I started writing this out as a short post for Instagram.

I decided to put it there & here, because I wanted to write a little more about each point.

Ideas For Ethical Instagram Use

1. Consider why you are posting before you post

2. Do not attempt to make your life look enviable, or better than it is

For some reason, this is almost the reason Instagram exists. I think it’s a harmful practice, and creates competition and instead of collaboration.

3. Do not use geotags (also, consider why you want to geotag)

People argue there are ethical ways to geotag. I disagree. There are too many people using Instagram, and the algorithms are too successful at funneling likes and views to already overpopular things. Just leave them off.

4. Think: collaborative, not competitive!

5. Treat people as people, not potential audience or customers

It is truly the age of the Artist Entrepreneur. We have become our own platforms. We must do everything from conceptualizing, to marketing, to shipping. This can drive people to treat others as potential audience rather than just human beings. It turns each of us into agents—for ourselves. While this approach might be effective, I believe it undermines our common humanity.

6. Do not align your self-worth with how much people like you. In other words, work on self-compassion, not self-esteem.

In “Fearless Heart” Thupten Jingpa, the translator for the Dalai Lama, argues that self-esteem and self-compassion are two different things. Self-esteem is fragile because it is often attached to success, or external circumstances. Self-compassion is self love. And love means acceptance. Self-esteem has something to prove. Self-love is simply an embracing of all things, ideal, or unideal.

7. Fully/completely/deeply consider your impact

Instagram affects the real world, even though we don’t see it directly.

8. Limit use to a healthy level

There are timers, usually called Digital Wellbeing, available on most smartphones now. Use them!