I gave up Instagram earlier this year, figuring that I was caught up too much in it. There was just that urge to check it (multiple times!) every day, obsessing over my follower list (I wanted to keep my following/follower list 1:1), catching up on ALL the posts, seeing how many likes or comments I got, and feeling that I had to post regularly lest my followers thought I was living a boring life.
It was tiresome.
Triggered by the change from chronological to “recommended”/”popular” sorting, I gave it up. But then, I eventually realised that I did like the app for one thing — I liked the way it kept a visual record of my days. I loved scrolling through my feed, remembering happy and delicious moments that I’d forgotten about. I tried several apps that did something similar, but none of them had the ease of use of Instagram.
I decided to get back into it, but I changed approach to using the platform. I did the following:
Made it public. I felt like I was little too… overprotective of my account, wanting to control every single aspect of it — the quality of the photos, who saw what, etc. I decided to be a bit more easygoing about it, and voila.
Did a massive “Following” cull. Nothing personal, but I realised that whilst the content was interesting, there were just too many people I didn’t really have a connection with, anymore. So I applied the following algorithm, with some exceptions:
- If you’re family, stay. (Unless you’ve never posted a single thing.)
- If we live in the same city (aka Sydney), we should be making plans to see each other every now and then.
- If we don’t live in the same city, we make plans to see each other when we are.
- You’re massively interesting.
That brought my “Following” list to around a third of my previous count. I have to admit, I felt slightly guilty removing some people, especially those who I’d known for a long time or was close to a while back, but oh well.
I decided to only check Instagram when I post. I no longer check it everyday. I never had notifications turned on, even from before, so there was nothing telling me that someone had liked / commented / added me.
I no longer care if I’m caught up with everyone’s posts. I might do a quick scroll through my feed if I’m bored, but I’m usually just there to post my stuff.
There you go. I’m still figuring out this balance thing — sometimes I still do get caught up in mindlessly checking social media — but things have been a lot better. As for other platforms:
I still don’t check Facebook regularly. I’m a bit annoyed because now I can’t get e-mail alerts when I get invited to events. I guess that was Facebook’s way of getting me to log in more, but it’s had the opposite effect, hah!
Twitter, on the other hand — I’ve kinda gotten a bit addicted to people’s brainfarts. I really should stop checking it….