So, with all of my new free time, I started reading and writing. A lot. About everything. I had more time to work on my hobbies and learn the German language. And most importantly, I spent my time reflecting on who I am. Questioning my values and beliefs, reflecting on my thoughts, feelings, and actions. Asking myself the hard questions and changing my behaviour so that my actions aligned with my beliefs. Fewer selfies and more self-realization, I suppose.
Another thing that bothered me about Instagram was that I was constantly in a state of wanting what I didn’t have rather than being appreciative of what I do have whilst scrolling. I know that this isn’t the case for everyone, and I need to stress that for this entire article, but I had the classic case of wanting bigger, better, more, to “keep up” with everyone else.
Sure, I wasn’t rich, but there was no reason for me to be ungrateful for all that I do have in my life. The fact that I have a phone to use the app makes me more well off than many of the population, yet here I was ungrateful.
There’s this immense pressure to keep up with what everyone else is doing, especially among millennials and the younger generations. It’s just a part of life for a vast majority of younger people in the developed world. To paint this picture of your life for everyone else to see.
The thing is, I don’t want to lose myself trying to keep up with everyone else. Maybe this goes deeper than Instagram. In life, I want to be my own person, whoever that may be. Stand up for what I believe in, follow my heart, wear what I want to wear, and have the courage to be myself in a world where many of us are trying so hard to be someone else.
It’s true I started realizing more about myself when I stopped taking so many selfies. This doesn’t mean I will never take a selfie again or never want to look my best in a photo, but, now, being back to Instagram after my one-year sabbatical, I could not care less about how many likes I get or don’t get. I no longer obsess over taking the perfect photo. It doesn’t matter to me anymore.
What matters to me is that I’m staying true to who I am and posting whatever it is I want to post. I’d rather be my goofy self with no filter than trying to look like Kylie Jenner all of the time. I no longer feel this pressure to post only photos of myself looking my best.
What’s important is that you like yourself and that you are you. Have the courage to be yourself without wondering if people are going to like it or not.
And hey, if you love taking selfies and love posting photos of yourself, do it.
No shame, no judgement. These are just my thoughts and experiences.
Taking this break from Instagram was a necessary part of my growth in the last few years. Today, I feel that my relationship with Instagram and social media is much better. Because let’s face it, social media is apart of our lives now, but let’s not let it consume us. I encourage you to take a break or cut back on your screen-time. I promise you’re not missing anything, anything significant that is.
Nowadays, to ensure I don’t spend too much time on Instagram, I set my screen-time to one hour a day. This way, I can still enjoy looking at memes, liking my friend’s photos, and indulging in a bit of scrolling without being totally consumed by the app.
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