Lifestyle

Why I Deleted Instagram

Millenial culture has led us to become a generation of overworked and overstressed people. I don’t know about you, but I constantly feel like I’m not doing enough or creating to the best of my artistic ability. Endlessly scrolling in a sea of perfect feeds and unrealistic #bodygoals for hours on a daily basis has done nothing but mentally drain me.

I’m tired of spending hours attempting to plan my feed, edit a picture, and come up with the perfect caption.

I’m tired of trying to have a theme.

I‘m tired of having to engage with others for 30 minutes before and after posting my picture on Instagram at exactly the “right time”, whenever that is. Oh, and don’t forget the hashtags.

As if that wasn’t exhausting enough, after all this work, I have to make sure my post gets enough engagement within the first 10 minutes so that the algorithm will push it out to more of my followers. Spoiler alert: the algorithm sucks. WHY AM I DOING THIS?

Lately, I keep asking myself that question more and more on a daily basis. The answer? I’m addicted to Instagram and feel like I need to actively post for the sake of building my brand. Honestly, if I wasn’t a content creator, I would’ve deleted my account a long time ago.

Using Instagram for business removes the fun out of the app. I simply want to create without the pressure of being perfect or getting a certain amount of likes.

Unfollowing Accounts

After deciding I was going to delete Instagram, the first step I took was cleaning up my feed. I unfollowed around 300 profiles, which included:

  • inactive accounts
  • people I no longer talk to
  • influencers who edit their bodies to unnatural proportions
  • clickbait beauty video accounts
  • random people I don’t know why I followed
  • a girl who ended up becoming a stripper

Yes, you read that right. It felt so good and already removed some weight off my shoulders. Speaking of pressure…

Instagram Engagement Pods

Last year, I joined an Instagram engagement pod after seeing several girls post about it on a private Facebook beauty group. “One spot open in my engagement group!” “Started a new like and comment pod! Adding the first ten people to drop their handles on this post!”

Fear of missing out led me to monitor the group for a pod that appeared to have the best mix of influencers in it, which to me was a range of people who had anywhere from less than 1,000 followers to over 100,000 followers. One group led to another and next thing I know, I’m in too many pods to handle and glued to my phone. The groups were filled with drama and girls tattling to me about how “so and so didn’t like my post or blocked me.”

Hello, we’re all adults here. I’m not your mom, therapist, or counselor. Resolve your own issues. It was one of the worst and most stressful times in my journey as a content creator. I left all the Instagram pods last summer and will never join one again.

Focusing on Mental Health

As creatives, we need time to reset sometimes. It’s okay to take a break. Taking care of your mental health is so much more important than making sure you’re staying active on Instagram, or any social media platform for that matter.

The second you cut out toxic people and environments from your life, the better you will begin to feel. You are the product of the people you surround yourself with both in person and online. Keep your social circle positive. Ask yourself, is this person…

  • helping me grow?
  • a positive addition to my life?
  • making me a better person?

If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” cut them out. These questions apply to social media apps, as well. Know your worth and love yourself enough to walk away from any situation that no longer benefits you. For me, it’s time to delete Instagram.

Will i come back to instagram?

Yeah, probably. When? I have no clue. I’m taking a break for as long as I need to feel rebalanced and happy. In the meantime, I will be focusing more on creating content for my YouTube channel and maintaining my Tuesday/Thursday 12:00 PM PST upload schedule. Additionally, I plan on blogging more consistently, as I genuinely enjoy writing. Posting regularly is a goal I’ve had and neglected since starting my blog because I put too much of my time and energy into Instagram.

Don’t get me wrong, I love photography, filming, and editing, but Instagram is no longer a platform where I feel happy sharing my work. I want to foster a positive community and engage with my audience on discussion based platforms, like YouTube and my blog, because I love connecting with others on a more personal level than a like on Instagram. While there are several people I truly enjoy communicating with through Instagram and will miss, removing myself is the best decision for my sanity.

Do you think Instagram is toxic? Would you ever delete the app? Let me know in the comments!

18 Comments

    • Queen Shirin

      So true! Instagram is basically smoke and mirrors. One of the most eye-opening moments for me was when I discovered that several influencers were renting clothes and accessories for pictures.

      xo Shirin

  • Jessica

    Love this! I’m just starting to get a feel for how I want to share my message and content and there is so much out there I don’t want to associate my family friendly image with – this is a great reminder that we don’t need to "do it all" when it comes to social media and that cleaning up your social media goes a long way (especially when it comes to time and avoiding the rabbit hole).

    • Queen Shirin

      Thanks, Jessica! Exactly! I always thought I could do it all, but if anything it just burnt me out. I’ve realized that focusing is key as opposed to spreading myself thin. Wishing you all the best on finding a platform that works well for sharing your message and content!

      xo Shirin

  • Allie Cahanin

    I’m totally on board with this! I’ve been taking a break from Instagram and it feels great. What’s the point when everyone plays the follow/unfollow game right?!

  • Emily

    I’m 100% on board with deleting Instagram too and can completely relate with everything you said! It’s so time consuming and most of the time filled with drama that it’s not even worth it anymore. Thanks for sharing! This is a really fantastic post and sums up exactly how I’ve been feeling for a while now!

  • Marina Bobyleva

    That’s true! I definitely spend a lot of time trying to engage with my audience and posting on Instagram. There is just a lot to keep up with. Maybe that’s why using schedulers will help.

    • Queen Shirin

      Yup! Staying active on Instagram is a lot of work. Schedulers can help and I love using them for my YouTube videos. Content calendars are also a must for staying organized!

      xo Shirin

  • Nicole Stone

    There is a lot of truth to this! I use to LOVE Instagram, but lately I’ve been getting anxiety from it! I start comparing my engagement and page to other people’s… which leads to frusteration, deleting posts, and unnecessary anxiety.

    That’s why I was happy you posted this. It CAN be toxic. I think the key is to remember its only one platform, and like with anything, don’t compare to other people!

    • Queen Shirin

      Same! I used to delete and reupload my Instagram videos in hopes that they’d get more views and likes. It got to a point where all the numbers and simply being on the app gave me anxiety, just like you. I totally agree with you. We also have to remind ourselves that these “perfect lives” we see on Instagram are fake and not real life. You are perfect just the way you are!

      xo Shirin

  • Lizz

    I have been in such a rut with Instagram. There would be times when I wouldn’t post for weeks. But I am slowly starting to like it again.

  • Emma

    This is so true! I find myself often consumed with social media. And, it only affects my mental health negatively! What a good read!

  • Heather - The Cheapskate Girl

    You just nailed it with this post! I agree 100% with everything you said, and YES Instagram is TOXIC! But I can’t resist! It is a serious addiction and sometimes I also feel like deleting it. One day maybe I will. For now, I need to focus more on my blog and if I can’t do it because Instagram keep sucking me in, I might have to slow down on the old IG.

  • AmberLynn

    I have over 1000 followers on Instagram, and I only follow 300 people. Of the 300, 20 are fellow bloggers, 30 are celebrities, and the rest are people that I actually know. From the beginning, I’ve been picky about who I’ll follow, and I am quick to unfollow someone. I won’t join pods, and I’m not going out of my way to schedule posts. While I thought about investing a lot of time into Instagram, there’s no point to me. The payoff is a huge headache and frustration, so I completely get it. I only use Instagram for personal use, and it feels good.

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