I Was Living A Lie
Deleting Instagram was what it took for me to realise that I was living a lie …
Until that point, I thought it was normal to spend countless hours scrolling the newsfeed. That it was natural to look at social media and want to fix something about myself. At the time, I’d confused inspiration with comparison.
Leading up to this, I’d pondered deleting my account. However, I’d only get so far as deactivating it — usually restoring it within a week. Yet, one afternoon after realising I’d just spend the best part of four hours unconsciously scrolling, I thought to myself — why don’t I just delete this?
So I did, I permanently deleted my account. The moment I did this, I felt completely relieved, it was as if the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders. In the weeks following, my happiness was at an all-time high, and I found myself wondering why I hadn’t done it sooner.
Funnily enough, the following months were some of my life’s most ‘instagramable’ moments. I’d enjoy a year-long summer travelling between Australia, Europe and the United States. And although I took thousands of photos, without an account to upload them to, I kept my pictures to myself and enjoyed my life all the more.
With Instagram out of the picture, my time was spent reading, exercising, learning and writing. And more than ever before, I was interested in myself — I began consciously considering who I was, who I wanted to be, the types of thoughts that entered my mind, and how I felt on a daily basis.
Now, before we go on I’d like to clarify that Instagram, just like everything, has positives and negatives. For many creators such as influencers, celebrities, journalists, entrepreneurs, businesses etc. social media is a remarkable tool. Even as a follower, you have the ability to connect with, and be inspired by others.
However, this wasn’t the case for me. Instead, Instagram was a trigger that fed my limiting beliefs and encouraged me to compare myself to others. It distracted me from who I was, and the person I was trying to become. While online I projected an image of who I wanted to be, in reality, I was far from it.
In hindsight, it wasn’t necessarily about avoiding Instagram but about having the space to reconnect with myself. With that space, I had the time and opportunity to look within, to heal my insecurities and rebuild myself. Most importantly, I was able to transition from seeking external validation to prioritising self-love and acceptance.
For those considering a break from social media, I highly recommend it. You don’t have to be as extreme as me, instead, you could deactivate your account or ask a friend to change your password. However, if it’s not contributing to your personal or professional growth, strongly consider whether you really need it.
If you’re an influencer or someone whose business revolves around Instagram, I urge you to get creative. See if you can outsource or pre-plan posts to reduce your time spent on the app. Otherwise, set yourself specific times for when you’ll engage with it — you may even find yourself more creative for doing so.
At the end of the day, the surface of other people’s lives (including their online persona) is not a fair representation of what’s really going on for them. Meaning, don’t compare yourself to a person’s highlight reel. Instead, be so invested in yourself and your self-development that you and your reality are what’s most important.