June 05, 2019
It's been three weeks since I started my Instagram break. You can read more about the reasoning behind this decision here. I promised to share some updates about how the break is going in case you yourself are curious about taking time away from social media. Here are some observations I've made from my own personal experience.
1. Embracing and enjoying the absence. I don't miss Instagram as much as I thought I would! I thought I would end up regularly swiping to the now-missing Instagram button on my iPhone, but this has not been the case. In the first few days, there were a few times I gravitated to the button, but it hasn't happened since. I was surprised by how quickly my phone habits changed.
2. Not much FOMO. I thought I'd feel a lot of FOMO (fear of missing out) without being able to see what my favorite accounts were up to. To be honest, there are occasional times when I wonder what some of my favorite artists, celebrities, designers, and companies are up to, but the feeling passes pretty quickly.
3. WAY less screen time. This is major. The amount of time I spend on my phone has drastically reduced. This is kind of a no brainer, but I was shocked to see how little I use my phone since I don't have Instagram on it.
Here's a screenshot of my screen time before the Instagram break. On average, I was using Instagram about 1.5 hours per day. That adds up to 10.5 hours per week! That makes me feel pretty icky.
And now here's a screenshot from earlier this week. Pretty dramatic change, no!?
If you are curious about your own screen time, on your iPhone go to Settings --> Screen Time.
4. Increased focus and productivity. Prior to deleting Instagram, I would engage in an activity (stitching, reading, writing, watching TV), but see my phone after a bit of time (because it needed to be near me) and think, "Oh, let me just quickly check Instagram." I wouldn't think twice about this interruption and then I'd find myself going down a scrolling rabbit hole for 30 minutes. So much wasted time. During this detox, I have noticed that I'm able to engage in a "flow" state with regularity and ease, engaging in focused activities for long periods of time. I find myself reading or stitching for an hour straight with limited distractions. It's quite nice and overall I have felt way more productive.
5. More time to read! Directly linked to #4, I am reading a LOT more. I've always been an avid reader, but without the distraction of social media, I'm finishing many more books and articles in a shorter time frame than normal.
In my next blog post about this subject, I plan to share some of the resources I have found helpful in making the decision to take some time away from Instagram. Stay tuned!