Deactivating My Instagram Was One of the Best Life Decisions I’ve Ever Made
and no, I don’t feel like I’m left behind
I scroll, scroll and scroll for hours and before I knew it, I got neck pain. I spent too much time minding other people’s lives rather than my own.
Looking back, no wonder I was always emotionally and mentally tired, complaining, and basically unhappy.
My relationship with social media hasn’t been good since day one. I tend to spend too much time on it or ditch it altogether. I desperately wanted to make a massive change.
However, after trying different hacks and still got zero results, I finally decided to pull the trigger and click that ‘disable’ button. In the hope that I can come back later with a different mindset and have some controls over it.
But what exactly made me disable my Instagram account in the first place? Is it that bad? Yes and No. Let me share what are they:
1. I Measure My Value Based on How Many Followers/likes I Got
That sounds so bad when you read it right? I know…
But of course, I couldn’t see how toxic it was and how bad it’s for my self-esteem. I let myself think that I’ll be good enough only when I get a certain number of likes and shallow comments on the pictures I posted.
There are so many days where I would feel upset and actually ruined my own day by the fact that I get fewer likes. “Do people still think my pictures are cool? or do they think it gets boring now?” Those useless thoughts would be stuck in my head for hours.
2. There Was Always Something in My Life That I Need to Fix
The truth is, there wasn’t. To improve yes, but not necessary to fix. I have supportive people around me, my relationship with my long-term boyfriend is going great, and I’m having a stable job while maintaining my hobby as a writer here. It’s all good. so why would I need more?
Being constantly on Instagram has made me forget how to be grateful. I was blind by all of those “perfect” bodies and places while in reality, people put full of filters and even photoshopped them. So none of them are real.
3. I Felt like I Lived in Two Different Worlds
I would look so damn happy in a story but then deep down I was sad as hell.
I remember the time when I traveled to Canada, I captured everything, made them look perfect, and shared them on Instagram. Some people will send personal messages saying how jealous they are with my ‘perfect’ life.
I cringed at myself so badly. I knew it wasn’t true at all because even at that exact moment, I was on the edge of ending my long-term relationship.
So that puts me into a new perspective that those people that I looked up to on Instagram might feel the same way. And to be honest with you, it really sucks.
4. I Couldn’t Focus Well on Working Towards My Goals
How could I?
I spent too much time on Instagram thinking about other people’s lives instead of focusing on what needs to be improved in my own life. I’d pick one project and never finished it because, by the time I had spare time, I’d just scroll on my timeline like crazy.
Surprisingly for me, I only realized how actually huge the impacts were when I cut it all off and put my full energy on writing and learning about digital marketing tech.
5. People Don’t Care About My Life as Much as I Thought
Because of how insecure I was, I’d like to think that everyone cares about me. They don’t. One month in and I still had zero people checking up on me directly.
For a second I took it personally and thought, “how could they don’t even notice that I’m gone? We talk on DMs regularly and the majority of them are my school friends.” I couldn’t stop but self-pitying myself.
But then at the same time, I felt some type of freedom that I’ve never felt before. I could finally let go of the pressure to always please everyone by posting the “perfect” pictures. I no longer care about their expectations.
So what do I do now?
For the first week, it’s really hard. It’s crazy how automatic my hands are, sometimes I didn’t even realize I was on Instagram already and that’s always been the first time I opened on my phone when I woke up in the morning.
So in order to distract me from thinking that I might be missing something in life, I redirect my energy into something else instead, journaling for example.
Here are the things that could help you cope up better in case you just started taking a break from social media as well:
- Read different types of books; fiction, nonfiction, classics
- Spend more time with your loved ones
- Think of an old hobby you never got to work on and do it
- Learn a new skill that helps you improve your career life
- Make new friends in real life and actually maintain them
If you feel overwhelmed with life in general and being on social media makes you feel worse, then it’s time to do something about it.
Log out and delete the App from your phone. If you still find yourself downloading it back or even access it through your browser then you need to cut it off completely.
Deactivating your social media helps you gain control back and nothing is more important in life than that. Because once you lose it, you’ll only keep living someone else’s life, not yours.