Why I'm Taking an Instagram Detox

A few weeks ago, I went cold-turkey off of Instagram. I was that girl always asking people to take a picture of me or asking what caption I should use. I felt I had to create the perfect online image of myself. My posts had to be cute and the captions had to be witty. I had to have a variety of friends featured in the pictures and they had to be taken in a variety of places. I also had to get a certain number of likes, of course, otherwise I would delete the post. What if people thought I didn’t have hundreds of friends?

Instagram made me a bit of a monster. I was placing more importance on how I presented my life online than being fully present offline. I wasn’t enjoying my experiences fully because there was always the distraction of getting the perfect picture. Plus, there was the hour or two a day that I wasted scrolling through other people’s posts and checking my own.

I finally I forced myself to delete the app off my phone.

As the addict that I was, I went through a brief withdrawal. I would pull out my phone all the time and fight the urge to redownload the app and find out what I missed. Eventually I realized my phone offered less of a distraction to me, and I stopped taking it out as much. It felt weird, but I started walking to class without even checking it. At night, instead of checking Instagram right before bed, I read. I find it much more relaxing and I fall asleep much more quickly. Most importantly though, whenever I hike, find a new cafe, or go somewhere new I enjoy the experience more. I am more focused on actually enjoying myself than trying to make it appear I am enjoying myself online.

Perhaps one day I will redownload Instagram and learn to use it with moderation. But for now, I think I'll continue my long-overdue Instagram detox.