieve – I did try to unfollow people and organisations before but it seemed to me Facebook just put different, random content in place of one I unfollowed. I am unable to say now for sure if I just didn’t use the unfollow option enough at the time or if Facebook actually realised they’re too overwhelming and decided to change their algorithm, but at least it worked this time.

I also went back to do Sleep School, and all the techniques, not only those I like the most. I really need to prioritise my mental health.

Regarding communication: when I came to the radio on Monday it was very quiet, only a receptionist and a man who I never saw before. The receptionist asked the man ‘Have you met Magda?’ and I immediately thought that means that man is based there but then it turned out he isn’t, he is from a charity. Obviously that could have meant as well that he was quite regular there – receptionist’s question would also make sense in that situation but the fact that I had to swap from one idea to another made me quite distressed, and then that happened… The only thing that came to my mind in response was ‘Why are you here?’.

I was fully aware that didn’t sound very inviting but I felt like that question just had to come out. It had to, there was no other way!

It turned out, not surprisingly, he came for an interview. Which obviously gave me a brilliant idea: next time when I see a stranger there I should ask if they came for an interview. It will be the same from my perspective but will sound different for them.

I then spent a few minutes contemplating what I have done but quickly moved on – much quicker than I’d do in the past, including all the similar situations from before I realised I’m autistic. I just told myself I’m still better than Boris – the things that the man is saying sometimes are beyond belief while I’m autistic and not a prime minister, I have a right to cut myself some slack, don’t I?

One response to “Instagram is for sharing images”

  1. […] As you may know I tried to spend more time on social media recently, trying to work out what is happening in autistic community. I didn’t experience any drama (except of that Facebook group where neurotypical parents ask autistic people for their opinions about what is happening with their autistic children; the group believes that autistic people shouldn’t modify their behaviour in any way, and yet, when I was being my natural self, I was being called rude and told I’m arguing, go figure), and in fact most Facebook groups are run really well. I was however getting upset about the things happening on Instagram, that I described in more details here: […]


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