10 Lessons I Learned From Quitting Instagram

Welcome back Little Birdies,

Instagram recently announced that they would be making what is basically a child friendly version of the app (because they haven’t yet cornered the 13 and under market). In light of their Facebook headed demon-ry I thought I’d compile a little list of great things that happened since I’ve left the app. If you’re thinking of quitting (or for some god forsaken reason letting your child have an account) let these lessons be your guide. Great things happen when you log off. 

1. I’m Not As Lonely As I Thought 

Spending time on the app scrolling through people’s lives often made me unsatisfied with my own. It made me feel lonely because though you’re engaging with people’s content, you’re not actually connecting with it.

“Studies suggest that using Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and similar social media apps to keep in touch with friends and forge off-line connections can add vitality and communion to your life. But if you are spending hours every day using social media mainly as a substitute for real connection, your feelings of loneliness and inadequacy will likely worsen.” (psych.com/net)

Now that I don’t use the app,, I am more comfortable with my little life. I see people from time to time and make the most of it when I’m with them to tide me over until I’m social again. I am lonely but not the same way.

2. My Self Esteem is Better

I’m not constantly inundated with images of influencers, models, products telling me that I am a small and horrific ogre. I’m not constantly seeing clothes that I absolutely do not need or photoshopped imagery that signals I am not enough. I’m fine.

3. The Feeling Like I Don’t Exist Unless I’m Perceived is Gone

Do you ever feel like you don’t exist unless someone sees you? Like what’s the point of doing certain things unless you can share them and other people can see you doing them? I’m ashamed to admit that I felt this way. I used to do things and be excited to share them as if it made me a person worth knowing. But the truth is, I am still that person, I still do cool things, I just don’t exploit them for likes.

4. Validation Seeking Has Lessened

I’m ok, I don’t need a random guy I used to work with simping all over my selfie to feel that way. I don’t need others to tell me I’m good. I don’t need others unsolicited opinions (positive or negative) to feel like I am worthy or succeeding. My self esteem isn’t predicated on likes or men in my DMs saying I have pretty eyes.

5. I Am Out Of Contact 

The sweet delicious joy of being out of reach. It’s harder to contact me now and the people who want to do so in a meaningful way. Everyone has an expectation that people are readily available to answer texts or DMs and It’s become a boundary for me. My phone is not in my hand when I’m with people. I am not available 24 hours a day. I am an antiquated fossil human reading books and making charcuterie boards and I will respond to you via phone-call or text when my fossil things are done.

6. I Don’t Practice Escapism With The App Anymore

I don’t look at other people’s lives and wish that I were doing what they were doing. Traveling where they were traveling and living where they are living. I confront my own life now and mindfully live in it, when it’s good and when it’s bad.

7. I Don’t Take Selfies Anymore

(shameful behaviour)

I’m still wildly self indulgent (clearly, I write a blog about myself) but in a different way. I used to take selfies as if they were proof of my beauty and not just contrived images taken deliberately on a day where I’m actually wearing makeup. What’s the point of having 10k photos of yourself? It’s nice to feel nice but it’s not nice to live in a world where the only focus is you.

8. My Apartment Is Much Cleaner

There were times when my usage on Instagram would show 2.5-3 hours. 3 Hours! What the hell was I doing on that app for 3 hours. I have more time to do other things, like clean. 

I wish I could say that I am one of those people who keeps her place spotless but I have to be honest here. I am not. Im tidy, Im minimal, I don’t have clutter but I do have dust. Or I did. With the free mental time and space i have from Instagram, my place is cleaner than ever.

9. I Can Find Inspiration Elsewhere

Like People, Youtube, Pintrest, VSCO, Nero, Spotify, Tumblr, Books, Online Art Galleries, Biographies, Films, Tv, the list goes on.

10. I am Content

I am content with not being content. Get it? My life doesn’t have to look beautiful. It is beautiful and I’m grateful and happy to be living it even if it isn’t aesthetically displayed on Instagram.

Instagram is essentially people watching. It’s people watching and window shopping and you can do both of those things for real outside in the ~world~ 

I know there are good aspects to the app, like staying in touch with people and keeping up with their lives and if you use the app this way, I bow down to you. You are a healthy person, but this post is not for you. If you’re like me and prone to do all of the other toxic shit then I recommend you hightail it out of there. If you’re struggling with self esteem, productivity, imposter syndrome, pure unadulterated envy, romantic jealousy, overspending and discontent in your personal relationships, QUIT NOW. Quit yesterday. 

I still have urges to look at clothes and feel little twinges of fomo but the pros at this point so far outweigh the cons that I truthfully do not see myself going back.

I hope these lessons help you if you are struggling with deleting it or using it less. 

If you’re struggling, reach out. I’m more than happy to talk you through it. 

Godspeed little lambs. 

3 thoughts on “10 Lessons I Learned From Quitting Instagram

  1. Wow Ashley! This is so wonderfully written and has me wondering how I can create my own boundaries with social media while still using it for work- it’s a fine line to cross when it feels like I have an addiction but it’s also an amazing tool for work 🙂

    Can’t wait to read the next one

    Xx

    Like

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