A few months ago I decided to come off of Instagram – for a few months. It wasn’t planned. One day I found myself vigorously scrolling through posts feeling an anxious urge to go out and do all the things that I saw; ‘hang out with my girlfriends’ whilst, ‘having peace talks in the UN’ whilst ‘having business meetings with my team’ whilst ‘taking holiday selfies with my husband and child (to be conceived)’. It was driving me mad! I hated the fact that these posts made me feel jealous. I hated the fact that I would almost miss my tube scrolling through as many posts as possible before the internet cut out. Real talk. I had to end this obsession.
I deleted my account (temporarily) and this is what I found:
I didn’t miss it
But it was awkward at first. I realised that my thumb had a habit of tapping the Instagram app- so I had to move it somewhere in my phone where I wouldn’t be tempted to log on (I moved it near the wallet app and the ‘find my phone’ fun).
I had more time on my hands
I managed to make my tube journeys more productive. I created to-do lists and made notes. I read my book and downloaded a brain training app (that I never use). So much time on my hands hey!
I focused on my own career
I didn’t know what ‘he’ or she’ (but mainly ‘she’) was up to so I couldn’t compare myself to their accomplishments– thank God. I focussed on all that I needed to do and got it done!
I had more peace and less anxiety
Comparing my achievements (or my posts) to other people made me feel pressured to achieve the same success. Taking myself away from that environment made me care less about what others were doing and helped me to be content with my own success journey.
I spent more time with my loved ones
I would scroll through my phone with my feet on my husband’s lap whilst he was watching the movie and I was reading comments by people that I didn’t know on a celebrities’ Instagram account. What a waste of quality time!!! I’m so glad I broke that habit!
I’ve re-joined Instagram now – but it takes up very little of my spare time. I still think it’s a great tool for networking and sharing moments. But if I ever feel that it’s remotely contributing to the negative feelings I had before, I’ll escort myself from the building, and probably not return this time.
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