I’m not using Instagram right now, and guess what, I’m feeling great. After one last picture of me in the beach that I uploaded this Christmas in Fuengirola, nothing more has been published in more than one month. Ok, not even two months yet, it’s not too much time, but talking about a millennial that used Instagram the most out of all social networks, it’s a lot.
I had this “deleting all my social apps” idea since a long time ago, but only managed to accomplish it this past month. I deleted Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even youtube from my mobile phone. I downloaded them again a couple times to do some shit, like in Instagram, to upload some random story. In one story I did, I made the promise of not uploading a pic again until I have big muscles on me. This is related to the fact that I actually started going to the gym (I talk about that on my previous post). Will I achieve the goal? Maybe not because I will never be a muscle guy, but if I keep my gym routine, I’m planning to not upload a pic until this summer.
So, right now I have my Twitter app back, only because I cleaned the following list and now I strictly use it to actually inform myself of the current state of the world. I’ve also been doing something I’ve done way too many times now, deleting all my tweets. It’s a routine by now, I don’t know why I’m more comfortable with the idea of my youtube videos and blog posts staying forever on the internet than with my tweets existing forever. Maybe because tweets are mostly about opinions, and opinions are something I’m very unclear about right now. I guess like everybody, I have a mind constantly changing and I think we have the right to evolve, to change our thoughts about something every time we want to, but this is something that goes a bit against the current nature of the platform, transformed into a storm of fast and radical political discourses about everything. I’m only 20 and most of my opinions are being built up now. I also decided to make English my main language on Twitter too. I think Twitter is actually a good app when you use it healthy and for more than re-twitting memes (although this is a good usage too) and reading long threads of people digitally screaming at each other.
With Instagram, what I did was also cleaning my following list, and actually blocking hundreds of bots I had as followers, not because I am a followers buyer or any of that shit, but because one of my crazy friends had an app to get free followers and he used it with my account sometimes just for the joke (it wasn’t funny for me).
I also re-installed the YouTube app, but again, because I’m better now at controlling the time I use with every app. So, after this long time without social networks and, mostly, without Instagram, what are the differences or benefits?
~ BENEFITS OF LEAVING INSTAGRAM ~
1. Less time of phone usage.
I don’t know if you know about this new iPhone feature that allows you to see statistics of your device usage habits. But not much time after I deleted my social apps, a notification popped out telling me that my screen time had decreased quite a lot. That’s a good thing, having your eyes focused on something other than a small machine with light bad for your eyes is, I believe, better. Don’t really know how bad it actually gets to be, but I already have myopia so, the less time with my look concentrated in a phone the better.
2. Better human relations.
This is by far the best one. I actually realized that, since I am not looking at my phone, I am more self-conscious when I am hanging with friends or classmates. I am actually aware of what they are saying and more natural conversations can come up. It’s not about being more social or creating more relations, it’s about enjoying more the relations you already have. Maybe you are already tired of this now popular and edgy mindfulness trend but, when it comes to friends and family, it’s actually good to spend the time you are with them, with them.
3. Traditional memories saving… memory!
It’s soooo cool when you don’t have to be in an alert state in case something story-worthy happens and you have to grab your phone quickly to record it. You actually live the moment and fucking enjoy it, because let’s be humble, do people really have that much interest in what you have to post? Well maybe you are super popular and the answer is yes, but at least for me, I don’t think it’s worthy to private myself from enjoying the moment at 100% just to record it and gently sharing it with other people that maybe, won’t see as much value in the story you recorded as you do. In my case, being an occasional traveler in Denmark, I think to be in front of a beautiful landscape worths your full attention.
And with this I’m not saying you shouldn’t take pictures or videos at all, the thing is that the process of taking those pics or vids changes, at least in my opinion, if you capture it with your phone camera in the first place instead of with the Instagram app. It is different when the only intention is saving it into your phone memory instead of instantly uploading the content. You won’t be as focused on making the moment look as beautiful as it can be, and probably altering it so that it can get as many likes as possible. You can instead record just what you see, that will be probably what you will want to remember in the future. (I hope you understand what I’m saying) Is it ok to alter reality in a way our digital memories of events look prettier? How can we do that? Maybe by the poses of people in the picture? (An unnatural pose that we were not performing in the whole night but only used it for the picture as if it was our natural mood) (A different hairstyle, a joint in our mouth as if we actually liked smoking?)
4. Focus on you!
IG feed gives you a lot of information (most of the time fake or inaccurate) about other people’s lives. When you are not using it the whole time, you can actually center on your own problems and also the good points of your life, and not envying the happy couple in a honeymoon with Valencia filter or the friends partying that apparently had a great time without you. We also grow a lot of conspiracy theories in our minds regards what other people think of us, and it’s all nonsense.
I’m sure there are a lot more benefits of this behavior, but those were the most important for me. At the end it’s not about being radical and deleting everything, is about using your apps just the right time per day.
If you are interested in the side effects of social networks, I strongly recommend you the internet analysis of tiffanyferg.
Also, read this great article by Wired about a new DIY vision of the internet.