😱 A year without Instagram
January 14, 2024 • 2 min read
At the end of 2023, I struggled to complete the reading challenge I signed up for on Goodreads. It’s not that I dislike reading; it was more about not making enough time for it. Realizing I spent a significant amount of time on my phone, especially on social media sites/apps like Instagram, made me want to try a little experiment. I decided to delete almost all social media apps for a few weeks, removing Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter while keeping YouTube, Discord, and Slack.
During the initial weeks, a fun thing happened —I would grab my phone, unlock it, and instinctively head to where I had Instagram. Unable to find it, I would lock the phone. Though I didn’t immediately start reading more, I became more aware of my addiction, or perhaps, my tendency to avoid boredom or sitting still. Over time, Instagram was replaced by other apps, with a frequent check on Discord or Slack, as I am part of vibrant communities and I didn’t want to miss out.
Additionally, I allowed myself to log in through the browser on LinkedIn and Twitter, convincing myself it was necessary for professional networking. Admitting that this was a form of cheating, I plan in the future to remove these apps as well. Update: As of today, I have signed out of Twitter and LinkedIn.
Removing Instagram revealed that one habit or addiction can be easily replaced with another to stay busy and distracted. The ability to log in only on Instagram from the desktop presented both advantages and challenges. Businesses often post updates as stories or posts, and without being logged in, there are limitations, particularly with stories. Checking a restaurant’s daily menu or opening times required using my computer or finding out while going to the specific place. Initially, I felt that by not seeing what people were posting I was missing out, but with time, I realized it didn’t matter as much.
Fast forward to 2024, and I exceeded my initial reading goal by 12 more books in 2023 🥳. Was this solely because I deleted Instagram? Definitely not, but it played a significant role.
For those grappling with time management, I recommend the book “Make Time” by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky which I found insightful at the beginning of 2023. I enjoyed the way it was written and the fact that it didn’t feel like a book that tells you what you need to do.
The authors introduce compelling concepts like “Infinity Pools” and “Busy Bandwagons” shedding light on time-consuming habits.
- "Infinity Pools" likely refer to activities or distractions that seem endless, capturing our attention for prolonged periods. For me, these were/are Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
- On the other hand, “Busy Bandwagons” may represent busyness without meaningful consideration, contributing to the consumption of valuable time. For me, in this category, I would add Slack and Discord and maybe Email too: being constantly active in the communities I’m part of, trying to read all newsletter I’ve signed up for, etc..
Let’s see what 2024 will bring! 🍀