If you’re going to go on one diet this year, let it be with Instagram.
Anne Hathaway shook the internet at the start of 2019 when she revealed in an interview with Town and Country that she uses social media “sparingly” – 15 minutes a day to be precise. Hathaway cited the restriction as a means of allowing her to focus on her intentions. And you know what? She’s onto something.
Instagram is a love-hate relationship. It can be a place of inspiration, a way to connect, and a space to chart memories. But too often – more than we care to admit – it can lead us into a deep dark mindless scroll wasting precious time away that could have otherwise been spent in the present. You know, conversing with your housemates, friends and family or taking in your environment – that kind of thing.
Despite its beneficial potential, Instagram is getting in the way of meaningful interactions and, statistically speaking, making us more depressed. Not to mention it’s becoming a bit of a scapegoat for dealing with things we’d rather put off (or avoid altogether), be it a work project, a creative endeavour, someone’s presence on the bus or simply being alone.
So if you’re looking to trim back on the app, consider these ideas below to use Instagram more mindfully:
Make the app less convenient to use:
Shift the app into a folder on your phone, turn off access to data, switch off notifications and/or just log out! You won’t realise how often you turn to social media until you’re required to a) find it, and b) punch in your password every time.
What’s your why?
Consider what makes you use Instagram. Is it social? Is it news? Is it fashion, beauty, interiors etc.? Try and restrict who you follow and what content you post to keep your use somewhat contained within the realms of that. Be more intentional with your participation and cut back on stalker-ish like behaviour as you tap through peoples stories. Be open to messaging and commenting for insiders tips on destinations, restaurants and fashion finds. If you love a lipstick shade, a wallpaper – just ask!
Find something better to do
Yes, it’s possible. Replace your Instagram habit with a new skill or hobby. Tune into podcasts, read a paperback, paint your nails, prepare a meal – or journal. Everything noteworthy in our lives doesn’t necessarily need to live online in a public arena. Treat yourself to a nice notebook and jot down moments, memories, ideas or even just to-do lists. Anything is more constructive than draining the battery on your phone peering into other peoples’ lives. Yours is the one that counts, so why not make it count? That’ll give you something to ‘gram about!