I have been part of the Bookstagram community since February, a perfect time to join in my opinion. I spent hours taking photos, reading, and enjoying my time interacting with other booklovers. It was my getaway during the pandemic and it was the first community where I finally felt at home. While I have enjoyed the last 7 months, I realized that my love around Bookstagram became a bit unhealthy. I was obsessing over numbers, participating in book tags I didn’t want to do, and buying certain books because other people said I should. I felt like my opinions on novels were swayed by what other people where thinking and reading became a lot less fun for me.
There were moments where I read a ton of books but never absorbed anything from them (which totally isn’t like me! I overthink everything) and I struggled to finish books I didn’t want to read anymore. I was scared to admit there were books that I would DNF because I didn’t want to hurt people’s feelings. It became really unhealthy for me, to the point where I stopped reading altogether. I felt like if I wasn’t consistently reading 5-6 books a month and posting about them that I was not a real Bookstagrammer. After 6 months I realized that I needed to take a break, step back, and re-evaluate.
Reading was a hobby that I cherished, I loved allowing my imagination to wander inside these books. I loved organizing my bookshelves and awing over them. But all that was gone. Over the past month, I seriously stepped away and knew I needed to change things. I knew that being on Instagram all day was not healthy for me. I can’t post 10 times a week while working full time and in school full time. It was all becoming too much. Slowly over the last few weeks, I picked up a book again, read a chapter here and there, without feeling pressured to finish it quickly to move on to the next one. I deleted my Indigo app on my phone because my bank account was crying out for help lol. I also logged off of my Bookstagram account, and only logged in every couple days.
After a much-needed break, I am here to say that I am back, not full time, or part-time. Just back. I will post when I want to, I won’t follow any schedule, I won’t obsess over the followers. I will comment on and read posts that I want to read. I won’t stand for rude or unethical behaviour. I will make my bookstagram account a healthy and safe place not only for me but for the people I love talking with. I am sorry if my account isn’t consistent but my life really isn’t either. I don’t want to feel pressured to read, that takes all the fun away from it. I will take photos when I want to because it’s a passion of mine, not because I feel like I must.
Social Media can do severe damage to our mental health, but being aware of your mental health with it can help you keep a good relationship with it. Never feel pressured to do something just because everyone else is. Do you!