26 April 2019 Media Musings Social Media

I gave up Instagram for Lent and you should too

I gave up Instagram for Lent.

I never really knew what true craving meant until on Day 1, I popped on my jammies and pulled up the bed covers, and as part of my bedtime routine, I reached for my iPhone to open up a world of beautiful images ready to send me to sleep. The craving was intense. Just one tap to browse beautiful interiors, dream of powder white sands, be creatively inspired by the brilliance that surrounded me…

But I had given up Instagram because instead of sending me off to slumber, that beauty and brilliance had left me tossing and turning as my mind poured over who I wasn’t, what I didn’t have, what I wasn’t experiencing and how I wasn’t contributing. So I gave it up.

When I told the world around me, their quizzical looks said it all. “But don’t you need it for your job?” “So you didn’t see Tony doing the Can Can on his yacht in the South of France?” “Oh so that’s why you didn’t like my #dogsofinstagram Poodle Doodle montage!”. I asked myself, was I potentially harming my business skills? Could I be missing out on social fodder? Was I not being supportive enough to my friends?

I had thought that without Instagram, my chubby middle, obviously small group of close friends, messy house, TV habit and distinct lack of zen would suddenly disappear as anxieties. They didn’t. And even at my ripe age, I didn’t stop comparing myself to other people because that’s just human nature.

However, in being away from the lethal photo-feed, I did realise the benefits of Instagram. It became apparent to me that it was a brilliant source of inspiration and occasionally, information. It warmed my heart and made me giggle. It reminded me of the friends I hadn’t seen for a while, the places I can go and the things I want to accomplish. Taking a break, gave me a different perspective on Instagram, and an altogether healthier one at that.

You see it’s not social networks fault for our own insecurities but you need to take a few weeks out of the social-sphere to realise it.

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