To Abboud, having random people follow you can be weird. She said in her TikTok post that once she realized there were so many random people following her Instagram account, she decided they didn’t deserve to know the details of her life.
“High key privacy is the new luxury!!!” Abboud wrote in her post’s caption from Sept. 5.
“Please tell me what even is the point of Instagram now,” she said in her video. “I have not seen these people in years. Why are they still watching what I’m doing? …It’s just like ghosts of your past watching you.”
“I think one of the biggest privileges now is privacy and being private and having guards up of who is allowed to see your life, who is allowed to know the details of your life,” she continued.
There are approximately 41 million Gen Zers on Instagram right now, and many of them are starting to change their feelings about the platform. In addition to their need for more privacy, some creators are also calling out the “performative” nature of the platform.
TikTok creator Ashley Watson (@existentialashley) posted a video on the platform explaining how she feels Instagram has become performative — with users over-curating their feeds and doing away with casual Instagram posts.
“Why does it feel like Instagram is no longer a place that I can post my little food pics and post every little thing I’m doing but instead it’s truly a portfolio of my very best work,” she said in the video.
On Instagram, photo dumps— where users share a seemingly disjointed jumble of images — are popular at the moment and users have tried to figure out the perfect formula for these groups of pictures.
“Not even a hater though bc photo dumps are art at this point,” wrote @bran__flakezz in his caption.
Aboud and Watson aren’t alone in their thoughts either. In an article for The Atlantic, Kaitlyn Tiffany expanded on why people are moving away from oversharing online.
“When I was 21, the cool thing to be was famous on Instagram. Now the cooler thing to be is a mystery. Anonymity is in,” she wrote. “The youngest adult generation and the most online generation is frustrated with being surveilled and embarrassed by attention-seeking behaviors. “…Something has shifted online: We’ve arrived at a new era of anonymity, in which it feels natural to be inscrutable and confusing—forget the burden of crafting a coherent, persistent personal brand,” Tiffany continued.
Several commenters on Abboud’s video felt the same way and shared what they did to regain their online privacy.
“I deleted over 150 people then decided to just delete my account as a whole lol,” commented @qn2010_ under @eiounha’s post.
“I removed my details (where I live, where I graduated/currently work, etc.) on all my social media accounts and it’s so freeing,” replied @bradleypeterson88 under the same post.
While some may feel the need to grow on social media, many Gen Zers may be scaling back on what they show people online.
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