I deleted Instagram…
From my phone.
My account is still active, but I will no longer spend hours on this platform scrolling, watching stories, and screwing around.
Why? Because it was ruining my relationship. Not because it was hard for me to see the beautiful pictures posted by my friends. Not because it shows nothing but the highlights from everybody’s life.
I deleted it because it was ruining my relationship.
Let me change that above sentence. I was ruining my relationship with my Instagram use.
Let me explain.
Everybody Has A Weakness
“If your head is wax don’t walk in the sun.”
I love that quote from Ben Franklin. No matter what you might think about yourself, you’re far from perfect. You have certain weaknesses to things. Maybe it’s alcohol. Maybe it’s women. Maybe it’s gambling. Maybe it’s something as “small” as playing video games.
The best thing to do when you have a weakness isn’t to destroy it —because that’s damn near impossible — it’s to move yourself away from it.
Ben said if your head is wax, then don’t walk in the sun. He didn’t say “get a head transplant.”
My weakness is Instagram. My weakness is looking. I am not afraid to admit that because I’m sure many men and women go through the same thing.
Well, I sort of am ashamed to admit it.
Instagram, I’ve found, is incredibly adept at giving you what you want. If you watch someone’s story one time, chances are you’ll see their story first when you open your app next time.
Imagine going to a place that gave you what you wanted all the time — even the stuff that’s bad for you. Imagine being an alcoholic, walking into a bar, and as soon as you sit down you’d see your favorite drink there on the table.
They know it’s your favorite. Their job is to keep you there so they make more money.
Sounds like some sort of a twisted hell, doesn’t it?
It is. Instagram, for me, was starting to become the same thing.
I was unknowingly looking at girls too much. I was following the wrong people. Then in my “Discover” panel it was giving me more beautiful people. I didn’t even realize it. I don’t care who you are or what kind of resolve you have — if you keep flirting with your weakness for hours every single day then you’re going to break.
Instagram was breaking me.
It was so freaking good at inundating me with bullshit. I didn’t even see my family much anymore and that’s who I want to see first on social media.
It’s Not Instagram’s Fault
I don’t really want to blame Instagram, though. It was magnifying a problem I already had. If I followed cooking accounts, it would’ve given me more cooking accounts. How could that be a bad thing?
It Was Affecting My Relationship
This is hard for me to talk about because my girlfriend may be reading this right now, but I have to write it in case it helps someone else.
My relationship was getting affected by my looking.
A lot of people say just because you’re on a diet doesn’t mean you can’t look at the dessert. What a terrible saying. It doesn’t matter who you are, if you’re on a diet and stare at dessert for hours every day, you’re going to give in at some point.
I started being more distant. I started to not do things I used to do. I started to compare and lose my gratefulness. My girlfriend is beautiful. I don’t really understand why I did any of that.
It was starting to effect her, too. She started to feel like she wasn’t good enough. That’s the worst part of it all, for me.
It reached a crescendo a few days ago, and I realized I needed to just delete the app once and for all. I realized what was happening in an instant. I needed to delete one of the biggest ways anybody can communicate with me. A marketing platform for my business.
I have over 20,000 followers there. It’s very useful for me to connect with my audience, and I daresay I spent so much time on it because all the social media gurus told me I needed to.
I didn’t care. It needed to go.
Someone asked me on LinkedIn why I deleted such a big marketing tool.
I told him because my mental health is more important than followers.
It Has Transformed My Relationship
Things have been great ever since I deleted that dumb little app. It’s as if I was under a trance or something and snapped out of it.
My girlfriend looks as beautiful to me as she’s always been. I feel different. I feel less weighed-down.
It was my fault, for sure.
I just wanted to talk about this because it’s probably doing the same thing to many other people without them knowing it.
And I don’t want to make excuses and blame Instagram. Let me get that clear. But at the same time, you can do a lot to minimize mistakes if you take your wax head out of the sun.
Social media is just giving us what we already want. It’s like a mirror to our desires. If we want to be a successful writer, we’ll probably follow successful writers.
We really have to be careful of who we follow. Please do.