I Quit Instagram*

*Temporarily, at least.

Over the weekend, I was part of a women’s circle, discussing boundaries.

I love Instagram. I really, really love it. I love being nosy and seeing what people are up to. It helps me get inspired. I love all the pretty pictures, and the funny stories and – there’s a lot to love.

But maybe I love it too much. In the past I set a timer on the app so that I couldn’t just spend hours and hours on it every day, and that was great.

However, in talking about boundaries, I realised that the timer isn’t cutting it in this particular season. With the kids off school, my time is even more precious than usual. I’m also working in house, and booked with client work, so am not actively promoting anything right now. So, why have I been finding myself using Instagram more and more?

By the end of the hour, I had decided to quit for the rest of the month. I’ve deleted it (and Facebook) from my phone, and installed a news feed blocker on my browser. This means I can connect with the Facebook groups I’m a member of without getting sucked into random articles that my friend’s uncle has shared. I already don’t use Twitter on my phone, but I don’t generally spend much time on there, so it’s not on the banned list, for now.

One week in, how am I doing?

Fine. Absolutely, totally fine.

Better than fine, in fact.

My head is clearer than it has been in months, and I do really have more time. I thought that the 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there wouldn’t feel like much when I got them back. But it has felt like a lot.

I thought I would be reaching for my phone and not knowing what to do with myself. But I haven’t. I’ve been reading more, drawing more, writing more… This week has been the most productive, in terms of ideas and in terms of actually getting stuff done, for many, many months.

If it continues like this, I am going to have to radically rethink how (if????) I re-enter social media next month. I need to practice what I preach more, and get more focused.

What I’m missing

I’m really missing seeing what people are up to.

But when I miss someone, I can find another way of getting in touch with them. Like, I can email them, and see how they’re doing. I can send people messages on WhatsApp and ask what they’ve been up to AND NOT ALREADY KNOW 🤯🤯🤯

I’ve also started reading blog posts again and have even set up a Feedly account to get my favourites every day. Have you shared a blog post recently? Please leave the link in the comments so that I can come and check you out.

I’ve missed taking photos

I haven’t taken any photos since I deleted Instagram. I think I’ve forgotten what it’s like to just take photos because I want to take a photograph. From tomorrow I’m making more of an effort to do this for myself and my own consumption.

I’m finding it really strange that people don’t know what I’ve been doing this week.

The community aspect of Instagram is my favourite thing. I love posting bits about my day and hearing back from other people. It’s fun and it’s chatty. I’m happy not to be sharing every detail of my days, but I also do want to continue to connect with people. I just want to do it without an algorithm.

So, I thought I would go old-school and start a little informal blog series across the month. No lessons or marketing tips or interviews. Just a bit of chat and maybe a photo or two once I start taking photos again.

If you’d like to get these, sign up to my fortnightly newsletter, as I’ll be including a link to the latest posts in there.

I would also love you forever if you left a comment. No one leaves comments anymore, and I miss them! Who are you? What have you done of interest lately? Have you ever experimented with leaving any social media channels? How did it go for you?

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