I have chosen to quit Instagram. Completely. For most – I even presume all – of you, this might come as a surprise. You probably didn’t even realise I had an Instagram account to begin with. Well, I actually used to have two accounts. A private account where I shared pictures with my friends and a public one where I shared pictures of my meals. When I started my blog, I synced my public account to my blog. But by that time I had already stopped sharing pictures. (Which is why you probably didn’t know I had an Instagram account.) And now I have deleted both accounts completely. Here are the reasons I decided to quit Instagram.
In the last couple of months, I have been trying to live a more authentic life. And at the moment, my version of authenticity means slow. Very slow. I have been creating a space in my life when I can just be. Where life can unfold without goals or plans or to-do lists. It hasn’t been easy – because our world, of course, is anything but slow -, but I have been trying. The one thing that kept tainting my progress with living slow was Instagram. Because Instagram is not slow. That was the first reason I decided to quit.
Letting go of comparison
I consume content on various different platforms. Blogs, newspapers, magazines, YouTube, Netflix and Spotify. And these platforms serve me. I am able to follow and read about the amazing work other people are doing. I am able to get inspired, touched, uplifted and informed. Many of the ways in which we humans communicate with each other are highly beneficial to me. But Instagram is not one of them. With this particular social medium, I used to constantly get pulled into the dark hole better known as the ‘explore tab’. Even if I tried to just look at the posts of my friends or those I enjoyed following, the temptation to scroll through endless pictures of inspiring yoga girls was too big. And so every time I left Instagram, I felt deflated in my sense of self-worth. Letting go of comparison anxiety was reason number two to quit Instagram.
The last reason I decided to quit Instagram has to do with my blog. At the end of 2018, I had already deleted my personal Instagram account. But I kept my public account with the idea that one day I might need it to grow my blog. Having an active social media presence (particularly on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest) is paramount to increasing your blog readership. I know that. Since I didn’t have any of the other platforms – other than Facebook Messenger – I felt I needed to keep Instagram as a strategic marketing move. But as I have been honing in on the type of presence I want to create online, I realised that growing my blog quickly – through a medium, I don’t enjoy – doesn’t sit right with me. Once I had made that realisation, I was finally able to cut all Instagram ties.
It has been a few months now living without Instagram completely and I haven’t regretted my decision a single bit. I feel lighter and firmer grounded in life at the same time. Life isn’t perfect. Or picture perfectly slow. But my main source of fast-paced anxiety has been removed from my life. And I think that is worth a lot.
What is your relationship with Instagram?