Have You Heard Of ‘The Instagram Suck’ Syndrome?


“Comparison is the thief of joy” that famous quote by Theodore Roosevelt. I’m mixing it up a bit and replacing ‘comparison’ with ‘instagram’ or in other words ‘The Instagram Suck’ Syndrome.

This seems very strange coming out of my mouth because …

‘I Love Social Media’

It’s the heart beat of my day job in digital marketing and I love being part of some amazing  online communities and I want to state before I go further that I LOVE Instagram. I’m not here to bash it. This post is more about my insecurities than anything else, I reckon.

I wrote last year about the positive aspect of social media and how It had boosted my confidence since I had started this blog just over a year ago now.

I have made some amazing friends and met some awesome people in the past year all because of blogging and mainly Instagram. Hell, I even won an award. What a night that was! All because of this so I really don’t want to come across as biting the hand that feeds me.


I’ve come a long way since this first tentative outfit post but here’s the thing ….

I know what goes on in those pretty squares is 99% of the time not real life whatsoever and I vowed to myself to remember it’s not real and not to compare myself. But then about a month ago out of the blue I started to feel what I am calling the …..

‘The Instagram Suck’

and how I was starting to lose the joy I felt about this particular social media platform. How could that be?

I describe the ‘Instagram Suck’ as a bit of a phenomenon. It lifts you up and just when it’s got you its dark side sucks you in and you start to compare yourself and your own life with all the carefully curated lives of other people. Literally sucking the joy out of why I came there in the first place.

Yes, before anyone says I know that’s what Instagram is .. I know this, but it’s almost like a spell. Maybe it’s just me and my personality { I’m hoping someone is going to comment and tell me I’m not a weirdo here! }.

My feed seemed to be a continuous flow of perfection. I’m not a school run mum anymore but I remember the IRL pressure of the school gates so I dread to think how Instagram makes some mums feel, too.

My struggle is that I can’t keep up with it and I felt myself being pulled into trying to keep up. I don’t have enough clothes to wear something different every day. Often, shock horror, I might wear the same outfit for work twice in the same week!  Again that’s my problem not anyone else’s .. I get that, I really do.


Me on a good day but I’ve worn this dress a few times now so can’t keep posting photographs of me wearing it, can I? I could be construed as a minger .. lol!

I know I’m putting myself out here for a barrage of ‘well don’t follow me if you don’t like what I do’ comments and it’s not really about that.

I love that Instagram, especially, has become a platform for real people to get themselves a career and I love the creativity that happens there. I’m in awe most days at tons of it. Maybe  it’s just that at this point it’s me that’s the insecure one and I’m just having a bit of a struggle here.

But what I did to counteract how I was feeling was STEP AWAY. Just for a bit ..  and it worked.

‘It’s Like A Drug … I Was So Tempted To Keep Looking’

As I’m writing this I feel almost disloyal and I really, really don’t want this post to come across badly. I’ve always advocated that I would write what I wanted on here .. my thoughts and my opinions. This is my corner for this.

So I stayed away just about a week and I was able to go back on and be okay. How weird is that?

The ‘suck’ nearly got me and it could again if I’m not careful. Now I’ll just take breaks whenever I want and post when I want. Like most things in life the pressure we put ourselves under is mostly from within ourselves. It’s a big life lesson and one I’m still learning after almost 55 years.

Have you suffered from ‘The Instagram Suck’ syndrome? Maybe it’s just me … let me know.

Sharon xo





  1. Sharon Goodwin
    April 28, 2018 / 3:38 pm

    Hi Sharon, I stumbled across your blog via recommendation, I think and have followed for about 6 months. I love that you are individual and don’t follow like a sheep. Totally understand the feeling that you need to keep up, when you really don’t! This is not real life, wearing the same clothes both days at the weekend often happens to me because I can’t be bothered to find a casual outfit for both days, casual is not my forte, being a smart dresser naturally so i struggle with jeans, and being a bit lazy to be honest too.

    Keep up the good work and be your wonderful, individual self always.

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      May 13, 2018 / 1:47 pm

      This is so lovely of you Sharon … I really appreciate you stopping by and #keepingitreal .. thankyou xo

  2. April 28, 2018 / 4:17 pm

    Taking a break from Instagram every so often is a very sensible move. It is very addictive but those perfectly staged photos aren’t real life – I just think about how silly I’d feel posing in those situations!

    Emma xxx

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      May 13, 2018 / 1:46 pm

      It’s good to know when a break is needed isn’t it, Emma? Soooooo addictive you are right xo

  3. kikitotoro
    April 28, 2018 / 5:10 pm

    I too love al the creative content that is on Instangram & the fact it’s picture based has always appealed. I would have to agree with you though about needing to take a break from Instagram (& Facebook) sometimes. There is uch a lot of content and information on both that doesn’t really add to my day, and on occasions leaves me feeling a bit down with FOMO and sometimes upset that I don’t have (or can’t afford) the latest X or Y. Also Instagram REALLY p*sses me off with this stupid algorithm that stops you seeing posts chronologically – that also made me step back from Instagram as I thought “well if I want to look at a specific person’s posts I will just find them in my “following” list whenever I want & see their posts in order” – so now I can step away for a while & come back on my terms. Not sure if that was the outcome they had in mind when they designed the algorithm!!

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      May 13, 2018 / 1:49 pm

      It’s weird isn’t it this FOMO thing? Instagram can really be addictive … I love it and hate it in just about equal measure xo

  4. April 28, 2018 / 6:31 pm

    I have Instagram “Suck” Most days! It’s my least loved media platform hence why I’m such a slow grower. I step back a lot, but then feel guilty that I do! xx

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      May 13, 2018 / 1:45 pm

      Thats just the thing tho isn’t it Laurie? How it makes us feel guilty if we step back? It’s very bizarre. xo

  5. Jan Wild
    April 29, 2018 / 1:09 am

    No, you are definitely not weird, I totally get where you are coming from! I feel the same way and to be honest whilst getting up and getting dressed is a huge part of my mental health regime there are still some days when I can’t be naffed and I just want to stay in my PJs or exercise gear all day. And like you I don’t have a huge wardrobe with a new outfit every week (or day it seems in some cases). I’m pretty handy at mixing and matching and making my clothes go further but I don’t have unlimited funds or a desire to overwhelm the planet with ‘worn once’ clothes which some poor person nearly died making and still can’t afford to feed their children. You are right comparison is a thief and I have had to recognise that I was feeling ‘threatened’ by the style of women whose choices I actually don’t want to emulate. Great post and I am going to share this in my group of lovely women.

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      May 13, 2018 / 1:44 pm

      Appreciate and love your honesty, Jan .. always love seeing your smiling posts 🙂 It’s good that so many of us do recognise this ‘suck’ and are able to keep it at bay, I think. There is always a dark side to everything isn’t there? xo

  6. April 29, 2018 / 1:43 am

    Oh I hear you on this! It’s tricky, isn’t it because there are so many benefits of having a thriving Instagram account but the dark side really gets to me too. I regularly take time way from it but the beast that is the algorithm doesn’t like you to stop feeding it and so everyone I return I feel like Sisyphus pushing that damn rock back up the hill. If I were on IG just for pleasure I would have left by now… but because I’ve started a mentoring & coaching service that’s creating a community I need to be present on social media. Learning to step back personally is the key I think, but very difficult to achieve!

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      May 13, 2018 / 1:43 pm

      Always learning for sure. It’s good to know the signs isn’t it, Lexi. It’s such a pull and push thing isn’t it? xo

  7. April 29, 2018 / 6:49 am

    Isn’t it most important that you do what makes you happy? Of course I had also had a period where I and whined: boeoe, nobody likes my photos. But I’m all over that. I am just me and I’m not famous, not a model, not a beauty, so I don’t worry anymore. I decided that I have to get fun out of it! And it is always a pleasure to see your photos, whether it’s in the same dress or not!

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      May 13, 2018 / 1:41 pm

      Spot on, Nancy .. thankyou as always for your insight xo

  8. April 29, 2018 / 12:44 pm

    Ohhh I have had that feeling many many times, and have wrote many posts on this. I just dont get the appeal of Instagram. It frustrates me and it is the platform I like the least. Having said that, I am more of a “words” person, so maybe it was never going to fully float my boat? I was feeling pressure from it, and took a massive step back from it. I really didnt like that I was worrying about it when lets face it, there are far bigger things to worry about! I feel so much more relaxed about it now. I post when I like, I post what I like, I rarely look at my numbers and really dont spend too much time over on Instagram. It has honestly done me the world of good.

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      May 13, 2018 / 1:41 pm

      Yes Kerry as you know so well there are much ‘bigger’ things to worry about. I like that we can take steps back. I was nearly sucked but I managed to rescue myself. I feel a lot like you xo

  9. Tracy Patil
    April 29, 2018 / 6:40 pm

    Hey Sharon, you are not weird, just normal like the rest of us. I totally understand where you are coming from.You did the right thing to step back from it. I got really upset once when someone mentioned being disgusted by a beauty flaw that I happen to have. I had a strong word with myself and kept out of said bloggers sphere for a while, until I felt better. I think you are such an honest person to share this and you will see just how many people here understand and support you. You are a great gal, keep on blogging you always have quality content and I love your style. Us over 50’s need to stick together?

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      May 13, 2018 / 1:39 pm

      I really appreciate that Tracy. I’m really sorry to hear that for you though … I find it hard to get to grips sometimes how judgemental people can be. Keep being you .. always … flaws and all xo

  10. April 29, 2018 / 9:28 pm

    Sharon keep doing what you are doing. I love your posts…your pics and your words…take a break when you need it! And I looooove your insta stories. You are a natural. I sound weird! But I am practising!!!! And yes it does suck…I keep having to go search for some of my favourite accounts….and who leads those perfect lives? I will put up my chair..the one like yours… on insta stories..

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      May 13, 2018 / 1:37 pm

      As long as I can find you on there then I will be ok … thanks lovely Hilda xo

  11. April 30, 2018 / 7:52 pm

    I love the social media that I follow (oh my fantasy life – or Pinterest as others call it, heaven! and yes I rather like Instagram). That doesn’t mean I don’t realise a lot of it is fiction, that’s fine by me. But what I like more is real life – I love it when people are honest enough to say they wear the same clothing often, I love the neighbourhood photos on peoples blogs, or their normal life stuff – I am dead nosy and I am also pretty sure much of the fantasy would not work in real life (or at least my corner of it). Post the same outfit more than once, your discussion lifts it up and makes it interesting and fun – it even makes you pretty rare. 🙂

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      May 13, 2018 / 1:37 pm

      Very insightful comments, Juliet .. I love it when you come along xo

  12. May 7, 2018 / 2:13 pm

    Hi Sharon !
    I do know exactly what you mean but I’m old enough to know better so I actually rarely feel bad about others pics ( well maybe at all the tidy sinks! My sink is always overflowing!! )
    Sometimes I do get sick of everyone doing the same thing!
    I given up any social media on Sunday it’s a day off ( no not religious either!)
    Turning it all off is the answer !
    Have you seen Allison saddlers insta? she’s all about this too. Take a peep?
    You write so well ,
    Super post as ever !
    Ashley xxx

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      May 13, 2018 / 1:36 pm

      You are always so supportive Ashley … one of the reasons I’m able to fall back in love with Instagram like I can is for the lovely collection of people I have got to know because of it … like you xoxx

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