02 Mar Why quitting Instagram was the best thing I’ve done.
Not that long ago I wrote an article about cutting back on the time I was spending on social media. I decreased my usage and started being more present during day-to-day activities. Soon, I realised just how much I’d been missing out on. So much so, that I decided to take it one step further and deleted my Instagram account altogether. Yep, GONE. It’s been nearly six months and I honestly don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner.
Never did I think that day would come. I’d built my previous business around Instagram and much of the consulting I do now for ecommerce and brands is about social influence. But I realised that social for my business life is one thing and social for my personal life was another.
I struggled with knowing what posts were real anymore. There were big-time bloggers who only ever really bought Chanel,
Balenciaga and Céline, yet they were preaching in paid posts about ‘no name’ footwear brands they would otherwise never be seen dead in.
There were entrepreneurs who I knew personally painting the picture of being super successful and rolling in the expansion and revenue of their businesses, yet the reality was they were red-lining it each month, barely making enough to pay their monthly expenses.
Then came the bombardment of Snapchat-filtered pictures dominating my feed, which I didn’t understand because surely I’d be following people on Snapchat if I was interested in seeing their filters?
Finally, do I even need to go into the bots or the offshore employees managing a bevy of accounts for likes and responses to comments? All of a sudden what once was an interaction between friends became an interaction between offshore workers and robots. I use to get excited when I saw a speech bubble from someone thinking one of my friends left me a comment however it then started to change to comments like ‘ Great work, good job’ on a picture of my bowl of pasta.
It’s not hard to pick them apart from the ‘real’ Instagrammers. The commentary is secondary English and if you were to browse through the likes of other accounts, they’re suddenly liking porn (thanks to auto tech apps who do the liking for you there’s no way to stop them from liking ill content because they’re not human!)
The saddest thing is it’s often accounts that you once respected or enjoyed following that now have jumped on this bandwagon. I can’t help but wonder if it’s because Instagram has created a false sense of ‘status’ with how many followers you have and your
engagement rate, which all equates to paid posts and free products, right?
It came to a point where I realised scrolling through content just wasn’t a valuable exchange of my time.
Now, I’m not saying everyone should go and delete their social accounts. I know that there are still a million real, genuine accounts that do it to share photos and their lifestyle with their friends, family and followers. I also know the app can actually connect you with people who you otherwise wouldn’t have crossed paths with, I for one have made a few really good friends via Insta and those friends are people I now catch up with regularly not just over the net.
For me, however, it was the right thing to do. I LOVE not being tied to my phone. I love being present in the company of the
people I’m around. It’s like for the first time in a long time I live my life with my head up and my eyes wide open.
While I’ve kept Facebook to stay connected with friends and family interstate and overseas, I rarely even update that with anything personal – it’s more Poppy Renegade posts.
I find that I now make time to catch up with people in person and when I do it’s exciting because I feel like I’m catching up on everything they’ve been up to since I last saw them. I don’t already know what they ate for dinner or what outfit they wore the night before; nor do I know about the surprise bunch of flowers their other half delivered to the office or the new splurge shoes they just purchased, because I haven’t seen it all in social snapshots. It almost feels like every story told to me has more
meaning, and, personally, I’m enjoying that kinda life a lot more than one lived in a virtual reality.
Going cold turkey may not be for you, but maybe you could give yourself a social detox for a week or two and get back in touch with real world. You might even “like” it.
** images sourced via pinterest**