Did you like that cringe-worthy Washington Post style clickbait title? Pretty enticing, right?
[UPDATE! I wrote this in March of 2019, but have since deleted my Instagram account altogether. So…read on if you’d like to understand the freedom I felt in merely deleting the app from my phone. I’m working on an article about quitting social media entirely and will update this page when it’s finished.]
Imagine a world in which you disengage from all the terrible stuff on social media, but you still participate in the wonderful, beautiful, content-generation side of social media [selfies].
Ahh… digital Shangri la.
I like contributing content for brand-building purposes. I want people to find me, my comedy, my writings, my cocktails, my recipes… But I don’t want spend hours mindlessly flipping through what Instagram thought was best for me. Which is exactly what I was doing. Every morning. Every night. In between sets at the gym. While other people were talking at me.
I could have unfollowed everyone. But that’s like an eight-cocktails-in decision. [For reference, willingly seeing a movie in a theater is a two-cocktail decision; making brunch plans is a three-cocktail decision, and choosing to get a tattoo is a twelve-cocktail decision.]
The next best thing was deleting Instagram.
Here’s what happened…
I started reading more.
Whenever I had a free nanosecond, I’d pop open my phone and open Instagram. I wasn’t actually doing anything in Instagram. I’d just mindlessly flip through pictures.
I only follow about a hundred people, so there’s not much new stuff happening every second. I told this once to a friend. She told me to follow more people. I told her to… Actually, what I told her is neither important nor g-rated.
So I deleted the app.
And then I needed something to fill The Void.
So I started reading more.
When I’m between sets in the gym, instead of Instagram I now read a few paragraphs.
The moment I wake up, instead of ‘gramming, I’m reading. You get the picture.
I still posted.
Did you know you can post to Instagram without being in Instagram? I use Planoly to schedule all my posts. It’s as easy as dragging and dropping images into the web app (or iPhone/Android app), adding a caption/tags/hashtags/etc, and then scheduling it.