It’s been exactly a month since I deactivated my Instagram account.
How do I feel? Do I miss it?
A: Like I escaped a cult.
A: Hell no.
I could make a neat little bullet point list of the reasons I left. Obvious ones, like it was making my mental health worse.
I could focus on ones you notice more as you spend time in certain ‘gram circles (Booksta was my choice of residence). The pressure to buy books as soon as they’re released.
And in any circle: politics, the knowledge you can and will be canceled should you dare go against whatever the current darling is.
It sounds incredibly strange now, standing outside it all. The average person would give you a sideways look and ask, “Who is that?” if you told them the handle of an IG influencer.
I am fine being average.
The first week, I’d pick up my phone before remembering I didn’t have anything to check. I supplemented the time browsing etsy. My brain had grown so accustomed to the mindless scrolling that it wanted something. I let it throw a fit. I let myself be bored.
I was learning to live without the instant dopamine hit.
Gradually, other things filled the time. I started playing a couple of relaxing games I could easily put down when needed. Podcasts and audiobooks were back in the weekly rotation. I began spending less, because there was no sense of FOMO.
I cross-stitched. Enjoyed the weather. Finished some books that were languishing on shelves. Called up friends to catch up. Went out to dinner and a museum and really SAW the surroundings.
The more I make my life something I love, the less appealing I find the plastic veneer of social media platforms.
Breaking free has, aside from meditation and losing weight, been the best, most loving thing I’ve done for myself.