This past summer, I decided to take a break from Instagram. I didn’t post for nearly 3 months and that is a record for me. It was a conscious decision, it wasn’t because I didn’t have any new or “gram worthy moments”. In fact, this summer I had a lot of post-worthy moments as it was filled with happiness and I had a lot of fun. I write for 3 blogs, this one, my sorority’s blog, and one called Odyssey. In the beginning of the summer, I wrote an article for Odyssey about my plans to not be on my phone that much. I did that by deleting all of the social media apps that were on my phone except for Snapchat. In the article, I said I did it because I wanted to be in the moment more. That is true, but there’s a bigger reason why I decided specifically to delete Instagram and stop posting on it for the entire summer.
Before going into the summer, I was comparing myself 24/7 to people. I saw the fun that they were having and I wondered why it wasn’t me. I wasn’t the most confident version of myself and Instagram added to those insecurities. Certain things on Instagram made me feel insecure and it made me question a lot of things. It created doubt and I didn’t want to feel that doubt anymore. I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with Instagram because it’s so great at moments when I don’t feel this way, but those moments are temporary and I was tired of having those temporary moments. I decided to stop posting specifically on Instagram and I extended that challenge to Snapchat. My goal would’ve been to do all social media, but I do have family that I know use Facebook and use that as a way to see what I am doing. For that reason and the reason that I wanted to promote my Odyssey articles via Facebook is why I was active on Facebook. Also, with Facebook I don’t care if the things I post get likes or not. I specifically cared with Instagram and I have no idea why. This past summer, I decided to figure out why and I had to distance myself to find that reason.
I know likes aren’t everything, but they still mean a lot to me. I want my friends to like my posts, I want them to comment, and when they don’t, I get sad. It’s silly because I know not everyone uses Instagram all of the time, but I can’t help but have this obsession with it. It’s not good for me and this summer, I wanted to focus on fixing that trait in my personality. I wanted to teach myself how to let go and not care about the stupid things like the amount of likes I have on an Instagram post.
While on Instagram, I searched for validation and acceptance via those likes and that’s not good. I need to accept and validate myself before I can get those things from other people. It’s a struggle and I had a hard time going through this summer without posting on Instagram. There were many moments where I almost gave in and did it, but I knew that I wasn’t strong enough yet. I knew that I would revert back to my own ways and I refuse to do that. I missed posting on Instagram over this summer, but I only went on the website once a day at night. I worked on my obsession and compulsive need for likes. I still was invested in what my friends were posting, but it wasn’t as frequent as it used to be.
This summer, I spent my time living in the moment and I hope/think I gained the skills to be able to put my phone down more. Living my life on a phone isn’t the way I want to live my life. I want to be doing things, I want to be validating and accepting myself. I want to be confident in who I am, and I don’t want to compare myself to others. I have a busy semester and my phone won’t be the reason why I don’t get a high GPA. This summer I’ve realized I don’t need my phone on me 24/7, and that the world is beautiful, I should be out there enjoying it.
After going back on the app, I learned a lot about myself. I still care a little about the amount of likes I get, but I am not obsessed with it. I don’t post because I am searching for validation, I post because I want to share my life with the world. Instead of hitting a “goal”, I am now focused on how I feel about the Instagram post. If I dislike the picture, I won’t post it. If I love the picture and I think it’s a representation of my life then I’ll post it. I am not perfect and I still obsess from time to time, but I am getting better. Every little step counts and that’s what matters.
Thanks for reading this, if you guys want to see what I am up to on a frequent-ish basis check out @dayswithdebois on Twitter and Instagram, I tweet and post a bit more than I do here. I will post to you guys when I post next! See you guys soon.