No Instagram for 3 Weeks — Here’s What I Noticed

A few days went by around Christmas and I decided to do a instagram detox if you will.

It really only applies to Instagram and not Facebook. Over the last year I’ve used Facebook sparingly for pure communication and projects abroad.

It’s an interesting time we’re living in.

A digital overwhelm is what I’ve termed it.

Living in Asia has made me realize how important our smart phones have become and continue to become.

While it is truly amazing what we can do nowadays with it, we cannot experience the good without the bad.

Here’s a few things I’ve noticed:

We’re Alive

I found that after a few days, the need to log on and check out other people’s pictures and my own notifications had greatly subsided.

Our level of self-absorption begins to decrease. We don’t feel the need to share everything we’re doing offline online.

We become more connected to our surroundings and once again affirm that human relations are of high value.

As awesome as it is to connect with people all around the world, making the effort with people ‘in person’ is so rewarding and can be a rich experience. Perhaps not all the time and that’s also exactly why it’s so rich is because it provides a challenge.

Connecting with people also keeps you in check. We’re built on people, we need to be able to handle people.

Social media can cause social anxiety when interacting offline. It’s real-time.

We’ve Got Time To Progress 

Another thing I noticed was that I felt more content with where I was and am in my own life.

The days have become more lively and each day greets me with a sense of excitement and adventure.

Constantly comparing yourself to the others out there on the gram will only hold you back from making your own move towards your future.

Tony Robbins believes the secret to happiness is PROGRESS.

There are so many incredibly successful people on Instagram and they worked hard over a long period of time. Overnight success doesn’t exist. Don’t be fooled into thinking it will take you a few weeks to achieve X,Y or Z.

You become more aware that the perfect life you see online is not the entire story. There is no reason to feel that you are missing out on anything. In fact you should figure out what IS missing in your own life instead.

Spending too much time ‘online’ creates a deficit in our available time.

It’s tiring running after time we’ve lost.

The time spent logging IN and OUT of the gram can steal good chunks of time.

How many times have we logged out after posting your new photo?

And how long was it before we logged right back in to check? A few minutes I know.

Logging on once during the day is bound to have us logging in a few times that same day especially if we’ve posted something.

Add all that time up. It might not be much. But did it provide some value?

That time could be better spent brushing up on our skills.

Putting in that extra deep work.

Reading a book.

Learning.

You’ll still go on to wake up for work.

Eat and sleep, just to name a few.

The point is that concentration and the ability to stay connected to what we’re doing improves.

We again begin to notice our own progress instead of everyone else’s.

Real People Are So Important

I realize over and over that we are truly part of something bigger than ourselves.

It really hit home on my flight to Vietnam over the Christmas holidays.

We’re all here and we’re all partaking in life as we know it day in and day out. 

Because we walk while looking down at our phone, we may find it easier to look down than to make eye contact with people. Making eye contact with people shows that you value their presence and thoughts.

I thoroughly enjoyed my vacation without feeling the itch to jump onto Instagram.

Of course there were moments I thought about posting something I had shot earlier that day.

But instead, I chose to fully experience what was going on around me. The people serving the coffee, the food, the motorbikes zigzagging through the streets, the hooting, and the daily life in Hanoi’s bustling streets.

This gave me tremendous joy and I was able to absorb so much more and in such a way that my time there had an impact on my mindset.

Sharing an experience with someone is one of a kind. Those same moments won’t ever happen again.

So go out and don’t be afraid to share your life with people. They want you to and they too want to share theirs.

Inspiration and Freedom

I felt a lot inspiration come through during those 9 days.

It became very easy to not log on and I knew that after the holiday I would not log on for while.

Why? I’m figuring that out as I go along. It’s part of the experiment. I have Tim Ferris to thank for this.

Anyway, there was a definite surplus with regards how much energy I had available for thinking and reflecting while disconnected from Instagram.

My creativity improved. Insights were coming in from all directions. Clear thoughts and collected thinking.

Right then and there I knew that I’d continue this experiment back home and take notes on how it might affect my musical endeavors as well as the first month of the year. Set the tone you know.

I might hold out until the end of January. Or even if I log back on before then, I’ve at least had to time to reprogram my mind about how I go about using Instagram as a platform and as a business.

Disclaimer: This post was not because I had ‘had it’ with Instagram but more so because a few days went by where I didn’t post and those were the first few days of my holiday.

What are you doing differently in the month of January 2018?

Let me know in the comments below!

 

21 thoughts on “No Instagram for 3 Weeks — Here’s What I Noticed

  1. Hi there, I thought your words were so true. So much time is wasted online, waiting, watching or doing things that don’t add any value to our lives. Unfortunately, we can’t live without it anymore. In 2018, I will try to make my time online worth it. Either to read and learn, or to really connect with people all over the world (who I otherwise would not be able to connect with). Instead of liking a post, I will send a personal message, like this one, to let them know they matter and that their time online was worth it 😀

    1. This means so much Jacky! I’m so glad this post resonated with you. This is what it is about. Letting other people know they count and putting the effort in to connect with them. Online or offline doesn’t matter. Thanks for your message! Happily received! Have an excellent weekend Jacky!

  2. I do this from time to time as a self-check but I think I don’t wait long enough during those times maybe I will try and stretch it out longer. Thanks for the post.

  3. Wow… Yes so true what you say about “missing out” on meaningful interactions and how we constantly without necessarily intending to, compare our progress with those of others.
    We base our self worth and value on how many “likes” or “comments” we get on any post.
    I am not on Instagram, but will apply your learnings to being aware on how much time, effort and energy I spend on Facebook.
    Continue with your awesome work

    1. Thank you so much for reading my sister.. I am so glad this resonated with you and that you understand what I tried to convey.
      Love you!

  4. It is so true and the life that we are living in can become unbalanced because we are missing on the “real social interaction”; what you describe in your article I have observed it but the other way around. I have started to really use instagram in September/October; first, I think because I am cooking and practicing yoga and I am trying to display what I can do. Secondly, it kicked in when I moved to France trying to approach yoga studios and gym center then I was asked few times do you have website, instagram or any other so we can see what you can do. Truly! deep down I was thinking hold done don’t you want to know “me” me you know the person you are talking to right now!! . I was a bit disappointed! So I went back home and started to plan for instagram program, video on youtube (not ready yet) etc… within 3 weeks I was hooked!!!! looking at the number of people adding me, following me! I was like a little girl at Christmas !! I was commenting to myself “girl you need to stop doing that this is becoming too much”
    Then, I though of Yamas “Asteya” non stealing but how many times is it stolen from me doing all this?? From October I am fully aware that my behaviour has changed toward instagram and social media.Am I addicted maybe slightly? I had also the sensation that I was torn apart between ditch it all and keep it all. I am trying to find an equilibrium by using instagram and keep things very simple. Yoga and cooking nothing else. I removed all notifications and I went back to my hold habits everything scream off from 7pm. So yes I totally understand and fell exactly what you describe in your article.

    1. I know what you mean by the hooked feeling. 😀 the ditch it all and keep it all struggle can pursue but
      like you said just committing to your specific focus makes it a lot more manageable. Good idea switching off all screens after 7pm.
      I definitely make sure to wind down without any online stuff interrupting my brain before heading to sleep. Sometimes being online can be very exciting such as the new followers and connections we make as each day goes by. Thank you so much for reading my post and for commenting. Really means a lot! Thank you! Have a great week further!

  5. I just did the same thing recently and it was amazing! I found myself opening the app as an instinct whenever I was bored, and I didn’t like that. Now that I have re-downloaded it, I found that I can use to post my own information if I want, but I’m not tempted to spend time scrolling through my news feed. I think it’s a great idea for us to train ourselves to live more in the moment and actually be present to fully enjoy whatever it is that we’re doing. Now with Instagram becoming more like Snapchat where stories can be posted, everyone gets in a groove of documenting every minute of their lives!

    Thanks for posting, glad I visited the blog 🙂

    1. Your comment is very much appreciated! I agree that the stories definitely have changed the dynamic. I didn’t use it at the beginning, but over time is became easier to use once I did my first story. I never ever got in Snapchat. I like Instagram’s interface and having to log onto to so many different platforms nowadays makes it even crazier. I feel Insta is a good all-rounder, if you know what I mean. I’m so glad this post resonated with you and thank you for visiting my blog. 🙂

  6. WOW!!! I first and foremost wanted to thank you for the likes you gave my blog. 😉 I then, of course, wanted to dive deep into the words you provided. Thank you! Again, wow. Reading this was exactly what I needed in every way, shape, and form. It reminds me of the truth within, and for that, I thank you, dear brother. A beautiful reminder that we are all walking each other home.

    1. “Walking each other home.” – Thank you for taking the time to read it Ashlee! I look forward to more of your posts in the future. Have a great weekend!

  7. I waste so much time online. Sometimes I will think about it. And I realize how I’ve just toggled back and forth from Facebook to Instagram to Email just over and over and I’ve accomplished nothing…. In the meanwhile, life is fleeting… My kids are growing up. I’m wasting time. I think I have a bit of an addictive personality. I need to do a detox.

    1. The toggling is the worst. I found myself doing that too many months ago. Eventually it’s so sub-conscious that we’re barely catching ourselves doing it.
      Thanks for reading the post and for your comment.

  8. I too recently (actually – before Christmas!) pulled back from Instagram. It’s the only social media I have plugged into, and though I tried to be moderate – it was insidious how it started to claim greater pieces of time. I started to resent it, and then just stopped for a while. What a relief! Now I still log on, but more occasionally. Your reflection is pertinent and timely! Thank you.

    1. Starts off as a small itch and can morph into a constant scratching. I’m glad you’ve found a balance and I believe our sense of attachment to it can be altered and the app can still be thoroughly enjoyed but without the need to constantly evaluate ourselves against everyone else. Thank you for your kind words, I really appreciate it!

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