Back on Instagram

I know, after all that talk about deleting Instagram, I’m back. (You can click here and here and here to read about why I deleted social media.)

In those posts, I said that the main reason I deleted my Instagram account was because I spent too much time on it even though I didn’t want to. If I had a spare minute I would reach for my phone, and that reaction was something I didn’t want. I wanted to embrace not having something distracting to do.

So I deleted social media and embraced being out of loop. Which, as it turns out, isn’t as tragic as it’s made out to be. The people I care about, and care about me, keep in touch regardless of what social media accounts I have.

But I’ve made a new Instagram account, and it’s so nice to be starting fresh. Because I’ve only had it for a week or so, I only have about twenty followers, and get this; I know them personally! That’s what I want out of social media; to feel happy when I see photos of people I care about rather than comparing myself to iNfLuEnCeRs.

Because I’m following less than 100 accounts, there isn’t too much happening on my feed. I’m not constantly looking at new material which means I don’t feel that pull to keep checking the app.

If I do find myself reaching for my phone more than I want, I’m happy to delete the app or my account again, but so far I haven’t felt that pull which makes me so uncomfortable.

Instagram also now hides likes (at least in Australia, though I’m not sure if this is a permanent fixture) on each picture, so you can’t see how many likes someone else has and no one can see your. While I don’t think I was ever reliant on that instant affirmation of likes, it is a relief to not have a focus on popularity. From what I’ve read a lot of popular Instagrammers feel less worried about posting now because no one can compare and judge their likes anymore. Which is sad it’s come to that, but I am glad there’s less pressure on ‘famous’ Instagram accounts.

When I did delete Instagram, the point wasn’t aimed at social media being ‘bad’; if that was the case, I wouldn’t have made a new account. The point was for myself and to see what my own motivations were and how I felt with and without it. It was a challenge to give myself time without the distraction of my phone, a challenge to see if I was dependent on social media somehow.

By not having social media, I believe I’ve broken that reaction of reaching for my phone in all my spare moments. Even though I have social media again, I’m reading more – and for leisure, not study – and I’m spending more time with God. So far, so good.

We’ll see how I go! But I’m feeling positive with where I’m at right now.

Sarah xx

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