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10 Reasons Why Instagram Is The New High School

10 Reasons Why Instagram Is The New High School

And here we had thought that high school was over; that we could make or break our lives without worrying about what others thought o us. Hardly had we anticipated the meteoric rise of Instagram, the new (and improved) high school. Undeniably, it looks good from the outside. The filter and angles make you see different perspectives but soon one realises that the quagmire of crab-like vindictiveness is onto you. And back to school you go. This is how it unfolds.

1. Your Popularity is Based on Likes

You thinks that you are educated, aware and that human nature cannot get the better of you? You will be not-so-pleasantly surprised to see you craving for likes. You realise that these ‘likes’ up your popularity meter. It is no more a question of mere acceptance but that of getting fame and recognition on the basis of these clicks.

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2. There are Cliques

Once you enter into the world of Instagram deeply, you realise that there are age-specific, region-specific and interest-specific groups. These groups are close-knit and they stick together. Reposting and shouting-out to each other, they help in creating an elitist system where some members are more revered than others.

3. They are Hard to be Accepted into

Going on from the idea that the number of likes and followers are important and being part of a group is even more so to be ‘suggested’ as a user of Instagram, it is mighty difficult to become accepted into these virtual groups. This is especially true when you are doing something different and no to the taste of others.

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4. Instagram is Only Partially True

While we use the app to showcase our lives and express happiness, we are also aware that we only show what we want people to know. This is in fact true of all social media. It demonstrates the parties, food and all the places we visit but it also has silences with regard to fights, troubles, heartbreaks and despair.

5. Posts are Filtered

With the reality being only half-baked, the perception of reality also becomes heavily skewed and more aesthetic. Life in general is normal and ordinary but Instagram has the ability of making them unreal and too beautiful to be true. Sounds like high school? We think so too. You go deeper and you understand the partial treatment you find.

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6. It is a Cauldron of Jealousy and Self-Esteem Issues

Similar to high school, the social structure makes it a tough place to battle with acceptance by oneself and by others. Looking at the likes and followers of others makes it a very commonplace affair to be envious by the popularity of others. Thousands and thousands of likes can cripple creativity when ones own post rack up mere numbers.

7. lt is a Most Superficial App

It does not add to productivity or create any kind of revenue but all it does it attract attention. This is particularly true of how high school functions. While it provides you with a lot of practise to deal with real life, it is not real life. One can use this app to reach out to an audience, but it can equally open you up to new people if and only if you have the right connections. One would think that Instagram has democratised art or photography but it is not so because of my following point.

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8. You Have to Have a Theme

Much like everything that a structured society follows, Instagram pretends to be a creative space that allows freedom. One realises that this is not true when one looks at accounts that do really well on the popularity charts. It is expected that your account must have a single-minded focus and a quirky enough theme that you have to mindlessly keep on posting about even if you are bored to death of it. This surely kills motivation when anything out of your chosen theme crops up on the feeds and racks up single digits.

9. It Encourages Aloofness

With such hoards of problems that dog an ordinary or lay user on this ‘social’ app, one finds no other way but to absolutely stop caring about likes, followers and shout outs. Which is defeating the purpose of it being a social networking site. Remind anyone of school times? When tired of all the drama, people just chose to reach back into their shells and do their own thing? The Instagram version of that is the lack of use of hashtags and just putting up things for the love of photography and not to seek inspiration.

10. The Grapevine

Lastly, High School had a perfect way of communicating gossip and rumours. This is the modern version of the ‘Burn Book’. Instagram is the best way of keeping tabs on the lives of others. Noticing comments and likes would reveal a lot about our near ones and lots of people use it to their benefit, continuing the plague of bitchiness and overall voyeurism. Not to say that Instagram is not open to everyone. It is. But one cannot deny that if you can crack the code, you can pass the test.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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