Actually not only did I survive, but I felt happier. I know, anyone who actually knows me, knows I geek out on cool asian animation filters and sharing everything I find visually appealing on this application. I can remember who and where I was when Instagram first started. It was the summer of 2010 if I am not mistaken and I was living in LA . I was turning 24 or 25, and my boyfriend at the time Andre threw me a cool small party with close friends at the Roosevelt Hotel we had a nice room with a balcony and fire place. I instagrammed the whole thing, and that’s how it all started.

Filters were terrible and sephia grained and none of us had too much taste in posting in comparison to now. 8 years later, and I hold back from posting too many photos of my family, inspirations and rule number one is never share your love story on Instagram. Instagram has become high school for me all over again. I wasn’t popular or cool until my senior year and actually I went to a new school that year. I was so anti-social even then, I sat in the bathroom my first day of school to eat… and I made friends that day there. I had just gone from living with my dad and my two brothers to moving in with my mom who expects a lot. Caring about my appearance then became not only a priority but a chore. I would get in trouble if I wasn’t dressed right or had my hair and minimal makeup okay. I was learning I guess and I guess that she thought she was teaching me. Normally my day to day outfit was soccer shorts or sweatpants…. Nike or Adidas tee…..birkenstocks with socks….. or a pair of shell toes. I wore a hemp necklace and dabbled in vintage bob Marley and GD shirts. I listened to Dave Matthews Band, three-6 mafia. Ludacris, and Jack Johnson and wore my long curly hair on the top of my head in formation of what I would like to call “broccoli”.

Terribly long story made short, at my new school I was just as smart, just as into extracurricular activities but I actually dressed the part and with that part came cool friends. Just people I know and appreciate from afar now, I am not sure they knew they were cool, but I already knew how bad it felt not to be so I learned to accept this newfound deserved confidence I had. At my mere 45k following, I don’t think I am cool but I know I have found a place for my voice and that’s frankly the only reason I haven’t quit yet.

I have so many opinions about the poisons of social media, but if I’m honest without it so many artists would not be able to stand out, elevate themselves, be noticed and have a voice. The days I started working directly with my two favorite and very different brands who can’t get along (you know the ones), or when I was asked as a DJ to do a beats by dre campaign or be interviewed about my one of my favorite MJ’s in the same space as my film idol Spike Lee…. None of this would have happened without Instagram.

So when I lost access to my account for 15 hours I really had highs and lows. I knew it would work out because I am a positive person (for the most part) and I didn’t break any laws besides for lurking my ex occasionally from my finsta. I also had moments of extreme lows, not feeling proud at all about how I conduct my business. Yes I create many things from top to bottom, but those jobs aren’t the ones paying well or all the time. Brands pay insane amounts for people to just post on Instagram. I have worked so hard at writing on my blog and website and people want to pay to post on Instagram. I accept. I’m not a dummy, and neither should you be. This is a moment and it’s not forever. While this may sound negative, it’s really a light happy warning. We must search a bit deeper and look for what our true talents and values are and enlighten them in every way. We must use Instagram to share truths and not false lifestyles that will only leave people around us envious and emotionally exhausted because you are setting some false bar no one can reach (not even you miss perfect). I know a lot of people don’t want to speak up. You don’t have to, but atleast be kind in your demeanor in your own authentic way. Be authentic.

That day I FaceTimed with my almost 7 month old niece and she recognized me. I used my expensive Lightbox to screenshot the moment. I talked on the phone with my dad while he was shopping for a particular pair of Calvin Klein pants at Dillards that he felt they no longer made. He talks about nothing these days and I love it so much that I am there to listen. I watched old movies all day in bed with no wifi, I laughed and cried because Bridget Jones is Me and I am Bridget Jones. I lived. You know the movie about the robots taking over the people? We are living in it. Be mindful and spread good intentions, don’t let this application steal your moments with your real friends, family, or yourself. I know I have lost time already and I am really excited for a new mindful chapter. I just copped one of the most infamous releases sneaker wise and can’t receive them for another two weeks and thought to myself what a bummer I can’t post them. I chuckled at myself and pinched my arm. Wake up, I urge you to, Instead use social media for what it’s here for. Always make the time to turn that 800 dollar Lightbox over during coffees, intimate moments, and dinners. From one agoraphobic person to the next- Live your Life. And not just digitally.

ARTWORK BY FELICITY P MARSHALL ENTITLED UNUSED PROJECT

THIS IS AN EXCERPT FROM MY BOOK THAT I AM CURRENTLY WRITING IN AMSTERDAM,NETHERLANDS THE NEXT 4 MONTHS.