Social media. It’s a huge part of all of our lives now, even though we don’t want to admit it. We wake up and the first thing we do is check our phones and all of our social medias. What did I miss the 7 hours I was sleeping? Did I seriously dream that my BFF unfollowed me on Instagram? What a bitch.
It became clear to me after a while that I would pick up my phone and scroll through Instagram whenever I felt bored, bad, sad, happy, on edge, anxious, etc. And for a while I thought “What would I do without Instagram?!” like it was the source to all of my happiness. Yet, not to sound dramatic, it actually made me feel bad about myself. I found it hard to work through the day without wondering what I was missing on there, and when I did post I felt obligated to sit by my phone and keep checking if it got past 11 likes. Realistically, who gives a shit? I did and I hated that.
I wanted to be that person that didn’t care, and that could go on Instagram two days after uploading and not give a shit how many likes the picture got because I was the one who liked it. But I wasn’t and that needed to change. I felt unhappy, and going onto Instagram where I followed girls who posted beautiful selfies and bikini shots realistically made me feel even worse. As selfish as it sounds, I wanted to care about my own life and not care about creeping others. Creeping has become the cool thing to do, as well as screenshotting pictures and texting them to your friends. That became less and less positive, and I wanted to become more and more positive.
Around the beginning of November I felt like I had had enough. I hadn’t posted in a while anyways, and definitely felt like I couldn’t get through the work day without checking it 5+ times. So, I disabled my Instagram. It’s a way of deleting it, but you can always get it back if you want. I said to myself that I should try just a week without Instagram, and of course the first few days were pretty bad. How lame is that? It’s like a sugar detox, you feel weird and cloudy without it. As much as I hated it, I was dependent on looking at Instagram no matter what feeling I was feeling.
Well, I lasted that whole week. And the days passed and it was way easier to not care about what people were doing. I genuinely didn’t give a shit anymore, didn’t feel the need to creep people who made me feel bad about myself, or find things I didn’t want to find. Now it’s been 6 months without Instagram, and I don’t plan on getting it back any time soon. I don’t care about it anymore. The people I care about in life I talk to every day, and I know what they’re up to without seeing it on a social media account. I feel like I get more work done, I’m way more confident, and not like I ever did but I genuinely don’t give a shit what people think about me. I’m not buying an outfit so it will look good on an Insta pic. Deleting that app was so freeing, and definitely made me believe that the addiction to social media is 100% real.
I remember a week after I disabled my Instagram, Kendall Jenner was making headlines that her Instagram was suddenly gone. Yes, it was making headlines. I found that super weird. Yeah, I told a bunch of my friends that I didn’t have it anymore, but I didn’t feel the need to broadcast it everywhere. It’s not like she was in a super bad accident and was making headlines, she just decided to take a break from it for a few days. I couldn’t believe that was in the news, and was even more glad I had decided to get rid of mine.
Of course, Instagram can be innocent for so many people. It’s a way to share your life, and definitely a way to connect to your creative side. However, there have been multiple stories of Instagram ‘models’ who have come out and said they hardly ate, were miserable and were putting on a show for their followers. To me, that’s not okay. Your feed should be a representation of who you are, and not who you think you should be. I found myself wanting to do things to get an Instagram pic out of it, not so I would fully enjoy the moment.
Since disabling my Instagram, about 5 people have told me they’ve done the same. Saying it felt toxic, they needed a break, or they just felt they were comparing themselves to others who they didn’t even know. It made me feel really good. Even if the only thing you get from this article is to take one day off a week from social media, then that’s all that matters. My next step is to take one day off a week from my phone, which I’m hoping will be Sundays. I’m still that person that wakes up and checks their phone right away, but I want to change that as well.
I’m not writing this to tell everyone to not go on Instagram. But make sure that it’s not making you feel bad about yourself, and understand that the only validation you need in life is your own. If you’re not happy with yourself, you won’t be happy after getting 600 likes on a photo. I remember if I got under 30 likes it would ruin my day. How messed up is that?! Of course I still get the urge to get my account back, but it’s never for a good enough reason. The people who want to know what I’m up to will call me and ask, and that’s all that matters to me.