You know you’ve crossed the line when you make plans only so that your followers can see what you’re doing, or you choose an outfit that you’ve never worn before in an Instagram photo knowing that you will be taking pictures that day.
What started out as an agonizing month without Instagram, slowly turned into an even slower two months. I had just accomplished a feat that my peers had originally viewed as impossible, for I had disconnected myself from my social IV and rid myself of this addiction. Aside from knowing what everyone was for Halloween or seeing the same repetitive turkey photo, I really didn’t miss much. Believe it or not my life was not changed for the worse. I still went out and had fun. I still dressed to impress. I still ate delicious food. However, I was not always focused on taking pictures to impress others. I felt free and more natural. I did still take pictures, although they were for my pleasure. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned when living without Instagram.
Have you ever scrolled through your Instagram feed and seen nearly identical photos posted by six different people the morning after an Imagine Dragons concert? Better yet, aren’t you sick of seeing these same posts on Facebook and Twitter as well? I sure was. After signing out, I wasn’t bothered with seeing the same hashtag-abused selfies twice and three times across all social media channels.
Food tasted good hot
By the time I went through 18 tries to get the perfect shot of my pancakes, chose the most attractive filter, changed it three times, and chose relevant hashtags that very few people read, my breakfast would be cold and dissatisfying. While I still took pictures of my appetizing meals after I signed out of Instagram, I didn’t waste time going through the entire process of making it look good enough for my followers. I worried less about whether my ice-cream would look better with the Hudson filter or Amaro, and more about eating it before it melted.
Waiters were a lot nicer
When they aren’t bothered with a photo shoot, waiters can be quite friendly. There were a lot fewer eye rolls and fake impatient smiles when they were allowed to serve the food and leave without retaking the same picture twelve times.
Choosing an outfit was easy
When I didn’t have to worry about having last week’s skirt appear in a second picture that same month, putting outfits together didn’t take as long.
Making plans was actually fun
I realized there was more to going places than posting the pictures of the event online. Making plans felt less like a chore when I did them for my own pleasure, not for followers to see that I was busy and had a life.
One of the most worthwhile lessons that I took away from this experiment of mine is that it is not healthy to saturate your experiences with photos and Instagram, for you ultimately put a filter on your own life. Yes, memories live in the form of photos, however at times we must step back and enjoy the fresh scent of a Christmas tree or that song we will hear live only once from our favorite artist, otherwise that memory will not be pure. It will not live to its fullest potential. It will be just another image on some other person’s news feed.