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I have always had an addiction to my phone, and I think many of us have struggled with this problem at certain times in our lives. I remember when I convinced my mom to let me download Instagram in the sixth grade. I was elated that she agreed, but I had no idea the consequences that would come from having it. My parents remind me occasionally that my life should not revolve around my phone and that I need to be careful with how much time I spend on social media. For a long time, it has been a goal of mine to delete Instagram, but I have never had the courage to do so until a few months ago. 

  

Over the summer I was taking an English class and we had to write a paper about a topic that resonated with us. I chose to write about social media for my assignment and upon researching my topic, I came across Hannah Smothers’ article entitled “I Quit Instagram For Three Months to Heal My Idiot Brain.” After reading about how she rid herself of the wildly popular social media app, I knew I wanted to attempt the same challenge; I just had to figure out when to do it. I decided that a random day in September was as good a time as any. As soon as I woke up, I deleted the Instagram app from my phone and started my social media cleanse. 

 

The first few days were a bit challenging because I was so used to mindlessly scrolling throughout the day. After the initial shock of not seeing the app on my home screen, I really started to enjoy not having it. As much joy as Instagram brought me from seeing other people’s posts and comments, it also brought me sadness and anger at times. I was constantly comparing the pictures on my feed to my own life and it was not healthy. Sure, there were times I wished I could scroll through my friends’ pictures from game days and sorority events, but I didn’t miss it nearly as much as I thought I would. 

 

I just reached the one-month mark of not having Instagram, and I honestly can’t see myself redownloading it at any point in the near future. I occasionally wish I could still scroll through my feed or post a fun picture with friends, but I am so much happier without the hindrance of Instagram. Throughout this experience I have realized that I don’t need social media to be happy. Life has so much to offer and our time doesn’t need to be spent staring at a screen. I enjoy living a life where I am not entirely consumed by my phone, and I hope that you can do the same. 

Amanda Zimmerman is a junior studying Accounting at The University of Alabama. A few things she enjoys immensely are Disney, dance, traveling, Dancing With the Stars and Orangetheory Fitness!
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