Instagram is one of the most popular and beloved social media platforms out there, and here I am telling you that you might be better of without it. Why should you even stop using Instagram, you might ask?
I asked myself the same question and decided that it’s time for us to part ways. It’s strange that this decision came two years after I decided to stop using Facebook and not sooner. It’s part of my social-detox and “regain my life” attitude that I’ve been through recently and I have to say that it feels pretty good.
I actually stopped using Instagram three weeks ago, deleting my personal account with no second thoughts. Now, three weeks later, I have no reasons to complaint.
Yes, it was difficult not to have Instagram to refresh every 20 minutes or so, but overall I can say that I feel better.
Why did I decide to stop using Instagram?
There is actually a multitude of factors that convinced me it’s time to say goodbye to Instagram (and all my other social media platforms). To put it short, I decided to quit Instagram because it was too time consuming (giving nothing of real value in return), it was stressful due to the fake/ideal life sharing you see there and because it didn’t help me grow as a person.
Let’s get a bit more in depth with each of these reasons below!
The most important reason to stop using Instagram is time. Lack of it, actually.
You don’t see it, you don’t really feel it, but you do end up spending a TON of time on social platforms like Instagram. Just install a time tracking app on your phone if you don’t have one already and you’ll be surprised to find out that you spend hours on Instagram.
Which might be OK if you’re an influencer and you have an audience to entertain and to care for. But most of us – including myself – are not. I used my personal Instagram account for nothing but… well… wasting time, it seems.
Even though I’m just a guy in my mid 30s, with relatively few followers – and following a similarly low number of people. But even so, I am still flooded with tons and tons of updates from my friends. I have to answer comments. I have to comment myself. Watch stories. Like photos. Communicate with people I sometimes barely know.
I can’t even imagine how much time the more active guys (and especially girls) would have to spend on Instagram – from producing content to responding to hundreds of comments and personal messages each day!
But even if you are just a lurker, you still end up spending a ton of time on the platform. Trust me – just install a time monitoring app on your device and you will be shocked.
I sure was when I found out that I clocked in 3 hours on the platform during an otherwise busy Wednesday. Now I know why I never seemed to have enough time to get things done!
2. It’s just a fake/idealized world that makes you feel bad
Instagram is definitely not the best place for those with a low self esteem or anxiety issues. Even if you don’t really have any of these problems, it can end up becoming pretty much depressing.
Everybody flaunts their lifestyle, their good looks, their amazing lives and perfect soulmates, their always-perfect houses and angel-like pets.
Everything is beautiful and perfect on Instagram. The ladies always look amazing. The guys do too.
And there I am, staring at the mirror and seeing puffy eyes, messy hair and a beard that needs some serious trimming. All while wearing my saggy (but truly comfortable) pajamas. My kid’s screaming next door. My dog peed on the carpet again. My wife forgot the dinner in the oven an it’s now burned out.
I am over-reacting a bit here (guess on which platform I learned this?) but you get the idea.
Life is never as perfect and beautiful as we see it on Instagram.
And even though I know that, even though I know how those drop-dead beautiful ladies actually look like in real life, even though I personally know that some of the perfect relationships seen on Instagram are on the verge of collapse, somehow seeing all that perfection, photo after photo after photo saddens me a lot.
Not because I see that other people are happy (I actually know that at least some are not!), but because my life doesn’t seem to be anywhere near the perfection of theirs.
On Instagram, everything is always perfect and amazing. You end up believing that it is true – even though you know it’s not. But it does get to you and it can be downright depressing.
So why do that to yourself?
3. It doesn’t help you grow as a person
In the end, us humans, should always look at ways to grow. To become better, brighter and eventually happier. In my case – and I guess that I’m not alone here – Instagram didn’t help at all in this area, on the contrary.
Yes, I do understand the entertainment value it provided. The curiosity that it satisfied. The smiles, the chats and the feeling of being connected, of being there and having friends, of being part of something.
But in reality, that doesn’t help you grow as a person. It’s not even relaxing after some time and it does consume valuable time that could be used to become more productive and make something better out of your life.
So why keep doing it?
Well, we usually keep on sticking to Instagram or other social media websites, simply because we’re used to it. BEcause all our friends are there. Because our fear of missing out.
But is any of that real? No, it’s not. You won’t lose a lot (if anything, actually) if you stop using Instagram. I would dare to say that you win more instead – more time, more sanity.
But in the three weeks since I have stopped using Instagram, I didn’t lose a single friend. I didn’t miss out on a massive opportunity and I have no regrets. I still meet with the same people as I always did. I still talk with the same people over the phone. I still message others and I am an active part of this world. Nothing has changed.
Except for the fact that I am now better rested and I seem to get more things done throughout the day. Plus, I no longer have second thoughts about how I live my life, about the quality of my life and I never have to worry that my puffy eyes after a night out with the guys will not get 100 likes in the first hour.
Is Instagram a total waste of time?
Definitely not. There are people who earn their living on Instagram. There are others who depend on it to live the life they’re currently living. For those, Instagram is definitely a godsend.
But most people are not in this category. We’re not the 1%, we’re the followers. We’re the fans living in our tiny bubbles where we believe that we are important.
And we are. We do matter to others!
But we don’t need Instagram to be reminded of that. We don’t need the confirmation and reconfirmation, the likes to boost our egos. It’s all fake, part of a fake world created by people who are too busy editing their photos to look good and paint a fake, ideal life… too busy to do that instead of actually making their life perfect.
YOLO and FOMO go hand in hand on Instagram, but most people fail to realize that real life – and the things that really matter – happen outside of the social platform. And fearing that you will miss out on this or that will actually see you miss out on opportunities to improve your real life, become a better person and ultimately be happier.
At least this is the conclusion I drew in these three weeks since I decided to delete my Instagram account and stop using it altogether.
What do you think though? Is Instagram the platform you should always be on or you tend to believe that it might be better if you stopped using it? I’m really curious to see what other people think about this.