The first thing I noticed what my horrendous phone-checking habits; I was constantly picking up my phone to open Instagram, without even thinking about it.
Have you checked how many times you unlock your phone in a day? Let’s just say it’s not a pleasant surprise.
After that came the realisation that I was viewing every situation from a ‘lens’ perspective.
For example, If I visited a gallery or a beautiful cafe, I would view parts of the artwork or room and automatically picture it as an Instagram story or image. Ugh.
This stopped after a couple of weeks, but it was quite confronting to realise how little I was appreciating the moment instead of unconsciously planning a social media post in my mind.
…and then came the big revelation:
There are more important things than Instagram
I was so deep in the Instagram rabbit-hole that I did not realise how superficial it really is.
So many accounts are only popular because of how the person looks.
…and look, there is nothing wrong with being beautiful or showing off your looks or bod, but when that is all we see on Instagram, it gives us a pretty twisted view of reality.
You don’t have to live in a bikini and do yoga on the beach and take photos in the latest Gucci sneakers to be successful.
It’s all an ~illusion~
All the time you spend scrolling or taking the perfect photo for Insta could be spent with your family or working on something that will actually make you some money.
Unless you have a business, the time spent on the platform is precious hours you will never get back.
Side note: There are obviously many amazing (and beautiful!) people on Insta too and it is a great social platform – as long as it makes you happy and that you remember to prioritise your own health.
An alternative source of inspiration
And look… these platforms aren’t perfect either.
…but being on these alternative sites, where beauty is secondary or even irrelevant, I started noticing these super-successful, strong and intelligent women.
They had some of the most amazing careers (or just lives) I had ever seen, and most of them were not on Instagram.
Scientists, CEO’s, international leaders, artists, politicians, business founders, volunteers…the list goes on.
Seriously see @astrokatie on Twitter and you will never look at success in the same way again.
I used to spend so much time and effort on Instagram, it’s like I forgot that there is this whole other world of great industries outside of this platform.
You don’t have to be on Instagram in order to be successful.
I almost felt betrayed because I had always listened to that little voice in the back of my head, telling me that an Insta page would be good for business.
One day it would pay off. It had to.
It might not, ever.
Do you know what I realised does pay off though?
Working on something of your own (and if that’s Instagram for you that’s OK), but not necessarily doing what everyone else is doing, “just because”.
Whether it’s your education, your job or any other project; focus on that instead of obsessing over a platform that may or may not even be around in the next 10 years.
Remember that most people don’t become successful only by being on Insta.
Some final thoughts
If you feel you might need to, then take a break from Instagram.
It can change your perspective, as it did mine.
The world is not going to end and you will probably enjoy each moment a bit more.
Get some distance between yourself and all the perfect squares and think about what you really want.
If you still want to be Insta famous after a 2-month break then go for it!
…but if you find that posting pics doesn’t actually matter that much, you might find changing to a private account will take some of the pressure off.
Tip! Unfollow every account that doesn’t make you feel inspired.
I unfollowed about 700 people when I went private; it greatly improved the quality of my feed and how I felt when scrolling about.
Make some room for the amazing individual that you are (from Insta or other) and forget about what everyone else is doing for a sec.
It sounds super dramatic but it actually changed the way I view my life now, and it may have the same effect on some of you.