Instagram Therapy: I Use It to Look at Nice Pictures

(This photo was taken by Courtney Cecale after she climbed up to a glacial lake. She's an acquaintance, but I didn't know how adventurous and amazing her life was, until I began to follow her on Instagram.)

(This photo was taken by Courtney Cecale after she climbed up to a glacial lake. She's an acquaintance, but I didn't know how adventurous and amazing her life was, until I began to follow her on Instagram.)

You don't blame the home when you don't decorate it to your liking or invite over the wrong houseguests. It's the same with our social media experience.

By Sam Yang - Get similar updates here

When I saw Instagram, I thought to myself, here is the perfect platform to see beautiful pictures. Perhaps that's not what it's known for, but that's how I wanted to use it. I decided to exclusively follow artists, photographers, museums, and magazines known for breathtaking pictures. I was mostly interested in nature, history, education, but also concept art. When I'm on it, it's Instagram therapy. Rather than feeling down, I always smile after I use it.

I have a strict rule, I am only going to follow a friend if they only share photos that match my criteria. So, sorry to say, I follow very few friends. But I have zero selfies, memes, nor celebrities on my feed. (And with so much connection, it's redundant. We keep up with them over text, email, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more. We are over-connected, it's good to have one platform devoted to art.)

Here Is a Glimpse of What My Instagram Feed Looks Like:

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A photo posted by Jaxson Pohlman (@jaxsonpohlmanphotography) on

#tv #doodles

A photo posted by jesseaclin (@jesseaclin) on

"Space is the breath of art."—Frank Lloyd Wright #FrankLloydWrightFridays (📷 @dmheald)

A photo posted by Guggenheim Museum (@guggenheim) on

I do the same content curation on every social network I am a part of. What this does for me is, I am one of those people always happy with and enjoy their social media experience. I have compared my feed with others I know who complain about Facebook and Twitter. We pull out our phones and scroll our feed side by side. I do this to show them, you can choose to have an entirely different experience. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but the biggest mistake you can make online is to only follow people you know. (Unless everyone you know happens to have amazing taste.) I know I don't always share the greatest stuff, why would they be any different? And if you know a lot of people, it's going to be a lot more of that. Every day. Every time you log on. Blaming Facebook or Instagram for our experience is like designing an ugly website, then blaming the internet.

I consider it like decorating a home, it can be cluttered and drab, and put you in a bad mood. Or it can be clean and neat and pleasant to look at. You don't blame the home when you don't decorate it to your liking or invite over the wrong houseguests. It's the same with our social media experience. It's your choice, the programmers have given you more than enough personalization options. And yes you're allowed to do this, just like you don't have to invite those that you don't want over for Thanksgiving — sometimes it's just about giving yourself permission. Do it for your mental health.