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On Ditching Instagram for the Summer

School is back in session, students are roaming around campus, and my summer disappeared faster than the pizza my grandma used to make her gigantic horde of a family.

I sat down to write out a blog post sharing my thoughts on ditching Instagram for the summer. It was going to be real and raw and… I realized it sounded pretty cranky. Then I realized, I WAS cranky about social media. And ok, fine. I am cranky about other things too. While those thoughts and feelings are real, I wanted to give myself a little time to reflect on my angst before finishing the piece.

Now, less cranky, I have a clearer picture of why this has been so good for me and what I might do in the future.

For starters, here are some things I have loved about ditching social media:

  • My ability to concentrate vastly improved

  • My hustle mentality disappeared

  • I stopped documenting things specifically to put them on social media

  • I stopped being bombarded with kitschy mommy instagram posts

  • I feel more connected to my friends and family and the things that are going on with them behind the screen

Really what I think I did was strip away something so non-essential to me, that I made room for what truly is essential. Family, nourishment of body, mind and soul, friends, sunshine and fresh air, damn good books, long hot baths.

My therapist and I have done several iterations of a values exercise, the ACT Matrix to be specific. You examine what’s important to you, what draws you towards and away from those things, and what the underlying emotions or needs might be for those things. Entering my 30’s, I promised this would be the decade of truly taking care of myself. Might seem counterintuitive with a toddler, but I hope to lay the foundation of what it looks like to care for yourself in a way that allows you to better show up for other.

Social media really doesn’t bring me towards any of my goals. This definitely led to feeling cranky and resentful. I didn’t like the way social media was making me feel or the way it pressured me to feel like I had to prioritize things I didn’t care too much about. This break made me realize that my use is my choice. Yes, it’s a horribly addictive thing designed to suck us in, but I feel confident in my ability to navigate it in a way that feels great to me.

Here’s where I have landed on my use:

  • I did a MAJOR clean up of who I follow, lots of profiles were excused

  • I am limiting my use to 15 minutes a day

  • With my yoga work, my goal is to be very intentional about what I post, which I think will help me meet my time constraints

  • I will continue to ditch the 'gram for certain periods of time, especially around the holidays and other key life events

  • I am focusing on filling my time with things I enjoy. Instead of scrolling, hop in the tub or grab a book

Of the utmost importance, I am giving myself lots of grace along the way.

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