I did not realize how much deleting Instagram impacted me till I started to write it all down. Oh boy, do I need to get off social media more often because I clearly have a problem. I do want to share some personal thoughts in full detail what I learned about myself through this process.
Disconnection was a social relief
I liked the idea of being off the grid. I didn’t have to be apologetic or guilty to people when I missed something. Because I simply did not know. (This part is a little difficult and kind of mean to explain.) I didn’t have to send half-hearted smiley faces because I truly did not know what was going on. I didn’t have to deal with the guilt of not responding appropriately to certain social media things such as those “subtle” cries for help or showing off (but really you just want to show that you have it all). I just didn’t have to deal with my inner guilt of not being there for people which I realized that I had always needed to do even though, at times, I simply don’t care. I know it is mean and not a big deal. But to me, letting go that inner guilt helped me. (I don’t think I am making sense here so I’ll move on to the next point.)
You didn’t know what’s up with me
The best part was that people didn’t know what I was doing. A negative part of posting my photos was the assumptions that came with it. I heard my fair share of criticism on why I was not employed but yet lived a seemingly awesome life with dinners out or hanging out with friends and family instead of earning my worth. By not posting, I was not giving people the power to criticize or judge me. A part of me took control of what others had over me without me knowing. I didn’t have to worry what to post or if I was going to be the subject of backbiting. Although I enjoyed putting out my photos because I work hard to take and edit them, it also became a way for people to make subtle rude comments at me. Honestly, I had brushed it off as people being annoying but after a while, it affected me. My way of expressing my creativity became a competition between this specific hater. I felt that my freedom of expression became a tool for this person to not only ridicule me but also copyright my creativity. (Yeah people insult me and then “copies” me.)
It was freeing in its own way. People can’t judge you if they don’t know anything about you. And only those who really care about you will find a way to keep in contact with you. This way, you know that there isn’t too much negativity out there.
Keeping it real
All these seem very insignificant. But it means a lot to me. I am at the stage of my life trying to figure out my identity. I just couldn’t deal with my “copyright” being infringed when I had worked hard to find some originality in the way I do things. But of course, nothing is truly original. Everyone is trying to do their own thing and be original in their own way. I really shouldn’t be bothered by people. Sometimes I just got to do what I do and the rest will somehow work out on its own. I enjoyed that disconnecting because I could surround myself with real people that I have in my life. The reality is they are the ones who really care who I am as a person than the person I try to be on social media. I learned to be more genuine in my human interactions and most importantly, with who I am. I had no more distractions in my life. I had to learn to deal with myself.
I never thought that this process of deleting Instagram would make such a difference in my life. It was definitely a self-liberation from something I didn’t know I need to liberate from. It was a break from the world that I needed to save my mental health.