WHAT 30 DAYS WITHOUT INSTAGRAM DID TO MY LIFE
I initially got an Instagram page to be “connected” with my family and friends. What I didn’t realize is that slowly Instagram became my daily routine. I was hooked on knowing what other people were doing in their lives, and having “interactions” with peoples posts. Since primarily most of my family and friends are on Instagram I wanted to be in the loop of what was happening. It was a fun experience; however, I did not know what I was actually missing out on in real life.
I would have days where I’m checking Instagram when I wake up, before going to sleep, standing in line somewhere, having dinner with folks, etc. I felt like I had the need to check my feed every downtime I had. My husband would be driving and I would be on Instagram. Hanging out with family, friends, I would sneak in a few minutes here and there to check the feed. Everyday during lunch at work, I would be on Instagram. I would always feel if I went a day without Instagram I was missing out on the news. Something was always happening, and I always had to post something about what’s happening in my life too (you know, to keep up to date). Going to the river, a picture post of the river #whatabeautifulday. The rain started, a cool picture of the rain drops was snapped and posted on my feed. Going on a road trip, I needed to let the world know that I was going out of town. #roadtrippin #gettingout #niceweather #awesomevibes
I do not have Snapchat, Facebook, or Twitter so all of my social media was focused on Instagram. It consumed my life and I didn’t even know it. I felt like a robot following what the world is doing. The world is on Instagram — posting and following others. All 700 million of them are posting every day of their daily life routine. We surround ourselves with feeds that we want to see on our pages. Whether it’s bodybuilding, health topics, make up, fashion, motivational posts, etc. In reality, how many of the motivational posts do you see a day and do you act on? How many stories have you read on Instagram that completely inspired you in one way or another, and how many of them changed your life? How many posts transformed your life to become a better person?
I got to the point where I was spending over 2 GB of data a month on Instagram (too many videos — I know!). I realized at that point that I had to give it up. I needed to make a change in my life. I needed to get out of this robotic lifestyle that I felt I had with Instagram.
I woke up the next day, uninstalled Instagram and put reminders on my Google calendar to remind me not to re-install Instagram and to keep me on track for the next 30 days. I wanted to see what it will do to my life.
I realized a few things that changed in my life.
I had more time on my hands.
When I would come home from work, I felt the need to “unwind” and check my Instagram feed. Next thing you know, it’s time to wrap up the day, get my lunch ready for the next day and go to sleep. When I uninstalled Instagram, I would eat dinner and quickly found myself the need to clean the house, do chores, and do things that I would normally keep off until the weekend. I found that I had a lot more time during the week to get things done than ever before. I was able to keep the house clean throughout the week and focus on other things like gardening and reading books that were both productive and stimulating my brain. This gave me so much more pleasure and happiness than being stuck behind a screen.
Re-established better relationships.
I noticed that on the car rides with my husband, I was there physically but not mentally. I remembered that all of our conversations in the car would be where he is doing all the talking and I’m just nodding and saying, “yes” to everything. I was disconnected from his conversations. Whether at dinner, or in the car, I was sitting on my phone scrolling through feeds, catching up on other peoples’ lives or posting another random picture. Once I uninstalled Instagram, I realized that there are some great conversations that were happening on our car rides. I was intrigued by our conversations and learned a few things about him that were new to me. I became focused and realized that car rides with my husband is a lot better without the Instagram distraction and I began to cherish that.
I saw myself texting friends and catching up on life, rather than just seeing what they’re up to on to Instagram. These conversations opened up to meeting up with them and having face-to-face conversations. Which, in my opinion, is the best! The time where you can laugh till you pee your pants and share lasting memories is what I treasure.
My eyes were open to the clutter around me.
I opened the drawer underneath the kitchen sink and thought, what a mess?! I need to minimalize the clutter and get rid of junk underneath the sink. I acted fast, and cleaned it out immediately, instead of waiting for next day, or the following day which would probably be – never.
I even painted the bottom cabinet to get rid of all the water stains.
I regained clarity.
I became more focused in life.
I was called to jury duty, and sat in the lobby all day. Usually I would take my “free time” to catch up on Instagram feeds, and see what other people are doing with their lives. Instead, I grabbed my favorite book from home and was able to catch up on my reading. I set goals, and I would accomplish goals. In reality, we don’t have this “free time” in this thing called: life. Life is too short to waste time. Life is so precious. Every day is a time clock ticking away.
I now observe the human population with a different mindset. I see those 700 million folks all around me every day. I see how they are “programmed” and how I too was “programmed.” I see that they are not actually there during their conversations with their families/kids, their interactions with loved ones, and even walking their dogs! Why in the world did you get a dog if you have no interaction with that little pooch?? It’s time to change that. Time to free yourself.
It’s now been 35 days without Instagram, and let me tell you.. I didn’t miss out on anything. I am free. My mind is not congested with other peoples’ lives and feeds. I don’t know if I will go back to my personal account, but I do know that I will advertise my blog on Instagram. Which will be only used for the means of advertising my blog.
I may be called the “odd” one in this world. But you know, the “odd” ones are the ones that get somewhere in life. Where are you going? How are you spending your precious time here on Earth? Why watch someone else create their lives on your feed, where you can be making your life happen with things you love and treasure.
A minimalist transformation includes wiping out the social media distractions in your life and becoming focused on your goals and dreams.