It was a quiet and slow Sunday morning just as how I intended it to be — quiet both online and offline. One second I was browsing my page, the next second, it was gone. Yes. Just like that.
It was so shocking and actually scary because I thought somebody hacked my account. I kept checking what could have gone wrong; checked my mail for any suspicious activity. I could not login and I could not even find my name: all it said was USER NOT FOUND.
I kept calm and thought of what to do next. Good thing I have a two-factor authentication set-up but on my first try, I received a text message with a code. Thankful for presence of mind because I noticed it’s just a regular number (+639198038517) I didn’t input anything and instead tried calling the number – I just heard a weird sign. This was really frightening because the text came as soon as I entered my number. After an hour, I tried the same step but this time, nothing came in. I kept trying until that particular page did not appear anymore.
I never planned on telling anyone about this until some friends started sending me messages — those were messages of concern, panic, and confusion. They were all like “what happened to you? Are you okay? What’s wrong?” HAHAHA. Thanks guys.
As much as I really wanted to feel really bad that time, I was surprisingly okay and calm (thanks to daily exercise I suppose? Haha). I am not trying to be a hypocrite but really, what went on my mind was “I (probably) just lost an IG account not a life.” I know, such big words from a person who spends half of the day on social media. Of course it would be best to have it back, but if worse comes to worst, I was ready to start a new page.
Anyway, here’s what I dealt with for the past three days just so I can get my IG back:
Sunday: I was just really chill, just thinking of possible lost memories — photos, videos, network. I told my husband about this and as usual, he came to the rescue. He asked me to try this and that, he searched for articles and the likes. Nothing worked but he told me “don’t worry, nothing is ever lost”; coming from an IT guy, those words were comforting. I just stuffed myself with beer, junk food, good k-drama and slept it off.
Monday: I tried logging in again, but since it says “no username found” I tried those steps I found online. Yes Instagram’s Help Center is not much useful in this case so we had to search for blogs and articles. Thankfully, this happened to a lot already. Anyway, I tried to click on FORGOT PASSWORD then NEED MORE HELP.
Now this page gave me hope. I filled this out and shortly after, I received an email from Facebook asking me to send them a selfie with the code provided. THERE’S REALLY HOPE, I said. After a few hours, I received another email telling me they disabled my account because I violated Community Guidelines. I was like how, what, why? I never used any bots, never spammed anyone with comments and likes, never bought fake followers, never pretended to be someone else. So why? I just replied with my appeal and sincerely asked them to give it back to me since it’s a decade worth of memories including my daughter’s growing up years.
Tuesday: Still nothing from them. I tried the link from the blog my friend, Marie, sent. It’s a different page but still required me to fill out details. Same thing, I received another email asking me to send a selfie with their code. I sent them another one with another appeal to give it back to me.
The blog Marie sent me:
Here’s the link that can help:
Wednesday: I tried the same thing, sent the “mug shot” and still nothing. Out of the blue, I checked how my Instagram would look like in the web via my laptop. And to my surprise, it asked me for my number and I received a code right away! I tried but it gave me an error message and asked to try again. I put the code one more time and voila, my page is back! Wooohooo! Just like that, it’s up and running again as if nothing happened. HAHAHA. So happy!
I never really knew what my violation was but just to be on the safe side:
Secure your logins. Never click on any suspicious link. Change passwords every now and then. Set-up two-factor authentication.
I won’t ever record use a song from Spotify or any platform again. I will just use those with copyright
I will continue to stay real and only engage with real people. I never used bots or anything and yet IG disabled me. So if you are used to this scheme, please be careful
I will not follow nor unfollow a big number of people all at the same time — IG might flag me for spamming; same with liking and engaging too much
Just chill. If you know for a fact that you did nothing wrong, the truth will always prevail. HAHA.
Lastly and the most important lesson, let’s all get a better life outside social media. Yun lang, hope this helps! ???