It’s been 9 months since I deleted my Instagram. I don’t mean I deleted the app from my phone, but I deleted my account. Poof, gone forever! Why would I do this? Good question. I’ll tell you why I did it, and some negative and positive affects I’ve seen in my life.
Honestly, deleting my personal Instagram was something I did on a whim. I was fed up with comparing myself to others and feeling crappy, and I wanted to get rid of that feeling. I had deleted the app from my phone several times, but I always found myself checking it on my computer or in my phone’s web browser. I could always access it, it was just a little more effort to get there.
I also felt like my brain was programmed to open the app, even when I wasn’t intending to do so. And it was weird… I would be on my phone, about to do something, and I would say in my head “Instagram”, and I would swipe to the app. I didn’t even realize Instagram had distracted me from my earlier objective before I’d already scrolled a few times and checked a few stories. After doing this so. many. times. I couldn’t take it anymore! I wanted to be in control.
I felt like the excuse of keeping my Instagram to stay in touch with people was not entirely true. I still have my Facebook (I’m old school, I know) though, and I think that’s enough to keep me up to date on big events in people’s lives. On Instagram, I legit knew every detail of my friend’s (and random people’s) days… and that wasn’t a good enough reason to keep the app for me.
Lastly, Instagram is a huge time-sucker, and I’m not a fan of that. I wanted my time to be sucked elsewhere, essentially.
  • I don’t have a picture journal that’s easily accessible. Yes, I have my photo album, but it’s not as condensed as Instagram.
  • I don’t get to edit fun pictures and think of captions.
  • I don’t take as many pictures! Seriously, I need to be better! Photography and capturing moments have always been fun for me, and not having an Instagram has made taking pictures a lower priority. I think it’s ok to not take as many pictures, but I also want to remember the good moments, and a picture makes doing that a whoooole lot easier.
  • I don’t always know what people are talking about because I didn’t see their Insta story. You know like when people tell inside jokes and you just sit there not sure of how to react? Yeah, that’s me.
  • I can’t stalk people. Well, not as easily at least heheee.
  • Comparing myself to others has become less frequent since I last had the app. Now, in saying this, I’m not claiming that I’m cured of those annoying thoughts. Not by a loooong shot. But they are less frequent because I’m not exposed to as many things that trigger those bad thoughts.
  • I haven’t “missed out” on anything, really. I may hear about news later than others, but it’s never been a problem. Plus, my close friends know I don’t have Instagram anymore, so they’ll tell me about things they’ve posted OR I already know about them because I was there! No biggie.
  • I have more time overall. When I wake up, before bed, and all the in between. Now I can fill that time with other things like reading books (I’ve read 12 this year! The Secret Keeper had me HOOKED), studying my scriptures (I’m still not great at this but I’m a lot better), being with people (or just myself), and even more sleeping!
  • I’ve met people when I would normally be trying to not be awkward by looking at Instagram. Like in line for food! I’ve met some awesome people that I never would have even looked at. By the way, this isn’t always easy. I’m good at talking to people but I still feel awkward standing in line and not looking at my phone. I really just have to force myself to do it haha. But I’ve never been disappointed by talking to someone. Conversation is nice even if it doesn’t mean anything, because it could mean something to them or to me. At least that way there’s a possibility!
  • I’m happier and more stress-free because I have more time to do things I love as well as get things done.
Overall, I’ve really enjoyed my life Instagram-free, though I do miss it sometimes. I kind of feel like I’ve freed myself of an addiction. I know there are ways to limit the use of the app (thanks to Apple’s screen time), but for me I had to get rid of it completely. Everyone is different, and I think Instagram really is a great place if you’ve deliberately created a feed and environment that is not destructive to you. I love that you can customize and choose what you want to see—granted it’s not 100% all the time—and the experience you want to have, Instagram wins for that! I personally didn’t have enough self-control though, and so that’s why I chose to delete it! All this to say that I didn’t need Instagram like I thought I needed Instagram. One day I may get Instagram again, but I’ll be much more deliberate about what I see on there, who I follow, and how much time I allow myself in a week. Next time, I’ll be in control, not Instagram. At least that’s the goal, right?