As I mindlessly scrolled past stylish outfits, perfect sunsets, and a new *unique* take on avocado toast—I thought to myself what the EFF am I doing? We all do it. Curate our feeds so they look just the right amount of fun, relaxed, and exciting. But WHY?
When I first downloaded Instagram I had a crappy iPhone and followed mainly friends and funny memes. Fast-forward a few years and a lot of lifestyle bloggers/celebrities later: I discovered my relationship with the app had become pretty unhealthy. I found myself reaching for my phone and scrolling whenever I had a free minute—and even when I didn’t. I realized I was wasting far too much of my time giving myself a thumb cramp and a complex about why my life isn’t as beautiful as @InsertNameHere. I decided to delete the app from my phone a few days before 2018 began. Here’s what I learned.
I learned that without distractions, you can get a lot done.
Because of the decision to put down my phone and decide to be more present, I finished four books in as many weeks. Don’t get me wrong I’m an avid reader normally, but it felt great to use my brain for something that enriched my life instead of hurt it. I stopped wasting countless hours scrolling and I used my time on something more productive.
I stopped planning my life around photo opps.
After deleting Instagram, I realized I hadn’t been doing things because I wanted to—but instead because of how good that thing would look in the Nashville filter. I rearranged things in my life for the ‘gram more often than I care to admit. This lighting is wrong. Wait, this napkin doesn’t look casually thrown near that pretty plate of food. Is the ice cream dripping correctly? It feels good to want to do activities because they’re fun. I went to a beautiful brunch place for one of my favorite meals and I didn’t post a pic, but you know what? The food was just as good. Maybe better.
I realized it’s nice not knowing what everyone is doing all the time.
I had FOMO in middle school before there was even a word for it. My family lived in the country and my friends lived in town, so they would frequently be able to walk over to each other’s houses and hang out and it would upset me to NO END. You would think that 15+ years and some perspective would change that sentiment, but alas I have not grown very much. It’s so nice to be on my couch watching TV and not worrying about the concert so and so went to or the vacation whats-her-name is on. Sometimes you don’t have plans and that’s just fine.
I saved money because I wasn’t trying to impress anyone with fancy lattes or cute outfits.
What does Instagram have to do with money? Whether I’m spending money on a latte with a pretty design or clicking liketoknowit because I just HAVE to have that sweater (some style blogger with a totally different body type than me) is wearing, I have definitely wasted my fair share of money because of Instagram. Now that I don’t have the app I am certainly shopping less and only buying things when I decide that I want them, not because some style blogger tells me I just NEED this outfit.
I miss memes tho, so I might up re-joining for the laughs… not the likes.
I think if I’m going to rejoin the Instagram community it will be for the memes and the pups. Life should be full of more moments that make you laugh, so if I find the self-control to cleanse my feed of all of the accounts that make me feel bad—I’ll be back.
Life’s not perfect, even though it may look that way on Instagram. It has been a great thing for me to take a break from constantly consuming this type of content and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a way to have a more positive outlook on your own life. Just because it doesn’t look good aesthetically, doesn’t mean it should mean or matter less.