I’m sure we’ve all been tempted to throw in the towel (or phone) and quit Instagram all together. It’s challenging, constantly changing, and time consuming. I was inspired to take a “fast” from the popular app, so I took a week off Instagram and this is what happened.
During this past week it felt as if a fog had cleared. I was able to focus more on my current tasks with my brain wandering away less frequently. Since I wasn’t worrying about what I needed to post, how I responded to that comment, what I SHOULD be doing to try and break the algorithm and so on, I was able to focus on the now. Mentally, it was a wonderful break.
I was hardly on my phone. My work days are mostly on a computer, so things like checking emails or chatting is all done via the computer. Which means my phone sat on my desk collecting dust. It wasn’t glued to my hip all day either, I would leave it in rooms and it would be out of sight and out of mind. Physically, it was freeing.
Instagram was my go-to combat method for awkward situations. I don’t really have other interesting apps on my phone, so when IG wasn’t there I found myself being more aware of the moments. Learning to be okay with silence, and okay with doing “nothing”. Dinner was purely conversation and silence, no zombie scrolling from either party. It allowed me to be more aware of what was going on around me. Socially, it challenged me (in a good way).
I didn’t lose any followers, in fact I gained a few. Likes and comments still came trickling in thanks to the Instagram algorithm we hate. The only thing that plummeted was “impressions”, but that was to be expected.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the negative points to this new algorithm. For us veterans who remember the “good ol’ days”, it can be hard to forget and move on. But because of this new algorithm, we are able to post less frequently. Sure, the fact that “now” has been completely lost since it’s change is annoying, but our content is still lasting longer and showing up over a period of time versus one day.
Stories is going to be the place for the “now”. It is where the “instant” from Instagram has gone, and we need to change with it. Using stories to gain impressions and push people to our feeds is key.
This little fast opened my eyes to my dependency and anxiety with the social app.
• It distracted me from the “now”, while I obsessed over it not representing that.
• It hovered in the back of my thoughts, distracting me from my business.
• I noticed the growing stress over numbers, growth, reach, and popularity.
• My view of its success became more on reach than it did on inspiring others.
Most importantly, it was becoming an idol and a crutch, and I wanted to cut that cord.
Overall, I know that if I show up (when it fits my schedule), give freely, and interact with those I follow that I will see the community continue. I’m challenging myself to interact with positivity, encourage those sharing personal/good content, and use it to educate. I will no longer be dependent upon it or allow it to cloud my mind. It is a tool, not my livelihood.
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