In 2018, everyone is on social media, whether for business or personal, we use it to connect with the world around us. Although an amazing tool, it’s easy to become addicted to the likes, the attention, and the constant need to know what people are up to.
I’ll admit, I got addicted.
With two social media accounts, one for my blog and one for my photography, I posted daily, making sure each picture looked cohesive and each caption was witty and engaging.
Do you know how exhausting that is? I found myself constantly looking at how many likes I got and if I didn’t get a certain amount then I was discouraged and didn’t feel good about what I posted.
If you use Instagram a lot, you’ll know how frustrating the algorithm is. Ask any business or blogger what is has been like recently and everyone will say the same thing, it’s impossible to get noticed nowadays and the engagement is ridiculous.
My lack of likes shouldn’t have discouraged me because I could be posting amazing content, but if it didn’t meet all the right criteria, it wasn’t going to get noticed. However, my continued use of the platform made me crave the likes and it influenced the need to be noticed (I might do a whole other post on how everyone is now a “brand” where you have to market yourself).
So I deleted Instagram.
That’s right, not disabled, but completely deleted. I didn’t like how it was making me feel and I knew if I was able to, I would try to re-download it whenever I could. So I hit refresh and I went a whole month without it.
Here’s what I learned:
- I used it a lot to connect with my friends. It was really weird not knowing what they were always up to. I actually had to text them or see them in person to find out. That put a whole new perspective on it.
- People were shocked when I told them I had deleted it, saying I was crazy and that they could never do that. Why has social media become such a crucial aspect of our lives? Why do we let it define who we are?
- I have a natural need to share everything with everyone. Since I grew up with technology, I have been sharing my thoughts and feeling with social media since I was 14 and I now have no idea how not to do it. I found myself wanting to post on other platforms just to show people what I was up to.
- If you go somewhere or do something, you don’t have to take a picture. You know that thing called living in the moment? Yeah that shit is hard. And I seriously have no idea how to go and do something without the need capture and post about it. Even after a month I’m still not good at it.
- Social media in general is an amazing if you surround yourself with the right people. I was used to needing attention from complete strangers when what I really appreciated were my friends. I love seeing what my friends are up to and I love showing them how my life is going. Even friends that I had found through social media, I missed them. It really is a great community when you take a step back and look at it.
- I want to fill my feed with positive inspiration, but I also want to be real. Life is a mess, for everyone, but much like our pictures, our presence on social media is filtered. We show only the choreographed and the edited parts, I want to show the process, the in-between. Because we need to stop having unrealistic exceptions and start enjoying all the little bits that are not as pretty, but they make up life.
- If you’re doing it just to do it, you are doing it wrong.
Now I don’t want to get too preachy on you, but honestly, it has been an enlightening month. And I encourage everyone to try it. Forget about the pressure to post and the followers you might lose if you don’t. Just do it for yourself, because trust me, that’s what social media should be about.
Posting with intention
I am not sure if I am really any less addicted, but I am more aware and refocused on the things I want to do with my online presence.
I want to stop posting just to post, I want to post with a purpose, whether to help someone or to help myself. Social media is not a bad thing, but we give it way too much power.
I like posting and sharing and being involved with an amazing community, but I can’t just let it be the only thing. There is a life out there to live.
So stay tuned for some fun content because I am back with a new purpose!
And let me know what you think of this Instagram hiatus? Do you agree? Tell me all the thoughts, I’d love to connect. 🙂