5 ways to keep Instagram a source of inspiration - and not more

Social media can be a source of inspiration and information if used consciously. The dangers of abusing it and using it the wrong way are a common concern in today's digital world.

Like with everything else, being conscious and focusing on yourself, not copying others is inevitable to not lose control.

Due to its visual appeal Instagram can be an aesthetic joy as well as for some people a depressing daily experience downgrading their own lives.

Here are 5 ways to keep Instagram a source of inspiration - and not more:

See the effort behind a post - it's a staging

The successful bloggers and Instagram stars nowadays are highly professional. Their technical equipment as well as their effort behind the staging of a post is hard work. It's surely not their everday life. This might seem obvious, but looking at a picture and taking it for a person's reality is a common mistake. With each picture they are competing with others to gain and keep followers and to get cooperation opportunities with companies. Do you stage your private life?

Do you feel the urge to compete with a fashion or an interior design magazine?

Unless your are enormously wealthy and have too much time you will certainly not try to imitate the editorials of a fashion or interior design magazine. You probably take it as what it is: a source of inspiration. You pay a considerable amount of money for such a glossy paper magazine and might enjoy the high quality photos which are meant to make you dream and buy. So are the Instagram posts - but not more. Just as you would not try to make your home an exact copy of the magazine you bought, you shouldn't try to copy a blogger's style which is expensive and would thereby lose its inspirational character.

Inspiration and buying is a big difference

Whereas inspiration is giving you ideas, making you think how to achieve a similar atmosphere or look with the things you have and apply the ideas to your concrete living situation, the mere act of buying is cheap. Well, not exactly. But cheap in the sense of losing your individualism by copying another person spending (more) money (than you should). By doing so, you will strip yourself from the possibility to make the inspiration really your own. It will be another's idea and thus of not real content.

Do not lose the awareness of your own reality

If you don't have a walk-in closet and a big house or the time to place your croissant besides a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice every morning, that is real - your reality. And not that it would really matter, but probably the reality of 99% of the people in the world. Nice to look at but not more. Try not to keep up a lifestyle that is not yours and therefore will make you feel depressed because your are focusing on the completely wrong things in life. Aesthetics are a rich facet of life but not its meaning. Your own reality has to be taken seriously and your very own focus has to be reconsidered all the time. That is what counts.

Life does not only consist of inspiration

As nice as it may be, inspiration is an enriching part of life, but we cannot ignore life's hard realities. These are the ones helping a person to mature. Looking for inspiration brings color into life, certainly it may be another way to learn as well. However, you will determine whether your inspiration stays shallow or gains deep roots. Keeping also a critical view on posts seeing the reality behind it, is a form of inspiration, too.