I’ll be honest from the top; this is a slightly wankery post to be writing. The idea that taking 3 days off from Instagram is something worthy of a blog post is almost laughable. Yet here we are. But I guess I just wanted to write a little bit about the fact I found myself in a position where I needed that break. I’m honestly not sure what you’ll take away from this post, but let’s see.
Taking a Break From Instagram
I love Instagram. I love the fact that I’ve made actual friends on there and that I have a space along side this blog where I can express myself in whatever weird and creative ways I can think of. But it can also be rather draining and almost addictive.
Gradually over the past few weeks – arguably even months – I’ve allowed Instagram to slowly become a bigger part of my everyday life. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve allowed something to do with the blog to take over. Any spare time I’ve had would be filled with either watching stories, scrolling through my feed or replying to messages. Lots and lots of messages.
I guess I’ve also been using the excuse of “it’s work” to justify being on Instagram so much. Since this blog is my second job then everything that comes with running a blog technically counts as “work.” But let’s be honest, Instagram doesn’t earn me any money – at least not yet – so saying that I’m on there because it’s work is a fucking awful excuse. But I still ran with it.
Why I felt like I needed this break
If you check my activity log on Instagram you’ll see that I spend roughly 5 hours a day on the app. FIVE HOURS. That’s an insane amount of time to be disconnected from the real world with my head buried in my phone. Don’t get me wrong, when you spread it out over the course of the day, it doesn’t seem quite so bad. But I don’t want to try and downplay this by making 5 hours seem trivial. It’s a stupid amount of time to be spending each day on Instagram.
Obviously spending that amount of time on Instagram means that time is being taken away from somewhere else. I try my best to not let it affect my family life. I tend to spend a bit of time on there in the morning before everyone else is even up. Then I reply to messages whilst I’m in work. I’ll story a bit when I get home and then reply to more messages in the evening. All the while I’ll fill every little bit of down time – like when Rachel’s watching EastEnders – with dicking about on Instagram.
Yes, I know. This is rather boring isn’t it? I guess my point is that all of this time I’ve been spending on Instagram has slowly started to piss my wife off – who’s also on Instagram by the way – and I don’t blame her for getting annoyed.
She’s been getting a little more irritated by me, and then in turn I can’t be quite as arsed with her. Then I go more into Instagram since she’s annoying me, then she gets more irritable. And as you can probably tell, it turns into a vicious cycle.
The important thing is I have Rachel with me to call me on my bullshit and give me a reality check from time to time. And that I’m willing to drop my ego enough to realise when she’s right.
What I Need to Change going forward
There’s a few things I’m going to try and do going forward after this little Instagram break.
First up, I’m going to set a daily reminder on how many hours I’m on Instagram. I’ll probably set it for 2 hours, or maybe less, and just have it as a little reminder that perhaps I want to put it down for a while if I hit the 2 hour mark. I think more people need to do something like this just to keep themselves in check with how much time they’re actually spending on Instagram.
Secondly, I’m going to put my phone down a lot more. Not everything has to go on Instagram and I don’t have to reply to messages within a few minutes. If you’re someone who messages me regularly on Instagram then please don’t take a delayed response personally. I love talking to people on Instagram. If you’ve ever slid into my DMs then you’ll know I like to have a laugh. But at the same time I have to scale back the frequency in which I reply because it’s taking away from real life.
And finally, I really want to stop the instinct to check my Instagram at any given opportunity. It’s almost like if I have 30 seconds spare I’ll quickly get my phone out and see what notifications I have or reply to a message. It’s stupid. But I dare say it’s something a lot of us do.
I’ll probably take a social media break every month
This is something I’m going to try and do every month. I think it’s something we all should do. Maybe not for 3 days, but at least 24 hours. Just uninstall the app on a Friday evening and reinstall it Sunday morning. Could I just not use it for 24 hours? Sure. But I know my own weaknesses. And if it’s there looking at me, it would be very easy to slip.
Hopefully though I’ll manage my time a little better on there and won’t really need the break.
Anyway, thanks for reading. I’m not sure exactly what you got from this, but feel free to come say “hi” on Instagram. If I reply within 2 minutes then you know shit has gone south.
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