Okay, okay 72-hours doesn’t sound like a ton of time, but for me it’s HUGE.
Friday morning I woke up at 6AM for my workout, as usual. After turning my cellphone alarm off my thumb went towards the instagram app. I didn’t even think about it, it was an automatic reaction. Wake up. Turn off my alarm. See how many likes my latest photo got on instagram. Inevitable start mindlessly scrolling. Watch some instagram stories. Feel a pang of jealousy that someone got invited on a cool press trip — why wasn’t I invited? And holy shit I’ve managed to waste 5 minutes
This happens every morning before I even get out of bed and take out the gross retainer I have to wear. And easily 50+ more times throughout the day.
▶︎ I realized my relationship with social media had become unhealthy
And for a few reasons:
I’ve become addicted to mindlessly scrolling. Why oh why so I spend SO much time scrolling on instagram. Or watching EVERY story? It’s a freaking time suck and I ain’t go no time for that.
I was also letting instagram dictate my feelings and self-worth. Oh, my most recent photo didn’t get a ton of likes? Everyone must hate me. Why does she have SO many followers but I don’t? Ugh I wish I was invited to that awesome event.
It’s a freaking app, how dare I let it manipulate my feelings like that.
I knew I needed to break the pattern. Tell my thumb “No means no! I will not open up instagram!”
▶︎ So I went cold turkey
Friday morning I immediately closed out of instagram. And I told myself I will not open it back up until Monday. I can’t remember the last time I went more than 5 hours without checking Instagram.
▶︎ No, the world didn’t end
Duh. But still…
I did catch myself many, many times opening up instagram after checking my email, as if on autopilot. The more I think about it, it really creeps me out that I open up the app half the time without even thinking about it.
I was in Westchester all weekend for a friend’s wedding. This means I had to take the hour and 15 minute train ride to and from the city without instagram to keep me company. Sure I scrolled a little on facebook, but after awhile I get sad reading about the dismal state of our country. Instead I spent both train rides reading instead of scrolling.
Most of the weekend was spent reading, actually. Minus y’know going to a wedding. And we also saw War for the Planet of the Apes.
I had to remind myself a few times to not whip out my phone and instagram story a moment. In many ways it was a relief, there was no pressure to capture vaguely interesting moments. I was also with Jeremy for almost the entire weekend. Instead of sharing my random and sometimes bizarre thoughts on IG stories, I shared them with him. Luckily we’ve been dating for almost 6 years and he’s not phased by my weirdness.
▶︎ Come Monday morning I opened up Instagram
But not until after got out of bed and took out my goddamn retainer.
Yeah, there were a ton of comments and photos and fun things I missed. But no, the world did not end. Nor did instagram ban or scorn me for not being a model user.
▶︎ As I always say, healthy is about more than kale and working out
And this weekend I realized my unhealthiest habit has nothing to do with what I’m eating or how I’m working out. It lies in my relationship with social media. The fact that I don’t even realize half the time that I’ve opened up the app and I’m scrolling. And that fact that I let an app dictate my self worth.
▶︎ Going forward
I’m trying to figure out now what. Obviously I’ve identified a problem I have, but it’s also a necessary evil for what I do. And I also don’t think instagram is pure evil — it’s how I met my business partner. How I’ve been hired for a number of jobs. And it’s how I make money — as an influencer and a social media strategist.
For now I’m implementing two easy rules:
● No instagram first thing in the morning. This mean no checking instagram until I’m out of bed.
● 24-hours social media-free during the weekend. I know it’s not a drastic measure, but it’s still more of a social media detox than I’m currently doing.
Tell Me: Do you struggle with mindlessly scrolling on social media? Any tips to help me overcome my social media addiction?