It’s slow. It gets kind of boring at times. But honestly? It’s the best decision I’ve ever made.
Do you know what’s mind-boggling to me about all of this? I have spent so much of my adult life scrolling through social media online. I made a Facebook 13 years ago and downloaded Instagram 4 years later. The entire six years I’ve known my husband, I’ve always worried about my “image” on Instagram. Taking perfect pictures, writing perfect captions, using perfect hashtags. We joked for so long that this ‘Instagram Husband’ video accurately described our relationship. But honestly…it does. And that’s pretty rough to realize.
Last month when I decided to delete the app for good, it’s like I switched back on a part of me that was turned off for so long. Before Instagram, I filled my time with simple hobbies. Laying on the couch to read a book, knit a scarf, sift through a newspaper. I find myself rediscovering those interests that were locked up for so long.
I actually get work done. And I’m not just finishing my work, but striving to do well. I let myself get bored at night. I even go to bed early.
My health? Yeah, that too. The pimples on my face are gone. The circles under my eyes are disappearing. I experience fewer headaches. Probably all stress-induced.
And the part that scares (and excites) me the most? Somehow my marriage is stronger. I’m less irritable and cranky towards my husband from this constant anxiety to “perform” every day for Instagram. I actually listen to what he is saying. Now that I’m not distracted, we have the most incredible conversations. Deep, intellectual debates about food, journalism, books, and religion. We’re actually dreaming about the future. And our apartment is now full of laughter.
Can I be frank? When I write all of this down, it really almost sounds like I was on drugs. There was a serious addiction here that I was so blind to until now because social media is such a normal part of everyday life. I mean, “everyone is doing it,” so that means there’s nothing wrong with scrolling your life away, right? Until you read what Addiction Center has to say about it.
I spent so many of my early 20’s worried about what’s to come of my life. Yet when I finally stepped away from social media, things finally made sense. I was so caught up in the whirlwind of others telling me that I need to try and “make it” in this world, on an app that demands so much of my attention and time.
Until I read this.
What profit is an idol when its maker has shaped it, a metal image, a teacher of lies? For its maker trusts in his own creation when he makes speechless idols!Habakkuk 2:18
Why give so much of my life to something that someone else made in order to profit off of me? It’s not like the makers of Instagram really care about my wellbeing. Why waste so much of my time on them? There are much greater things I want to place my hope and my heart in.
I would rather my attention be on the things that really matter to me. I don’t have to put my life on display. I don’t have to be picture perfect all the time. I don’t have to post on Instagram in order to have a blog. I can just *gasp* have a blog.
So that’s life without Instagram. It’s quieter. It’s simpler. It’s like having my life back, the one I haven’t experienced since junior high. But this time…there’s no homework. Or braces. Praise be.