DISCLAIMER: this post is a reflection of my personal experience, and in no way is this post attempting to convince you to delete Instagram! Rather it is validating that sometimes for certain people it is healthy to take time away. ALSO, this is not only in regards to Instagram, but can be applied to all social media.
I love Instagram!! It’s one of my hobbies, my favourite social media, and for the most part I don’t struggle with having it. Occasionally though it becomes it an issue for me. The root of the issue is that I can turn to likes and followers and seek to find my identity in it. It’s OK to struggle with this stuff, and it’s also OK to delete Instagram.
I’m notorious for taking uncalled for breaks from Instagram! In some cases when I’ve really needed the space I’ve deactivated my account, other times I have just removed the app from my phone. I don’t set an amount of time that that I should not have it for, I just wait until I know I’m really ready to be back on there.
SIGNS YOU MIGHT NEED A BREAK:
- If you are waiting for certain people to like a post in an abnormally obsessive behaviour.
- If you are becoming critical of a post based on the interaction it received from followers.
- If your follow count is becoming all that counts.
- If you are latching to the numbers in any way shape or form to build yourself up or validate yourself.
- If other people’s posts are causing you to deal with uncalled for jealousy and discontentment.
Recently I experienced all of the above. And I feel no shame in it! As soon as I know its time to disconnect I do it.
BENEFITS OF TAKING A BREAK
- FREE time! Yep. I personally waste a lot of time on Instagram, and once it’s gone I have a lot more time.
- Focus! Not only do I have more time but I have way more focus. Maybe it’s because I don’t have endless memes to scroll through or because I can’t stalk anyone, but I find myself way more focused.
- More energy! Okay, so this might not be a direct correlation to deleting Instagram, but when I don’t have it to check late at night I get to bed earlier… and thus I have more energy!
- Waking up in the morning used to entail a lot of scrolling through Instagram when I was trying to wake up, and that’s probably not the best thing to have in my mind right away in the morning. Instead of starting the day looking at photos of other people’s lives I’ve gotten to just get up and start living mine. Even if it seems small, it’s made a big difference for me.
- It’s made me less judgemental of the people around me. Instead of constantly feeling like I’m missing out on something, some inside joke, some fun midnight don’s run, I’ve gotten to enjoy in my own life and the fun things I get to do and the amazing people in my life.
In the weeks past since my “cleanse” I’ve found it helpful to keep my Instagram notifications off. I know I am in a place still where I could easily become obsessive again, and so I’ve opted to keep the notifications off, which means every time I look at my phone I’m not reminded of it!
When I can balance Instagram and maintain a healthy perspective on life and keep my thoughts in line I really love it, and it’s a genuine hobby of mine. When I can’t keep that ball in the air along with everything else, I take a step back and I honestly don’t miss it when it’s gone. The brain space that social media takes up is enormous and have that extra free space is sometimes exactly what I need.
Have you ever had to take a break from social media/instagram? Or, how do you balance a healthy social media presence with a healthy mindset? I’d love to hear anything you have to say.
Speaking of Instagram… here is the link to mine!