I deleted my Instagram account. Nope, I didn't deactivate it temporarily, I literally deleted it. The entire thing is gone.
IG = Instagram
It's weird, I know. I never thought I'd delete Instagram. I love Instagram and as a blogger, I know it's important to brand yourself and keep up a social media presence. It was a really sudden and impulsive decision, but it was one I felt was necessary. It was necessary for my physical, mental and emotional health, along with other random reasons. Yes, I know it sounds dramatic, but it's true.
I felt like I was physically always looking at IG. It was annoying. I would exit out and immediately open it again. I wouldn't even think about it, I would just do it right away. Like right before I went to bed or the second I woke up, I would physically waste time scrolling though post after post. I even took "social media breaks" when I was studying or being productive to check up on everyone else's lives. And not just posts of people I actually know and follow, but random posts from my news feed. I wasted so much time. Time that could've been spent sleeping, having a real conversation, being productive... there are so many better things I could've been doing when I was mindlessly looking at Instagram.
Mentally IG drained me. It was a big mental game and I constantly thought about the numbers: the likes, comments and followers. I knew that caring about the numbers was just stressing me out... I just couldn't help it. After I posted a picture I would keep checking to see how many likes I got in one minute, five minutes or an hour (etc.). I'd keep track of the comments and the amount of followers I gained or lost. I put so much effort into every picture so it would match my "aesthetic" and look pretty. ...I don't think this is a bad thing, I honestly love when people have an aesthetic to their IG because I think it looks cool. BUT I was doing it for all the wrong reasons. What started out as a fun process, became a challenge for me to overcome and try to reach a certain number of responses from people who probably don't actually care about me.
Scrolling through IG made me an emotional mess. This isn't something I just told people, I kept it all bottled in (probably) like everyone else does. I was emotionally hurting, because I was constantly degrading myself. I compared my life to everyone's filtered life... while continuing to filter my own. Guess that makes me a hypocrite. I envied everyone's seemingly perfect life, while trying to emulate that mine was perfect too. Following fitness "gurus" didn't help me either... seeing pictures of other women's abs, progression pictures and nice curves made me feel inadequate. I felt like I could never be like that, or look like that. Even when their posts were super positive and filled with encouraging captions... all I saw was something I didn't have and thought I never could. It was sad and I was sad. Negative thoughts of comparison and self-doubt clouded my emotions like a stormy day. It was extremely unhealthy.
Then there are the random reasons that influenced me do it. [ONE] I read another person's blog about how they had deleted their Instagram account. Everything she said made perfect sense to me. By deleting her account, she had a new perspective and I realized, I wanted that too. [TWO] I was feeling risky and impulsive, I didn't care about losing numbers or blog traffic. It just felt right and I didn't want to question my gut. [THREE] I wanted a fresh start. I still don't know what exactly that means, because I'm not positive I'll get a new Instagram... Idk man. I just wanted a clean slate... and yes, I know this one doesn't really make sense. I'm even confused. Oh well, I'm just telling you my thoughts.
Like I said, it was super sudden. I didn't think about it over a course of months or weeks or even days. I had a rough day and that night, I suddenly thought, I'm gonna delete my Instagram account. Then I googled how to permanently do it and did it. ...All these reasons why, didn't really come to mind until I sat down and started to write this post.
So there you have it. So far, I'm satisfied and have this new feeling, like freedom. For instance, this morning I woke up and instead of lying in bed for a half an hour scrolling through social media, I got up and watched the morning news. Today, the U's campus has a large festival called "Spring Jam" and instead of trying to get the perfect picture for my feed that proved I joined the festivities, I took fun pictures with my friends just to have them. There was no stupid stress about trying to edit it just right and upload it at the perfect time.
Now, I'm sure I'll have moments where I'll miss it, especially considering I was probably addicted to it. But oh well. There was a time when I didn't have an IG... a time when no one did and I'd say we were all okay without it. And who knows, maybe I'll take a nice long break and start fresh with new intentions or whatever. But I don't want to try to plan it or time it (like everyone - including me - does with their IG posts because they get more likes at a certain time lol), I'm just gonna ride this Instagramless-wave and see what happens as it happens.
Remember your intentions, love the life you live and share that love with others.