So I’m calling today a transparency Wednesday where I share with you why I quit social media, Instagram to be precise and the impact it has had on my life.
I joined Instagram in my early high school days. I guess around age 14. At that time, if you weren’t on Instagram you were literally an outcast in society. Everyone was on Instagram. I, unfortunately, got pressured into creating an account on one vacation.
Whenever I logged in, I was instantly fascinated by the amazing fashion, lifestyle, beauty posts that were on display. And then, I started posting some pictures here and there seeking validation as I did for others. Comments and likes weren’t as great but I kept on posting.
On reaching 1k following immediately after high school, I felt on top of the world. ‘Like 1k? Everyone knows me then.‘ I went on to follow the Instagram celebrities and couples, the seemingly popular peeps, etc, and of course, my mates and I could scroll on there hours and hours non-stop.
On no occasion did I ever feel like it was too much and that I needed to stop. Instagram brought up the activity count and I was shocked one day to note that I spent an average of 7hours on Instagram alone while still in school.
It was then that I came to the realization that Instagram needed to sit down a bit.
A number of attempts were made including, deleting for a few weeks, unfollowing people I felt were exerting too much pressure for me to handle, and so on. But whenever I downloaded the app again, the story was still the same.
Fast forward to the quarantine period, where everyone was advocating for a self-development plan, I finally decided to delete my whole personal account. Not just deactivate but delete. Did I know what I was getting into? No.
It was hard I must admit but I’m happy about the changes I’ve noticed lately and I don’t plan on going back
1.You’re able to live on your own terms
The pressure on social media is insane. Some people are developing mental health issues because they want to live like how the other person is living or they want their relationship to be exactly the same as this particular Instagram couple. It does not give you the chance to be You. Eventually, there’s a disappointment, then depression, and the formidable. I would say, I was just at the brink of this situation, and quitting social media has made me calm down.
2. Time management
As goes with productivity levels, I have more time at my hands now. Just imagine how many topics in surgery I could’ve completed in that 7hours. Although now, I still waste time on unnecessary things, I’ve been able to do a lot more than before and that is clearly evident
3. Better communication
I’d be the first to admit that I’m the worst at communication, even now. But even worse on social media. Just liking a friend’s post on Ig doesn’t give you an understanding of how the person is doing. It could be an old post? or a work post. Double tapping on pictures is not enough. Someone needs a “How are you?” to make their day bright or “what is happening at home?” for the person to pour out what’s on their heart to you in order to delve deeper into issues than just the bare surface.
4. Advancement in faith
As a believer, I felt I was getting overly exposed and influenced by the things of the world. The attempts made were not enough. This reminder made everything clear that “if your right-hand causes you to stumble, cut it off.” I needed that confirmation to go ahead.
5. Increases your productivity and creativity levels
I find that now, I think more of where I’m headed to than the now as it was when I was on Instagram. I’m more creative, thinking of how to better my life, and actually working on it. One thing I noticed greatly also was people trying to do the exact same thing as the other person did. We have been created to think outside the box and social media is not helping because we think everything is on social media
6. My money stays in my bank account
Those who know me know that I’m a shopaholic, especially online. I try to get everything I see on Ig. And that has changed since I left. I’m mindful of spending now because I don’t see it in the first place to attempt to buy. It’s just like a catchy advertisement.
Now, I ask myself hardcore questions. Who am I? What do I stand for? What are my preferences? My pet peeves? I could never have asked myself these simple but important questions before in the sense that I was so consumed into accepting whatever the world puts out there on social media
You may be wondering how to actually quit social media. It could be an extreme one like what I’m on but you could also do it another way for amazing results. Here are some tips for quitting social media.
Anything that has to do with permanent change is difficult. However, gradual withdrawal is an ultimate approach. You can delete one after the other, unfollow a number of people, deactivate the account for a few weeks before you delete a whole app.
—Always fill in the blank
Quitting social media shouldn’t be the end. Taking away a negative should bring in a positive, not another negative. So find a hobby, work, studies, etc and fill in the blank. Else, the only option you’ll be left with will be considering a return to social media, which is not helpful.
—List out your priorities
I’m sure it’s in no one’s to-do list or future goals to just be pleasing others. You’d want to set your priorities straight. What do you see yourself doing in the next 5-10 years, the steps you need to take now and the right method to go about it. It gives you a reason to get going than be counterproductive
You may have to seek help if you think social media is beyond you. A therapist, friend, relative or an elderly person may have some word of knowledge and encouragement to share with you
Although I’m not doing this, I’ve read stories on how family members and friends check on themselves whenever they want to reverse situations like this, and I think it’s applaudable. Have someone looking out for you so you don’t fall back into the trap
In conclusion, I’m not forcing anyone into deleting their personal Instagram account or quitting other social media accounts but I think it’s important that once in a while we get rid of others and focus on ourselves for our own growth
And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. Matthew 5:30