Instagram Cleanse

Well, I deleted the app. Not my account. It’s not permanent or anything, but here’s what happened:
I deleted Facebook a couple of years ago for a while because of the negativity and I really enjoyed my friends and family being forced to call me on my birthday. I enjoyed that I didn’t have to keep up with people from my high school and political wars between left and right-wing.
I gravitated to Instagram because it was much more creative and positive and I drew a lot of inspiration from it so I never would have considered that it was a part of the problem. I also use Instagram as a hub for my blog and most of my website clicks come from Instagram!
There is too much of a good thing, however. I felt like I was sitting in a chair and my hair was being blown back with new information and constantly feeling like I can’t keep up with trends which led to being completely uninspired. Maybe a smaller part of the frustration was seeing pages like mine getting much more exposure than my own and not understanding why people aren’t seeing my posts. It’s hard to remember who you are doing it for. I started making beautiful food for myself, and the last couple of years had me doing posts for the Algorithm. Regardless, the main frustration was being pulled in a thousand creative directions. Am I doing smoothie bowls, am I doing fruit bowls, shit I should be doing videos, do people want to know the nutritional value, does anyone even use these recipes, just stop. I wanted it to stop.
I took the last 2 and a half weeks off without warning anyone. First of all, I can tell you now that nobody noticed. If you don’t post for a month, nobody is going to call you and ask if you died. I didn’t even peak, I just did not care. Maybe I missed some important messages, maybe they would have found a better way of contacting me if it really was that important. I don’t feel like I missed anything at all though. (Kill the FOMO!) I’ll tell you how I benefited from the “cleanse”, so to speak, but I quickly wanted to show you a list by first.

15 Signs You Need a Social-Media Cleanse

1. You’re uninspired.
2. Your to-do list never gets done.
3. You haven’t hung out with offline friends in a month.
5. You mindlessly navigate to social media during downtime.
6. You’re stressed by big deadlines.
7. You’ve started to think in Facebook posts.
8. You’re having problems with impulse control.
9. You’re indecisive.
10. You haven’t read a good book in a while.
11. You’re falling behind on fitness goals.
12. You believe you need social media to be OK.
13. You’ve stopped doing your favorite things.
14. You worry you haven’t grown as a person.
15. You don’t get time away from your computer.
4. You’re so distracted you forgot to add No. 4 in its cozy and rightful place between No. 3 and No. 5.
I don’t relate to a lot of these but some others impacted me heavily in the last couple of weeks. Being uninspired was huge. As a creative person, you put this pressure on yourself throughout your entire life to keep making things. There are ample creative outlets; you could be cooking, painting, playing music, decorating, or even cleaning is an outlet for me. Feeling like what you’ve been doing is not enough, is uninspiring.
The next way I was affected was indecisiveness which I basically covered in the last section. I suffer from something called “Decision Fatigue.” When you’re making decisions all day, and then come home from work and make more decisions and then you’re left making creative decisions with the last drops of your energy, it’s difficult to know if these decisions align with what you want. It’s almost a sense of being depersonalized because there are so many options. Being off of Instagram helped me dull the buzzing that’s been in my head for years.
The last and most fun part of the cleanse, was having MORE TIME! I was guilty of finally sitting down at the end of the day and opening up Instagram. Even laying in bed watching a movie, I would be scrolling through. I would say the movie wasn’t that good, but I can’t be a critic because I wasn’t watching. Living in the moment has been rewarding and the time I’ve saved has allowed me to take on new projects. I’ve started the process of writing my cookbook that I’ve been talking about for as long as I’ve been cooking. I have a clear vision of what it is about and how I plan to do it. While I can admit that I need Instagram as a tool for this project, I have greatly changed my perspective of it.
Check your phone metrics, if you’re spending forty-five minutes to an hour a day on Instagram, you’re just as bad as I was. If you’re spending more than an hour, I highly recommend it. This time adds up tremendously over the course of a week, imagine a year. Maybe there’s something you didn’t even know you wanted to do waiting for you on the other side.
Note: When you don’t log into your Insta for 2 weeks, they send you an e-mail with your friends’ recent posts. They don’t want you to win.

7 thoughts on “Instagram Cleanse

  1. You do such beautiful work, but you’re also a wonderful writer (a subject I know a little something about). I’ll buy your book the second it comes out. 🙂

  2. You really are such a good writer!! I’ve never had Instagram but this makes me want to stay away from my Facebook account for a bit.

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