Monday, 4 May 2020

8 Things I Learnt From Deactivating Instagram For a Month

1. Honestly, no one cares what I had for breakfast. The amount of cold scrambled eggs I have eaten because I've been faffing about taking an Instagram story literally pains me to think of now. Live in the moment! Pop the yolk without a slow-mo vid! Enjoy a hot coffee instead of a lukewarm one!

2. Contrary to the army of people who moan about anything and everything, I really do like seeing people sharing their workouts! Ok, maybe not the full 1hr circuit on a time-lapse (snore), but seeing people share their Strava map of their last bike ride, a new 5km PB or even just a morning yoga stretch really makes me want to get up off my ass and do the same. I find it to be such good motivation, so I did have a couple more 'cba' days that usual.

3. I've been enjoying my own company so much more. I haven't felt the guilt of 'omg everyone must think my life is so boring because I haven't posted on Stories for 3 days!' (in which case I'll force myself to either dig out an old story and pretend that's what I'm doing now, or throw on one of my Nip+Fab bubble sheet masks and upload a photo alongside the Halloween theme song to try and scrape together a few lols from my followers.) Wow, I didn't realise that actually writing this down sounds even more tragic that it was to actually do, but it does! It felt nice to actually do nothing and just enjoy doing nothing.

4. Anyone I have spoken to in the last month is going to absolutely sick to the back teeth of me banging on about the Calm app, but it really has changed my life! If you live under a stone and don't know about it, it's a mindfulness app that has meditation guides to help with anger, anxiety, stress, self-esteem and happiness. I listen to 'daily calm' as soon as I wake up to focus my intention, then 'daily happiness' before bed to practice gratitude. I've had a really, really tough time in my personal life recently, and they have made such a difference to my general mood. I'm starting to believe everything happens for a reason, and what is meant to be will always find a way, so I'm trusting the process. It definitely beats aimlessly scrolling my timeline before bed!

5. I wrote a whole post about how much I hate the phrase 'a private life is a happy life' because of how much I love being an over-sharer online, but my recent absence from Instagram has made me totally rethink this. As much as I loved sharing my boyfriend on my Instagram because he was such a big part of my life and I spent almost every second with him, I am going to be keeping my next relationship totally under wraps. I don't need to look for validation from strangers on the internet with regards to who I'm spending my time with. I've spent the last month reflecting on so much about myself, especially with regards to my love life. My partner, my family, my friends ALL deserve to have my full attention 100% of the time, not 75% on them and 25% on my phone, because life is about being present! Why would you go out to dinner with someone if you're both gonna sit in silence scrolling on your phones? It sounds ridiculous to type but just look around next time you go out for dinner at how many people are doing it (albeit in September), it's actually quite sad.

6. I feel like I've become so much closer to my friends! I'm not ashamed to say that I spent a LOT of time scrolling Instagram. It was the first thing I did when I woke up, I would browse my feed the whole way into work, while I was waiting for my dinner to cook, the kettle to boil, you get the gist. Because I saw so much of my friends on IG stories or on my feed, I felt like I knew what was going on in their lives and that was enough, but it wasn't- it was through social media. Now I've taken that away, I'm picking up the phone more and actually asking about their weekend instead of just feeling like I knew they had fun cos I saw the Story uploads of their family BBQ, and I've really missed proper belly laughing together about funny things instead of just tagging each other in memes and replying by just 'liking' their comment. 

7. My God I have saved a LOT of money! I've not been bombarded with targeted ads, brand collabs, paid sponsorships or my favourite fashion bloggers doing their 3rd ASOS haul of the week and forcing me to click through and buy my 7th pair of chunky white Nike's because this pair have a little bit of suede of the side and will look better with that denim Weekday dress. My bank account is thriving!

8. I've realised how shit I am at letting things go. I can't even bring myself to delete random screenshots from 2018, never mind photos that actually have a memory attached to them. When I reactivated my account last week, I was scrolling through the content I've posted over the last year, thinking I should probably have a little clearout but I just couldn't bring myself to. Every single photo brings back such a vivid memory of how happy I was at the exact moment in time, so I thought why should I get rid? I guess that's one of the good things about Instagram, it's like my little online scrap book which lets me hold onto them for as long as I want to, and I love that.

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