Today I have a confession to make. Actually, this whole article contains more than only one revelation. Anyway, if you are following me on Instagram (@lyy.hng) for a longer time now, then you might have noticed that last year I didn’t have Instagram for almost a year. Back then, I received a lot of messages from you guys, where my Instagram account went. During that time I deactivated my account, which means that the profile is currently not available, but it still exists.
Why did I do that? Now, here comes my first confession. The truth is that even though I love having a super beautiful Instagram feed, because it reminds of a pretty online photo album, sometimes Instagram is driving me crazy. It is a bizarre feeling because sometimes I get sucked up into that perfect virtual world. When everything is going to my head, then I am facing so many problems and struggles such as FOMO, anxiety or just the feeling of not being good enough.
Therefore, I decided to take a social media detox. It was never intended to be a break for that long, but somehow it ended up being for almost a year. Thanks to that social media detox, I would say that I learnt a lot of myself and that I grew so much during that time.
So here are all the things I learnt from my 9 months social media detox!
1. TIME & PRODUCTIVITY
I have to admit that in the beginning, it was super dull without Instagram. It is so crazy, but social media has such a significant impact on our lives nowadays. Think about it. How often do you find yourself scrolling mindlessly through Instagram, to realise that you already did it for 30 minutes? So when I didn’t have my Instagram account, I was very bored in the beginning, but I got used to it after a while. Therefore, I had so much more time to do other stuff just like reading more books or having more time to improve my piano skills. Besides, you can’t imagine how much more productive you will get because there won’t be any distraction.
One of my biggest weaknesses is procrastination. (By the way, this was confession number two.) A problem I am facing all the time! So sometimes when I am sitting at my home office, and I seem to not being able to get my work done, it is because I am always checking social media quickly.
Summing up all those little short breaks, Instagram was such a real waste of time! Learning from it, nowadays I still keep an eye on my social media time and try to reduce it.
2. LIVING IN THE MOMENT
Luckily, I am not doing this anymore, but a few years ago, I used to film the annual firework festival in my hometown. I actually filmed everything. It doesn’t sound that bad, because, in my opinion, there is nothing terrible about capturing something to keep it as a memory. The only thing was that at some point, I realised that I only watched the firework through my phone display while it is actually happening in front of my eyes right now!
What I want to tell you is that sometimes I got caught up so much in creating a beautiful story and then totally forgot to enjoy what is actually happening right now and living in the moment.
While I was on my social media detox, I realised more so many little details. I have always been someone who appreciates small and kind gestures, but when you start to live in the moment, you will become more grateful and especially happier. Additionally, you will also get a deeper connection with your loved ones because you won’t be distracted. Therefore, you will be able to concentrate on that moment with your beloved ones fully.
I do admit that I still post a lot of stories on my Instagram, but the truth is that nowadays I am capturing a moment for the maximum of 15 seconds, then I save it to my camera roll and will post it later. Sometimes I am enjoying and living the moment so much that I even forget to capture anything. But it doesn’t matter anyway, because I still captured that special moment in my mind and especially in my heart.
3. COMPARING, FOMO, ANXIETY
This was probably the most important lesson. I learnt from my 9 months social media detox. I know it doesn’t seem like this and I also never talked about this before, but sometimes I definitely also do face problems such as FOMO, anxiety or comparing myself to others.
From those three problems, I would say comparing myself to others is the one, I experience the least. Obviously, I do also envy all those beautiful VS models and would love to look like that for example when I scroll through Instagram. But I am not that type of the person, who wants someone elses life. Simply because I am delighted about my journey, with all ups and downs. Of course, there are plenty of things I wish they would be different, but in the end, all those facts are making me who I am today.
Coming to FOMO (fear of missing out). This is something I faced more when I was younger. When you are in your teenage years, you continually struggle with the pressure of school, friends and popularity. In fact of this, I was more afraid of missing out something then nowadays. When you get older, life gets more complicated, and the list of things to do seems to be endless.
On the other hand, the hours of sleeping time unfortunately decreases. Therefore, at some point in life, you will be merely happy when you can stay at home. So nowadays when I see a funny story on Instagram, I am happy for my friends that they have so much fun. Haha, and when I wish I would be there too, then I just don’t watch that story for preventing myself from getting FOMO. Due to that, the fear of missing out something will fade from time to time.
Comparing yourself to others and FOMO are two of many other ways, which can lead to anxiety. Anxiety… now, this is genuinely my enemy. It is also probably my biggest problem because I am continually struggling with anxiety. I can’t even tell you how and why I am dealing with this problem, but social media doesn’t make it any easier.
Scrolling through social media is tempting when you see all those picture perfect lives. It is so easy to get blinded by it and even get sucked up by it. At this point, I want to remind you that Instagram is only a small part of someone else’s life! Please always remember that not everything is real on social media. Not even on my account, it is. Because as you just read above, I also do face FOMO, comparing situations and especially anxiety moments.
While I was on my social media detox, and to be honest with you, all these problems were one of the main reasons why I took this break, I wasn’t confronted with picture perfects lives and because I didn’t see anything of what other people are doing. Due to that, I could get my mind better at ease by focusing on myself. Which also leads me to my last lesson.
4. ME TIME
The new lifestyle everyone wants to achieve is being super busy, but being busy shouldn’t be as fancy as it sounds. The problem is that seeing all the perfect lifestyles on social media, we tend to want more. More materialistic things, more fancy vacations, and more success in everything we do in life. Wanting more means that you have to accomplish and perform more. While being trapped in that devil’s circle, we completely forget to take a break, to treat yourself and to have me-time. This is also the reason why so many people are suffering from burnout.
What I learnt from my social media detox is that, when I am focusing on myself, I can go within my speed. My mind gets at ease, and I do find more time to treat myself. Whether it is with Korean skincare or simply just relaxing and listening to music. Thanks to that, I have more energy and motivation to perform more and achieve my goals more manageable. Obviously, still in my speed.
Now back to the Instagram world, sometimes I just turn off my phone when I need a moment to remind myself that life is so much more than just about social media.
Hence, to everyone, if you are feeling exhausted or even sad because of the online world, just do a social media detox as well. Trust me, in the end, you won’t miss anything! Your family and friends will call or text you anyway if they have something important to tell. Therefore, go and have a lot of me-time and live in the moment! Life is too short to spend it all on Instagram and co.