So it’s been 8 months and 19 days since I broke up with Instagram (not that anyone’s counting or anything), and I kind of can’t believe that it’s already been that long. In typical Katie fashion, I really had no plans on what this break would mean for me. Would it be for just a few weeks? Or a few months? Would it be permanent? I had no clue how any of this was going to play out. And in a lot of ways, I’m still figuring it out.
The good in all of this is easy to pinpoint – my time and mental clarity. I have gained hours (yes, sometimes hours) each day. There is no time spent wondering if I have captured a photo that would be “Instagram worthy,” and definitely no time spent making sure that I have taken enough photos. In fact, my break has joyfully reminded me that my content and what I have to offer is so much greater than a mere snapshot of a moment.
And mentally I feel far less distracted, and far more connected to the present moment. I don’t spend any amount of time comparing myself, my blog, my growth or my worth to anyone or anything else. I now spend zero minutes “building” relationships with people that I don’t actually know. And in a wonderfully surprising turn of events, my blog has shown consistent growth ever since I uninstalled the app and said my goodbyes.
So it’s hard to exactly pinpoint the bad, or if there is any. But I guess that depending on your perspective, the bad is what I miss about Instagram. Without a doubt I absolutely appreciated the little tidbits of knowledge that I picked up, the travel ideas that I got, the books that I ended up reading based off of recommendations, the recipes that I found, and the advice that I heard. (Especially everything Frank Prisinzano.) In this way I can see why Instagram is so successful. And in this way, that is what I have missed. That is the bad.
But here’s the truth – I really only took about five or six months completely off from Instagram. No peeks, no curiosity, no nothing. But then I found myself randomly reinstalling the app for an hour, or a few hours, or even one day every couple of weeks to “catch up.” And then those hours and days turned into more days. And by the time January had rolled around, Instagram was basically living on my phone again. And no, not for anything work related. Not for my blog. I had simply fallen into the horrible habit of mindlessly scrolling.
Like all things in life, I feel like the key is balance. And without a doubt I am completely capable of limiting the time or attention that I give to Instagram. But for me the struggle is in wondering if there is such a thing as balance with Instagram or any social media.
So although we dabbled in getting back together, I am back to where I was those 8 months and 19 days ago. No Instagram, no mindless scrolling, no numbers, no likes, no metrics. For me, a simpler life is a better life. And not just a better life, but a life that brings me true joy and happiness – something that no amount of Instagram likes could ever do.