I left booktube three, maybe four years ago. And last week I left bookstagram.
I left booktube because it became too much for me. I got so overwhelmed with the unnecessary drama; the competition. It became less about the books and more about how many books could be hauled. And when it was about the books, it was about sharing how many books could be read in a month.
I was never a teenager, or young adult (as someone who was creating content on youtube). I did not have a room to myself to dedicate to shelves and shelves of books. I prefer the library over buying books I’ll honestly never read again. I enjoyed 50 Shades of Grey AND Twilight. I was very particular with my star ratings on Goodreads and never took someone else’s rating to heart.
In all honesty, it was never all that serious for me. I read what I wanted because I wanted to read it; not because a group of strangers on the internet said I had to… or should.
So I quit. Eventually focusing on my bookstagram account because I felt that was a better crowd and significantly easier to maintain. And after three years, I am quitting that too. Not only did I disable my account, but I made any private account I had on any social media platform private.
Over the years I watched bookstagram turn into booktube. Just a lot of unnecessary drama. Towards the end I learned about things called “engagement groups”. Which if you are as clueless as I am, they are basically these follow-for-follow groups. The members of these groups are trying to beat Instagram’s algorithm. Members share their content with the group and then the group likes or comments on the content there for increasing the chances that the content will be seen in a normal followers feed. Seriously, like WTF.
Everyone stresses about their caption, what I didn’t know were people actually have other users review their captions before they post them. And here I thought that I was the crazy one writing, and rewriting a caption.
Just as I was really thinking that this online venue was no longer the place for me I happened to catch a story that was shared about star ratings. And how certain bookstagrams would no longer be using star ratings.
I could not believe it. It was the same cycle of events. I believe in signs, and this was the sign I needed.
Earlier in the day when I was contemplating disabling my account I dedicated a page in my journal to accounts I would still want to follow (from my personal/private account). But after seeing the star rating thing I knew it was time to go. And while the page in my journal was still blank, I logged onto my computer and disabled my IG account. I have yet to look back. The accounts I wanted to still follow, I knew their handles, I did not need to go through the 600 accounts I was following in order to pick and choose which ones to continue to follow.
This is it. This is the only public space I will have on the internet. Blogs are a dying platform. Especially ones that are not trying to sell you something. So honestly, there is no threat here. There is nothing to try and compete with.
As I write this, the weekly phone screen time alert popped up on my phone… just without a bullshit bookstagram account, I am down 12% on my usage. There is nothing to scroll when I am not busy trying to see what other people are reading or posting about. It sounds crazy, but I have been spending the time I used to spend scrolling…. reading.
Mind you, I have yet to finish the library book that is due back this weekend. But I am 50 pages away from finishing it which is a hell of a lot closer to completion then it would have been otherwise.
If any of these spaces bring you joy, go ahead a stay there. Prior to this I had issues with social media in my personal life and I made the necessary adjustments in order to still be present on there for what I am hoping to get from it. (Too many businesses communicate with their customers via social media now *eye roll*) But for me, right now, maybe forever, public social media spaces are not for me. I am worthy, with or without public acknowledgement.