I’m a blogger, but I deleted the Instagram and Facebook apps from my phone and have been amazed at what happened.
I Didn’t Start Out Loving Social Media
I didn’t think I was the social media type. In fact, I wasn’t. But when you’re the youth pastor’s wife and you take a group of teenagers on a national youth trip, you kinda gotta be hip to the game. J
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And as for Facebook, way too many people were reconnecting with past lovers for me to even bother. I’d seen that scenario play out with a close acquaintance and the fall out was not pretty. Me and social media were not exactly on speaking terms after that.
How I Became Obsessed with Instagram
Fast forward to 2017 when I started mydesignrules.com and HAD to open accounts on all social media—even ones I had no intention of using but needed to claim my brand name. Social media goes with blogging like tables and chairs. You have to have a following and interact with your peeps right? Riiiiight.
I loved me some Instagram. Umm hello beautiful home decor photos, DIY videos, gorgeous product shots and the never-ending eye-candy of travel, food
So why did I delete Instagram?
1. Instagram is a time suck
I was no longer on social media for purely social reasons, it integrated into my business. Except I found that my ‘business,’ took way too much of my time without bringing in ANY money.
I have to preface not bringing in any money with this: There are influencers on
How much time? Well with the last Apple IOS update they started sending me weekly recaps of my screen time. And I was mortified by the number. In fact, I was straight up convicted with the comparison between my time on social media apps versus my Bible App.
It’s been a few weeks and I honestly don’t remember the number but I believe it was to the tune of 24 hours on Instagram in one week.
Twenty-four hours of my week.
Scrolling people’s photos.
Watching strangers’ lives.
AN ENTIRE DAY OF MY LIFE.
2. Instagram (and your phone in general) are addictive
I have to admit it, deleting Instagram was tough. I feel like I went through some type of IG withdrawal. Like what was I supposed to do in the bathroom now? And what was I going to do at all those stop lights? OMG. No Instagram. I’m joking but I’m serious.
The first day was a bit rough. The urge to pick up my phone every second made me feel like a junkie. I wish I was kidding. After a few days, it became easier to let it go. Now I’m way more productive. I have no plans of rebuilding that habit.
Did you know your phone, Facebook, Instagram
Those dings, notifications and hearts were created to make your heart palpitate and send endorphins to your brain just.like.a.drug.
Let that soak in.
Think about it. The longer you spend on the platform the more they can earn from advertisers trying to sell to you. The more likes and interactions you give a company the more data Facebook can collect to sell to them to turn around and sell to you. And the cycle continues.
So, the plan is to addict us and sell to us. And it’s working.
3. Constant scrolling was making me illiterate
Between Facebook and Instagram, I was constantly scanning. Looking for quick info, the
Then I sat down to read my bible app the same night and noticed I was trying to scan.
My attention span was drastically declining with the amount of time I spent looking at my screen.
And lo and behold the surprising results after just a few days once deleting Instagram from my phone?
I could read again. Yep. I picked up that skill in kindergarten and I’d like to keep it thank you very much.
4. Scrolling my phone (not just Instagram) ruined my sleep pattern.
For weeks on
I wish I could say it wasn’t so, but oh it was. All that screen time was affecting my circadian rhythm. Read how screen time affects sleep here. My brain didn’t get enough clues to shut down and all that scrolling kept my mind too busy to relax.
And, of course, what happened within a week of deleting the Instagram app?
You guessed it.
No more waking up a few hours into the night.
…but I still Use Instagram
I deleted the app, but not my account. I still plan to use Instagram as a part of my promotional strategy. Because the platform really does make it easy to form a community. I truly enjoyed interacting with all those people, especially when I post stories. So many laughs and fun.
I am not one of those disgruntled users that hate social media. On the contrary. I truly enjoyed it. I follow some really amazing people, never get nasty spammers and can generally ignore sponsored content I find irrelevant. But I found I was not disciplined enough to have it at my fingertips.
Practical ways I’ll use the platform without it controlling me.
keptthe app on my iPad. When I have my iPad it means I’m stationary and I actually have downtime to be on my device. I won’t stand in the kitchen when I’m supposed to be washing dishes with phone-in-hand instead of hands-in-water.
- Use Later.com to schedule photos instead of posting manually. That way I can schedule my posts and not get sucked into the timeline.
- For stories, I’ll record the videos on my phone and upload them at a later time using my iPad.
- I’ll schedule
timeto interact with my community. This is the toughest part. However, I refuse to bow to the algorithm Gods and be a slave to the system. I don’t have a large follower count and it may be difficult to grow with this strategy, but I’m willing to take that risk.
- Install the Facebook Business manager app on my phone instead. I can still get notifications on comments for my posts, but no one else’s. I can also respond without getting distracted by my timelines. The app works both for Facebook AND Instagram.
Let’s face it Social media is here to stay. Whether Facebook and Instagram stay on top may be the question. But how you use and don’t use social media is totally dependent on how you allow yourself to be used. I learned an awful lot and for me deleting the apps from my phone was just the right decision.