Social Media Experiment: 7 Day Instagram Break
Have you ever experimented with deleting instagram off your phone for a week?
Last week, I experimented with deleting my instagram app for 7 whole days. I bet you didn’t even know that I was gone. It’s funny because I’m so used to sharing updates via stories every day that I feel like I owe it to people to post… that it’s my job. When in reality, that’s the furthest from the truth.
Don’t get me wrong — I love sharing on instagram. It’s truly a passion of mine, + I’m grateful for the platform to connect with people from all over the world instantly. One of my favorite things ever is self-growth + I’m addicted to sharing my experiments [like what I’m doing now, lol], knowing that it might resonate with someone + aid in their journey. Even something so simple as sharing my new favorite beauty product + getting responses from others that they tried it because of me + love it too is so fun + exciting. It’s a dopamine hit for sure — it makes me so happy.
However, after going through a lower period for a couple weeks [jaw pain, challenging convos, added stress, little energy, etc] — I realized that I was not only using instagram to “numb” but it was also contributing to my suffering [in other words: it was not empowering me to live at my highest self].
I decided to see how it would feel to delete instagram for the day. The amount of times I grabbed for my phone to check instagram [forgetting that I deleted it], or thought it my head: “oh I wish I could put this on stories” was comical. It made me question my instagram usage + get curious about how I would be affected if I was off instagram for more than just one day… thus, the 7 days off instagram experiement.
7 days off instagram challenged me, lifted my spirits, increased my energy (a little!) + made me curious for less screen time, more presence.
(*Something to note — There were other things I did to get my spirit back up, like: Meditated more. Journaled. Went to church . Read “Becoming Supernatural.” Saw an herbalist who put me on the supplement, Jitters Away. Got acupuncture. Went to my chiro for the first time in months ++ had her work on my jaw. Had challenging conversations. All of it helped.)
A few things that I noticed during my 7 days off instagram:
1] Energy — I have a lot of work to do in the energy department [re — super low levels of Vitamin D + Iron], so even thought I only experienced a subtle dose of consistent energy, I noticed. I think this stems from a few things: I wasn’t able to scroll at night, which led to an earlier bedtime… + my mind wasn’t affected by tons of random noise (stories/posts), which cleared up space that led to more awareness.
2] Comparison — Lately, instagram (+ FB, which I deactivated) has been flooded with engagements, weddings, + babies ++ it’s affected me more than I realized. I have an incredible relationship with Isaac + instead of feeling gratitude for what we have + trusting in our own journey, I’ve been caught up in doubts: “We must not have as strong of a relationship as theirs if we’re not engaged/married/living together/etc.” Not seeing the highlight reel does wonders for releasing comparison.
3] Story Overstimulation — Click, click, click. As much as I wish I could have instagram on my phone, + not look at stories… I know I can’t. They are fun to watch! Entertaining! Stories are my Netflix. But for real,… the amount of random information [aka “junk food for the brain”] that I’m ingesting is simply not okay. I don’t feel like I even follow that much people [currently, 649… aha, okay that number is a lot when I actually think about it]. ++ in reality, I probably would look at a handful of people’s stories… unless I’m deep in the hole which of course happens occasionally. IDK, maybe I’m just sensitive, but putting the pause on stories has been one of my favorite aspects of this experiment.
4] Missing — I posted on my stories last month, “Is there anyone on instagram that you’d miss if they were gone?” I wasn’t sure about my answer, but now I know ; ). I’m not like sobbing missing instagram people, but there are people I follow that I miss watching their stories, ++ if you’re wondering… all of these are people that I don’t know personally… not sure how I feel about this.
5] Distraction — It’s crazy how much our minds want to be distracted. Even though I deleted instagram, my hands still want to be playing on my phone… so I’d check my email, check my texts/What’s App Group [even though I’m not in conversation with anyone!], check my step count, check where I’m at in MyFlo, check Jesus Calling… you get the picture. I checked apps that I wouldn’t ever check… but my mind is so used to touching a phone screen, that it wants to continue to play.
6] Sharing— I caught myself thinking a decent amount, “oh, I wish I could put this on stories!” ++ taking a mental note of the items I wanted to share when I was “back” on instagram. Examples: this podcast episode + this book. As I mentioned earlier, I love being able to show things that have made an impact on me, with the hope that they will resonate with others. But then I question… how many people (via my personal instagram story) actually are taking advice from me? Are there other platforms [like an email list, or this blog] that may be better suited for this? Nevertheless, I shared with Sarah the podcast, gave Isaac the book after I finished it, + forwarded the youtube to a few friends — so the content was indeed still shared, + probably in a more meaningful way, too.
7] Seriously, No One Notices — Especially if it’s only for 7 days. Which is totally freeing, you guys!
Besides Vipassana [which I was forced to turn all technology off, lol], I’m not sure I have taken 7+ days off of instagram since instagram was born. Seriously. That’s insane! Am I the only one?
Similar to how I was addicted to coffee + decide to make a change, I’m proud of myself for beginning to make a change on my instagram behavior. I want to be able to be #inCHAARG of my instagram… rather the other way around ; ).
It’s feeling really good right now to take a softer approach to instagram. This summer, instead of going at it like I usually do [both sharing content + absorbing it], I plan on popping in from time to time, solely using it with a purpose. I’m still discovering what that looks like in this season of my life — ESPECIALLY when my energy is so low, I need as much brain power for myself as possible.
Does this make you want to take an instagram break? ; ) Let me know if you do!
Rooting for you always,