I was inspired by Ashlee Gadd to say goodbye to Instagram for the month of August. It was probably the longest time I have kept the app closed in the last decade (!). Overall, it was refreshing and much needed.
Why the break?
I have been feeling the itch to take a break from social media for a while. There were too many nights where I was going to bed to “read,” only to scroll for an hour until my phone fell on my face. I would find myself just checking in with a free minute here and there. And, generally, I just really don’t like that my instinctual reaction when I have even one free second is to pick up my phone. To be fair, all this time with my phone isn’t just on Instagram, but I figured I needed to start somewhere and I wanted this experiment to be achievable. If I set a goal to not touch my phone for a month other than emergency calls, I would fail immediately.
Did the break work?
I would say so. I didn’t have lofty goals other than to stay off Instagram. 🤷🏻♀️ Plus, much of my scrolling time is really when I should be sleeping. Still, I was able to:
- Read 4.5 books (when I typically average 2/month)
- Write 3 blog posts
- Spend over an hour outside everyday
- Read more blogs and essays in their entirety (anyone else find that they never even finish reading a single caption while scrolling?!)
- Accomplished more of those nagging, but quick, tasks. (The ones that would only take a few minutes, but I’d put off to check my phone first.)
Aside from the tangible things I did, I noticed overall I felt a lot lighter and my mind felt quieter. I had more space to think and be bored. After a week or two, I noticed that I was feeling more content with MY life, especially as it relates to motherhood. My feed is filled with a lot of parenting “experts” and I don’t think I realized how inadequate I felt as a mom because I don’t do everything the way the “experts” tell me too. But, there was some FOMO too. I felt like the odd one out when I didn’t know about the newest meme, video, or post on Instagram. I missed seeing what my friends and family were doing over the month. Still, the benefits far exceeded the tiny case of FOMO.
Where do I go from here?
I don’t plan to be off Instagram forever. For better or worse, it is the way I stay connected or in the know on many people that are important to me. With that said, this month has shown me how important some boundaries with Instagram (and my phone in general) are. For me, this is going to look like:
- Limiting the amount of people I follow
- Keeping the app off my home screen
- Regular Instagram breaks
- Establishing some boundaries around phone use in general. My iPhone doesn’t need to be an appendage to my body.
- Cultivate relationships with my friends and family outside of Instagram. I might just be bringing back the phone call. 😜
Tell me, have you thought about or taken a social media break? What was your experience?