I've had the Instagram app since I was in the sixth grade.
At first, I didn't really use it as a platform to post my own pictures. Yes, I was that kid who posted funny memes and just weird pictures on their Instagram. I was downloading pictures off "weheartit" (the most glorified app in the sixth grade) like it was my job. Sometimes I laugh and wish Instagram was still full of just random pictures, but also I am glad I have ventured away from that phase. Eighth grade and forward, everyone started to download the app. Actually, everyone started downloading social media in general. I remember feeling so cool because I had Twitter. For some reason, we all thought Twitter was for twenty-year-olds. As I got into high school, social media had taken over everyone's phones.
Instagram became the #1 social media platform to see what everyone is up to.
I am sure we can all agree that Instagram is the app to post pictures from an event or a vacation. It is the app to just showcase your friends and family, and even yourself. Instagram has the sort of professional feel though. For me, Facebook is where I can just do a whole photo dump and not even care that my followers are seeing 100+ photos from the last month. Instagram creates that need to perfectly select your photos that look the best are edited, and match your feed. I feel like this goes for girls more than boys, but I know a lot of us have spent hours wondering if their post will look right before they post it. I am guilty of this and it is so hard to explain why.
We have this notion that we always have to be looking our best and doing the most.
I believe social media has told us to think that we always need to be on top. We have to post every time we go out with our friends or every time we go on vacation. This is so everyone can see what we are doing and more. Don't get me wrong — seeing what everyone is up to is probably my favorite part of social media. I love to see where people are and who they spend their time with. Instagram definitely is a big way people can showcase their talents and personalities. But also, I feel like there sometimes is just a huge need to have the perfect life on Instagram. Due to quarantine, I have found myself having more time to go on Instagram and see what everyone is doing. It got to the point where I was spending most of my days on this app. I don't even want to talk about my screen reports that the end of every week. It was taking over my life and that's when I decided to delete it for a week.
This was when I realized how addicted I was.
I can not begin to tell you how hard it was for me. At first, I felt so successful. I deleted it the night before, so I wouldn't wake up the next morning going on it. I kid you not when I woke up the next morning and my fingers immediately went to the place on my phone where Instagram used to be. I seriously started laughing because this is when I realized how difficult this week might be. Throughout the week, I constantly was wondering what people were doing. Even though I decided to not delete Snapchat or Twitter, I still felt like I didn't have enough.
It is so embarrassing to admit that I felt like something was missing.
I had more time to do other things.
This was something I was expecting and really wanting from this whole challenge. I knew that if I took the one thing that was taking so much time out of my life, then I would have more time for other things. Sure enough, I did. I wasn't running out of time or in a rush, because I wasn't on Instagram right before. I found myself actually watching a movie or show with my family instead of scrolling through pictures while I listened to whatever was on the TV. With friends, I found myself becoming more engaged in conversations. I also just had more time to do things for myself.
I have a new perspective on my life after this week.
I discovered that I don't need this app to live my life.
I don't need to constantly know what everyone is doing or updating everything that I am doing as well. This week showed me that Instagram does not have to ruin my life if I don't want it to. I definitely encourage everyone to delete something that has been taking over their life for even a week to see what happens.