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- Without Instagram and Facebook on your phone, it can be less of a challenge to get into a positive mindset and do positive things.
- It’s important to remember that the majority of the images on Instagram took a lot of time and effort to look the way they do (and that they’re not always an accurate depiction of who that person is). It’s easy to be hard on yourself when you’re constantly scrolling through beautiful images on Instagram.
- Instagram is not bad and it's not bad to work on your personal brand but if the app is having more influence on you than you're having an influence on others -- that can be a problem.
What happens when you delete Facebook and Instagram?
I started this challenge on Wednesday when I saw a post about it on Josh’s Facebook. I was inspired to join the challenge because I think it’s a cool idea that I can benefit from. I deleted Instagram and the Facebook app. Once I deleted social media, I got on with my life, work, business, and relationships. I found myself trying to do my best every single day and giving everything 100%.
What resonated with me was that there were no preconceived notions. Josh’s social media challenge wasn't trying to prove a point that we're all scroll-bots; he wasn’t mean or judgmental. The challenge was presented as an experiment to explore what we do through contrary action because of the free time that we're giving ourselves when we stop checking social media. I'm a bit of a reader and meditator. I like to go to the gym. I like to do positive things with my time. During the week, without Instagram and Facebook on my phone, I noticed less of a challenge to get into a positive mindset and do positive things.
My biggest takeaway from the social media challenge was that I was much more positive at work. I work in an office space and I'm there from about 8:30 AM to 7:00 PM everyday. When I want to get a little break from the action, I bring out my phone and Instagram is my drug of choice. That's where I start to scroll. When scrolling through Instagram, you're going to see awesome meals, amazing locations, people on vacation, people who don't have a job like you. It’s easy to get into the mindset of "It's not fair; that's not cool that they get to do that and I have to do this." I enjoyed not having to fight off those harbored resentments and unfair challenges that I would give myself throughout the day. Without constantly checking social media, it was much easier for me to be present and do my job as best as I can.
How did you make yourself busy without Instagram and Facebook?
I got more involved with the books I was reading, the podcasts I was listening to, and my sleep schedule improved. Some people do morning and night social media scrolling sessions but I didn't do any of that. I still had Twitter and a couple of other apps on my phone but they didn't take place of the Instagram experience. I felt like I was more present throughout my week. I felt that I enjoyed the company around me more and that I didn't have to fight off being bitter because I was working and someone was doing something amazing on Instagram. I was doing my thing and my thing was enough.
What are some of the negative effects of the “Instagram Comparison Game?”
On Instagram, we have the ability to try and create the perfect personal brand through a filter. It’s so easy to adjust photos to make them perfect and then post them to Instagram.
Instagram is the place to post our picture-perfect moments, with the best captions, and the best hashtags which isn’t inherently a bad thing. However, sometimes the unintended consequence of Instagram is that we begin to compare ourselves to others. It’s important to remember that the majority of the images we see on Instagram took a lot of time and effort to look the way they do (and that they’re not always an accurate depiction of who that person is). It’s easy to be hard on yourself when you’re constantly scrolling through beautiful images on Instagram.
How can students avoid comparing themselves to others on Instagram?
Take a break from social media. It’s important to have intention when taking a break from social media. Your intention should be to take control of how you engage with social media, how you use it, and when you use it. It’s also important to remind yourself that you don’t need to accept the status quo. With social media in your pocket, it’s can be so easy to check your phone at a stoplight or when you’re taking a break from work. It’s not uncommon to see people checking their phones when they’re in the middle of a conversation and I’m guilty of it too. This social media challenge helped me figure out what my life looks like without constantly having to check my phone.
Instagram is not bad and it's not bad to work on your personal brand but if the app is having more influence on you than you're having an influence on others -- that can be a problem. I want to get back to a place where I'm in control.
Now when I go on social media, it's because I want to be excited for the people that I've chosen to follow. Instagram makes it easier to connect with my friends and stay updated on what everybody is doing.
I’m grateful to Instagram for the challenge of trying to figure out how I can operate in the digital world, have control, and know when to use social media in a positive way. The only way I was able to figure that out was to take a social media break.
What advice would you give to others who are thinking about taking a break from social media?
Do it if you want to. If you feel that this could be an interesting experience for you, there might be something to learn, or if you feel that the “Instagram Comparison Game” is having a negative impact on your life then think about it. If you are willing to take a social media break and you're interested, do it. Take the leap and delete social media for a couple of days, see what happens. You don't have to make a commitment to yourself. If deleting social media is overwhelming to you, start small with a couple of days. The world will keep going without you checking social media.
To anyone who listens to this, challenge yourself a little bit. Do something. Take a day off. Try to have a conversation with someone. Figure out a time in your life where you can start leaving your phone behind.