You may not have noticed that I’ve been a little absent on the Internet lately. That’s mostly because I have still been posting on social media but I have actually halved my time spent on my phone. I’ve essentially been trying to give my mind a little rest from the constant updates and waves of information that we bombard ourselves with constantly.
I am totally addicted to social media. Actually that’s a lie. I am totally addicted to Instagram, obsessed with portraying a certain image to the world while almost compulsively scrolling through hundreds of similar posts; never actually taking a moment to stop and enjoy an image before flicking my thumb to see the next one. In short I’ve realized that my obsession with Instagram was making me incredibly sad. I have relied on likes and comments from strangers to boost my self worth for far too long and I felt like it was time I took a step back.
So, I stopped scrolling. I stopped double tapping pictures to share the love in the hope that someone follows me back and I stopped spending hours meticulously commenting and replying to comments on an app that seemed to have taken over my life.
It sounds almost silly to me now, as I type about how upset I would feel over some well written code. Sometimes even just waking up to see that my following had dropped while I slept would put me in a bad mood all day. Every time I didn’t get my usual amount of likes I questioned what I was doing wrong, what was wrong with my picture, what was wrong with me? It was becoming all consuming and I was sick of putting so much time and energy into something that technically wasn’t even mine to own or hold.
Putting less energy, effort and time into Instagram has made me feel so much freer, its stopped me questioning my self worth quite as much and its stopped me losing hours of my day to aimlessly scrolling.
Taking a break from Instagram doesn’t have to last forever but taking a small step back to re-evaluate how an app can affect your mental health is really important. In ten years time you aren’t going to wish you had posted more pictures of yourself in front of beautiful landscapes, you’re going to wish that you had lived your life away from the muted hues of your Instagram theme and enjoyed those beautiful landscapes while they were there.
I’m not saying that I won’t ever scroll through Instagram again, in today’s day and age I think that’s an unrealistic way of looking at things. However I think I want to learn how to use this app in a way that helps inspire me to create beautiful content instead of using it to prop up my self confidence. I have given myself a fifteen minute slot each day to flick through my Instagram feed and comment on my favorite images, other than that I am making a conscious effort to put my phone down and learn to live my life without my phone in my hand constantly.
After a few weeks of (mostly) Insta-free days I have noticed my mood lifting, I doubt myself less and haven’t found myself dwelling on comparisons at all. I have become less bothered about what and when I’m posting and instead of pouring over analytics I am sharing images that I like and have enjoyed creating. Overall I personally feel far more creative when I’m not spending my days scrolling through social media which in the industry I’m in, can only be a good thing.
Jeans – H&M (Similar Style Linked HERE)
Top – Navy
Shoes – Converse
Jacket – Pull & Bear