I have loved Instagram since Lottie was a baby. I only checked it out at first because I liked that I could put filters on my iPhone photos. I had no idea it was a social media thing until people started following me! Eventually I figured that part out a little bit but still thought it was more of a place to share photos, not so much a social thing. Eventually I figured that part out too, I’m a slow learner!
Fast-forward a few years – I loved Instagram, it seemed like such a nice way to keep up with friends, especially since we’ve had quite a few friends move out of state. I also liked sharing my pictures and, as I’m human, it made me feel good when people liked them. I also liked that my feed was kind of like a digital scrapbook of our lives which I could look back at any time.
But little by little I did start to notice that it was a huge distraction and took up a lot of my time. It started to feel like it was noise in my head, taking up too much space and thinking power when I had so much that I should be focusing on right at home. It’s not that I don’t love keeping up with my friends but I think there’s a better way to do that honestly. I think social media makes you think you are keeping in touch when in reality, you have no idea what’s going on in your friend’s lives, how they are really feeling, what problems they are really coping with. On Instagram you look at pretty pictures (which is part of the appeal!) of people going about their lives but it’s only the pieces they want to share. I do the same thing, I don’t want everything about my life posted online, mostly the happy stuff that also made a pretty picture! A quick phone call or text to a friend and you will most likely be able to find out how they are really doing! I actually had this happen twice, according to Instagram they were happy and everything was sunny. After texting with them I found out that they were facing some tough times.
But the most important reason is that Charlotte and Claire need all the time and attention I can possibly give them right now. And that’s no easy feat! So why crowd out my thoughts and take up precious time checking my feed wondering what others are up to when my whole world is right here in my living room begging me to play with them.
Tim teased me that I was a true addict if I couldn’t delete IG from my phone. It was so hard to do but I knew I wasn’t an addict, right? Right? So I did it! And then I felt so sad. I’d even find myself turning on my phone and starting to hit the IG app (which wasn’t there anymore) without even realizing what I was doing! Talk about addiction…Then slowly I started missing it less and enjoying time with my girls more. Instead of wishing Lottie would just entertain herself while Claire napped so that I could check IG, I started just enjoying hanging around with Lottie while Claire slept. I felt more peaceful and in the moment with her. It’s a wonderful feeling!
Sometimes I do miss seeing cute pictures of my friends’ kids or seeing what they are up to, but it’s just not worth the trade off to me. I’m not saying IG is evil. It’s just not for me at this moment in my life. I don’t want to end up regretting having my face in my screen half the day while my kids grow and they wish I was playing with them or listening to them. I also didn’t like the example I was setting for them. There’s no way I’d allow them that much time on social media in the future so I better start practicing what I will be preaching down the road!
Since quitting IG I’ve enjoyed taking more pictures with our Fujifilm camera which has been fun and good practice. While I do still take pictures with my iPhone, I decided, why not post those on our personal family blog instead. This way I can still have a digital journal so to speak (which goes back to when Lottie was born!) and incorporate all the photos we take. What I like better about a blog versus Instagram is that I can “overshare” and not have to worry I’m clogging up peoples’ feeds and people can come visit the blog when they feel like it and peruse only what they want to look at.
So, here I am, about two months off of Instagram and I don’t even miss it anymore, truly and honestly! I still get to share our pictures for family and friends but it’s on our blog instead, which I feel is more meaningful. I’ve kept in touch better with friends that have moved away and most importantly, I have more quality time with my children which is priceless and I know I’ll never regret!