Why I Deactivated Instagram
If you were first introduced to me through my Instagram, you would know that I’m no stranger to social media detoxes. I swear by them. As some of you may or may not have known, my Instagram account was deactivated for over 2 months. It’s the longest I’ve been off it and what a great relief it was during those months.
The original plan was to go on a social media detox for 1 week but 1 week turned into 2 weeks and 2 weeks became a month and… you get the picture. To be honest, I didn’t see my absence from Instagram as a big deal but friends of friends started asking those close to me what happened. Readers that I bump into ask me what happened to my account and even my good friend Aida Azlin receives (very touching) emails, comments and tweets every other day asking about me.
Here’s the truth…
Some people may truly enjoy social media, they find so much joy sharing their lives with the world, looking cute for the gram but I find it stressful at times. On days you feel great, sure, social media becomes great. But on days you’re going through something challenging and you just want to hide in a cave, social media becomes a burden and a source of self-doubt and negativity.
I’m just keeping it real for you guys. Social media is only a microscopic representation of people’s lives, the behind-the-scenes are often messy, unphotogenic and completely not Insta-worthy.
4 major things I struggle with social media:
Constantly being stimulated by what people are posting. #IntrovertProblems
Being affected by posts that upset, annoy or distress me (impossible to avoid unless I follow zero people).
Feeling pressured to consistently create good, positive content when I myself am struggling to remain positive.
Takes up a lot of TIME and MIND SPACE.
I didn’t know how much I needed to go on a social media break until I hit that deactivate button. In the time I’ve been off IG, I had the time and clarity of mind to really contemplate on my life, my current spiritual state and also the content I’ve been posting. Otherwise, I’d be endlessly scrolling my explore page, looking at people’s accounts and feeding my insecurities.
There were many more reasons as to why I needed time off social media and I’ll only scrape the surface on this post.
When should you be on a social media detox?
You should get off social media when…
You find yourself being anxious looking at other people’s posts
You’re overcritical with yourself
Looking at other people’s posts make you dissatisfied with your life
You’re always procrastinating
Your concentration is affected
Your free time is being taken up by social media
You’re not living in the moment
You don’t know how to appreciate life without having to capture it on your smartphone
At some point a few months ago, I went through all those things and I knew some things had to change beginning with my social media habits. It was affecting my anxiety levels and being on it felt so toxic. Unfortunately, that’s the downside of using any kind of social media as a platform to showcase your passions—when left unchecked, it can consume you.
This may not affect the average person because many people use it sparingly or for personal/private usage only. But for me, I’ve a platform that has attracted thousands of people. Don’t get me wrong, social media is a superb sharing platform: you get to bring communities together and share great content. But like everything, there’s always a downside. Always.
To anyone who wants to go off social media for a bit, whether it’s their IG or FB, just do it. If it’s bringing you down and you need time off to create better habits and to clear your mind, by all means please do it. Don’t compare how you’re doing with everyone else, focus on what YOU need to do for your wellbeing.