Social Media: How Deleting My Instagram Made Me Happier

Today I would like to touch on social media and their impact on our day to day lives. Specifically, I will be talking about How Deleting My Instagram Made Me Happier.

I believe I mentioned in one of my previous posts -I think it was a Saturday Wellbeing Mornings one?- that I deleted my Instagram. I meant to write a post about the reasons why, but as you might already know I have been feeling a bit low the past few weeks.

Truth be told, I had been toying with the idea of deleting all my social media for a very long time. I never used to have any social media to begin with. When they first came into the picture and became popular, I chose to pass (in the disapproval of my then friends).

I only joined Facebook in 2009, but really started using it in 2013. Same with Insta, I created an account in 2015, but really started using it in 2016-17. And only recently did I really create an online presence on Pinterest, TikTok, Youtube etc.

Post Overview:

1. Brief history of Instagram
2. Two Instagram accounts?
3. Considering deleting my Instagram
4. The final straw
5. How it affected my life

Brief history of Instagram

For those of you who don’t know, here’s a brief history of Instagram. Photographer Kevin Systrom created the app in 2010.

Initially, it was an iOS exclusive app and offered innovative photo filters. When the app went live, more than 25,000 people downloaded it in the first 24 hours, crashing Instagram’s servers.

I didn’t have an iPhone back then, and therefore was jealously trying to find in the 2010 world wide web what this “Instagram” was; and why all the rich and popular kids, including Paris Hilton, were using it.

Later on, Systrom sold his company to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and stepped down from being CEO.

Paris on IG

Two Instagram accounts?

Let’s take it from the beginning; I actually had two Instagram accounts. The one I mentioned above, which I created in 2015, and was my personal account. It’s where I followed and was followed by friends, colleagues and men I met on dating apps. 🙈

The second account was my “professional” one. It was an account I created last summer for the sole purpose of promoting this blog.

Considering deleting my Instagram

So, what happened, was that I decided to temporarily disable my personal account and only use the professional one.

The people on my personal account were not people I was talking to every day, anyway, so I didn’t really feel I would miss out on anything.

Gradually, I noticed that I was spending a lot of time on Instagram without actually doing anything substantial.

Half the time, I was stalking other people, mostly celebrities, and comparing their lives to mine. This usually ended with me spiralling into episodes of depression and self-pity. 😒

The rest of the time, I was struggling to gain followers and likes. I would strive to take quality photos, edit them to a professional standard and choose Insta-algorithm-friendly captions and tags.

The original IG template

Did it help me gain a following? No. Did I enjoy it? Sometimes. Did I fall in the trap of wasting money in buying (bot) followers and likes and paying for Insta ads? Yes, unfortunately, I did.

This last part was when I started contemplating whether it was worth having and using an Instagram account.

Especially, after the last update, it was clear Instagram only cares for ads and aims to promote companies.

[Of course, being owned by Facebook has everything to do with Instagram stepping away from the original purpose of social networking and photo sharing.]

The final straw

In the spirit of full disclosure, I completely stopped using Instagram when I downloaded TikTok.

TikTok reminded me of what I used to like about social media. It has a sense of community, and they’ve created this amazing algorithm, which only shows you videos you will genuinely be interested in.

Slowly but steadily, I got tired of trying so hard to be part of Instagram and going no where. One day, I made the decision to temporarily disable my professional account.

I still cannot get myself to delete it, solely because of the effort and money I put into it. But, I did delete the app from my phone and tablet.

I kept my personal account, which I very occasionally sign in to. When I do, it’s via the old fashioned way of logging in through a browser.

How it affected my life

Honestly, I didn’t realise how much time I was wasting until I deleted the Instagram app. Suddenly, I was left with all this free time that I didn’t have before.

It felt like a de ja vú to my life before social media. I had to remind myself what I was doing in the mornings, before I started checking Instagram as soon as I opened my eyes. Or, what I used to do when I wanted to kill time waiting in a queue.

Frankly, it was the best thing I could have ever done for my mental health! 🌸 A few of the benefits of deleting my Instagram are as seen below:

  • I fell back in love with reading books (that’s what I used to do in all the scenarios above!).
  • I noticed that I feel more relaxed overall.
  • I don’t feel depressed anymore from comparing my life to other people’s lives.
  • I have more time to devote to this blog! ✌🏽
  • I started using my Flickr again, which is the OG site for photographers.

It’s worth noting that along with Instagram, I stopped using Facebook, too. But, that is a whole other post! 😅

Personally, I feel it’s a dying app. Which does make me a bit sad, considering the ground breaking filters it had when it first launched!

How do YOU feel about Instagram? Do you still use it? Let me know in the comments! ⬇

M. x

Further Reading

*Featured image by Hans Vivek.