This is the first time I have intentionally taken a break from social media. It’s been a week since I last shared an image on Instagram, after announcing my departure. The reason for my hiatus? When I realized the app was only adding to my depression, I decided to go on an Instagram detox. I found myself spending more time worrying about why I wasn’t growing, and stressing over what I could be doing wrong, than actually enjoying my experience. Eventually, Instagram became a stress-fueled environment, and I had to do something about it.
The Universe was dishing out sign after sign, about the changes I needed to make. However, I kept forcing certain things to work.
The first step I took was unfollowing any account that made me feel bad about myself. Especially, users I only followed because of social media politics. If I was going to fix anything, I had to return to the things I loved most. This meant only engaging with accounts that fed me. If you were vegan, spiritual, and had depth, I was following you. While these actions felt great and like I was on the right path, something was still plaguing me.
For the past two months, I’d been undergoing some radical life changes. I fought tooth and nail about the direction my career was going in. Finally, I broke. Was Instagram all to blame? Not necessarily. The Universe was dishing out sign after sign, about the changes I needed to make. However, I kept forcing certain things to work. Instagram is a big part of my career, so vanishing for a week seemed a bit drastic. Would brands still want to work with me? Would I lose followers? Although valid questions, this was exactly why I needed a break.
Throughout this week, I did feel the urge to be on Instagram. It came as no surprise to discover I developed an addiction to social media. I deleted the app for three days, then came back to check my messages by day four. Was it a complete detox? Not really, but it was a start. The truth is, I feel really good having done this for myself. What’s more is, I learned I am absolutely capable of staying off the ‘gram. Enjoying life without pulling out my phone every 5 minutes, was actually pretty awesome.
In the end, Instagram isn’t going anywhere, and you don’t have to be stressed out to step back. Taking a time out from social media is a healthy habit we should all adopt. Would you ever consider an Instagram detox?