Thursday, January 21, 2016

Instagram Woes


So this happened.

About a week ago, I woke up to a dozen or more messages on my phone telling me, in essence, that my Instagram account had been hacked.

Apparently, after I went to bed the night before, my account had been taken over by an unknown person who proceeded to upload photos in my name. It was horrifying to see strange photographs of advertisements for handphone covers in an unknown language on my Instagram feed. In just one night, I had lost my Instagram identity which I had painstakingly curated. Friends who use three or more different apps to edit a photo before posting, you know what I mean right?

I couldn’t control what was being uploaded because the account had been compromised. The user settings had been tampered with such that others could see my feed, but I was logged out of my own account.

I tried everything I knew, changing the log-in details, reporting that I had forgotten my password, and reporting the user to Instagram itself. In the meantime, more and more people were alerting me about the situation, flooding my phone with screenshots of my hijacked account, making me even more anxious. 

Then the ever-phlegmatic J.G. asked me a question that stopped me in my tracks. “What are you so anxious about? It’s only an Instagram account,” he said.

I had no answer. 

Frustrated as I was, I couldn't tell him why I was being so fretful about the whole affair. After all, humblet was happily sleeping in the next room. We had our home and our jobs. My loss was not spectacular in the material sense. So why all the fuss?

After spending a whole day without access to Instagram, I discovered the answer. My account meant so much to me because it had become a significant part of my public identity. It was a collection of photos I had curated that I believed represented myself, my life, and my family. Not that this identity was false, but it was something that took much work to keep up. In carefully selecting, editing, and making every effort to make my feed look effortless, I had allowed the process to become part of who I was.

The fact that I was so upset about not being able to access my account also showed me how much time I had been spending on it, to a point where I was practically obsessed with it.

The day after, Instagram restored my account. All the strange photos were removed, and I got access to my feed again. While I still do not know how my account had been hacked into, the episode served as a glaring reminder of how my attitude towards Instagram had to change. What I had once subconsciously regarded as my public identity, will now simply be a place to share my life and appreciate what others put up.

To all those who were so kind to alert me and help me with the technical advise, thank you and again thank you! To those who follow me on Instagram, thank you too for allowing me the opportunity to share my life with you~

For Christian readers, you can read that perspective at the original link here.

Lesson learnt,

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