I wouldn’t say that I am someone who spends a lot of time on Instagram or social media for that matter. Since April, I have permanently deleted my Facebook account, removed Twitter from my phone entirely, and thought every damn day about permanently deleting my Instagram account.
I started thinking about doing this a while ago when I found myself scrolling and scrolling and scrolling (and scrolling) through the discover feed in my measly attempt at finding something new—which is rarely actualized because Instagram knows me better than I know myself, therefore its algorithm tweaks versions of things I’ve already seen or liked prior. Which not only gives me a deep level of anxiety but also keeps me scrolling for hours in an attempt to find something new, only to be left disappointed.
“What happened to the old me, the guy who could attend a dinner sans phone and not even realize he didn’t have it.”
I have always been pretty good at managing my social media accounts and have never been one to be obsessive with anything, but for whatever reason, Instagram has become a monger that lures me into its clutches leaving me in a coma hours later. My mental clarity has become blurred, my mind is constantly pressured to align my blog with my Instagram feed, I feel manipulated to post something interesting, funny, and insightful, and now with the launch of their new feature, IGTV, I now can (need) to post long videos for more people to consume content.
It’s exhausting, it causes me anxiety, and every time I use it I feel as if I am some other version of myself. What happened to the old me, the guy who could attend a dinner sans phone and not even realize he didn’t have it. What happened to the guy who could sit down and write a story, not unlike this one, without ritualistically glancing over at his phone to check Instagram as if it were a fix?
I have previously made the attempt to remove the icon from my home screen to one of those categorized folders, but it doesn’t work. I turned off the notifications months ago so that I wouldn’t be phased by them constantly blaring at me, it didn’t work. I’ve even attempted at cutting down my time and setting an alarm in order to wake me up from my coma and bring me back into the real world, I just turn off the alarm.
“I want to be aware of my own lack of vulnerability and realize that if I don’t want to be somewhere, or don’t want to be engaged, that I shouldn’t simply resort to tuning into Instagram.”
So, I’ve made an end-of-June resolution, to delete Instagram for exactly two weeks, in a not so half-assed attempt at alleviating pressure to post and stop wasting so much of my g-dang time.
I just want to write again. I want to write clearer. I want to be able to maintain my attention span longer than a minute. I want to be able to be aware of the fact that every time I am bored, I shouldn’t be using an app to substitute my boredom, but I should be doing something productive/interesting/creative. I want to be aware of my own lack of vulnerability and realize that if I don’t want to be somewhere, or don’t want to be engaged, that I shouldn’t simply resort to tuning into Instagram.
Does that make sense? Does anyone else feel this sort of anxiety? Does anyone else feel any sort of pressure? Does anyone else feel like there is absolutely no point to Instagram entirely? Does anyone get caught comparing, compromising, and committing heinous crimes against their personage due to their lack of Instagram likes?
I’ll check back in two weeks and let you know how I’m doing, in the meantime, I’ll just be attempting at using my legs again and living life as if I were in an age sans Instagram.