I’ve been on Instagram since 2014. I’ve enjoyed sharing my homeschooling and motherhood journey with other parents. I’ve connected with a lot of amazing people. Moreover, it’s been a useful tool for promoting my book and blog. That being said, I’ve realized that Instagram has had several negative impacts on my life. My heart has been telling me to leave the platform for while. Yet, it hasn’t been easy because it was created to make you addicted to it. I recently took a break from Instagram again. I had the urge to log back on. I did and I instantly regretted it. It felt shallow and I just kept thinking about how this was not real life.
6 Reasons I Regularly Take Breaks from Instagram
1. I’m become less present.
Instagram is influencing me to become less present in my life. I often spend my time thinking of how it would be neat to share the moment instead of taking it in and enjoying it. I end up taking pictures and putting too much thought into how I’m going to present them to others. Additionally, I find myself scrolling endlessly and missing important things around me.
2. I start having the wrong intentions. I recently started having close to 1,000 followers on my Instagram related to my blog. Several popular bloggers started following me. It made me feel more “important”. I suddenly found myself starting to pay attention to how many followers I had, who was unfollowing me, I was trying to get more followers, and attention from other popular bloggers. I never enjoyed popularity contests and suddenly I started feeling a lot of pressure about followers. It took out a lot of my mental energy. I wasn’t being myself. There are countless other situations where my intentions weren’t well-meaning.
3. Instagram makes my shopping habits worse.
I’ve always struggled with impulsive shopping, especially when I’m hormonal or anxious. I always see these amazing books or fashion trends that I want to follow. I become influenced by the influencers who are trying to sell their products. I started unnecessarily buying many books or hijabs.
4. My anxiety became worse.
I struggle with anxiety, especially health anxiety. The problem with Instagram is that there is endless information given out at all times. You can never escape it and it never seems to be enough.
5. The constant bombardment of the experiences of others and their “advice” frustrates me.
Sometimes I wish I would have experienced motherhood without the constant bombardment of the baby-led weaning tips or the stages of homeschooling photos. I feel like the biases I already had given me unrealistic expectations in so many ways.
6. I try to “fit in” and feel validated when in a world that didn’t even exist.
I fell into the trap of comparison and competition. I was putting too much time and energy into trying to fit in with a community that didn’t even exist in real life.
I’m not sure whether or not I’ll be deleting Instagram for good but taking breaks from Instagram has made me reflect on a lot of things in my life. I’ve felt freer and less anxious. I’ve also felt better about myself. Most importantly, I feel more in touch with reality. I’ve turned to drawing and reading. It’s given me so much peace. A lot of times we think we can’t do without social media but we can. As mentioned, social media was created to make us addicted. It was designed to make us feel like we need it. Try taking a break and see for yourself. It will be life-changing.