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Should I give up Instagram

It is day 64 of 2018. 

What it means to me that it has been almost three months since I woke up in my bed, thinking about what and where will I be this year. I was looking at my window with deep thoughts. Two lights across the street were faulty, while one was ready to follow. Today I was having such a good time with my boyfriend and my closest friends in Gothenburg. I tried to reflect what I have seen in the past 63 days and how just one thing changed my life.

The first day of 2018, I have made a promise to myself to at least try to start quitting lousy habit - in my case, it was Instagram. Many of you have asked me, why did I deactivate my account. Some of you even said you missed the whole Swedish Journey that I have shared. Some of you also wondered if something terrible happened to me, so I had to deactivate my account.

I was very active before. I shared everything, for the sake of starting a conversation with friends, or just for the convenience of "backup"-ing my pictures online where I can have a 3x3 cool gallery. Being an INFJ, I guess it has always been my dilemma whether to share things with the world or keep it to myself. The same difficulty is happening as I am typing this blog. However, I think I have the need to let things out of my mind now in written form.

Okay, back to Instagram thingy. I wouldn't say I am a famous Instagram user (compared to Indonesians - I am just one among 53 million other users), but I had a decent number of followers (not something to brag about, though). I am just saying that my activities were much related to this social media back then. 

There are reasons - some of which are general, while some, I would say they are deeply personal. My general ideas were just that I want to focus on my studies even more, and just want to be more productive in work by managing one Instagram account for business only. Other reasons might cause you to judge my personality, but heck, I don't mind. I have been living in a life where I have wasted at least 2 hours every day of my conscious hours scrolling down a feed full of people travelling, reviewing new makeup trends, people showing off their new luxury stuff, uploading their #ootd, etc. The habit usually was continued by adoring them for a brief second then overthinking about my own life and where I am now. But maybe that's human. At least that is what Ted said.

When your friends have great news, you're happy for them for like a millisecond, and then you start thinking about yourself - Ted Mosby, How I Met Your Mother

Not so seldom have I compared my life with theirs, which I am aware is unhealthy. Since I have decided to just use one account for business, I could only follow specific other institutions which gives information about business and studies. I don't see things that made me a much individualistic, envious person as I was before. As many people have said to criticize the existence of social media, it claims to reconnect people, but ironically it does the exact opposite. By the time I watched a campaign video saying that social media are turning into anti-social media, I couldn't agree more. 

So, what have I learned so far in this very 64th day of 2018 without my own personal Instagram? Here's a simple list.

  1. My whole morning ritual - including bathroom time (you know what it means) - decreases by 5-10 minutes.
  2. (which leads to) I skip breakfast less often.
  3. (which leads to) Healthier, more conscious life.
  4. I realise what matters the most and what doesn't in my life.
  5. Even though I have not reached my goals for this year, but I feel like I am achieving something each day for not losing to the temptation to know everyone's lives.
  6. I save more money (I shop less often, I care less about fashion trends than I used to).
  7. I see and enjoy more things with my own eyes, not through a camera.
  8. I feel free as if the social pressure was taken away from my shoulder.
  9. I don't get pressured by the social trends of people on their quarter lives (if you are an Indonesian, you know what I mean. The hype of going to the gym, posting "healthy" food, Valerie Thomas' new lipstick line, Andien and Kawa's BLW journey, etc. etc.). Not that they're wrong, they are good, for some people. They are great, but again, in my honest personal opinion, they don't give any significant impact in my life.
  10. I travel more peacefully, without the anxiety of having to post everything nor to answer comments and messages from Instagram story.
  11. I feel less envious and feel grateful instead.
  12. I - at least tried to - not judge and talk about things irresponsibly based on just pictures and hoaxes.
  13. (because) I read more than just looking at photos and videos (I mean - photographs and videos are great. But they are only one media among thousands of things you can learn from)
  14. (for example) I pay attention to song lyrics even more and learn the meaning even better.
  15. (another example) My daily bus and tram trip to school takes 17 - 30 minutes. Within those minutes, I can read approximately 3-5 pages on each travel time (I am not a very fast reader).
  16. (or when I am lazy to read) - I adore dogs I see on the way to school and back. I did not realise that there are so many dogs nearby Årbogatan before!
  17. (and on my laziest days) - I managed to finish around 200 levels on Candy Crush in the past weeks (again - not something to brag about but, oh well).
  18. Best of all, I focus more on my food when I eat - which makes my mealtime more enjoyable (while it is warm).

There are a lot more things that I have gained since I quit Instagram. This one is the most important. Today, the third light across the street has gone dead. Today, it is my 9504th day on earth. 9504 divided by 365 - yes, it was my 26th birthday a few days back. I decided not to publish it anywhere since 2016, on any social media. Yes, fewer people wished me for my birthday this year, but it didn't make me sad whatsoever. It mattered to me before - getting a birthday wish, getting a present, etc. This year, I feel like what matters is that those who remember and make an effort to remember. Some new friends or some friends who are not that close to me, they might not even know when is my birthday - which is, of course, super duper fine - but I feel so grateful that when they knew, they wished me with all their warm smiles and hugs. I believe that this moments matter. I can guarantee, if I didn't quit Instagram, I would be busy posting about my birthday and missed the whole feeling of being warm and cosy around people who care about me - or about friendship, or about family. I felt so happy when I got a call from my family back home. It was early morning in Indonesia while it was precisely midnight in Sweden. I felt thankful that my best friends from elementary school, high school, college, random friends, they remember. I felt glad to spend today to celebrate my birthday with a simple warm dinner with my boyfriend and friends in Sweden. 

There are things I have lost too, of course. Sometimes I missed the big news - someone got married, got engaged, someone just moved to another country, a lost dog in my hometown, etc. Worst of all, sometimes I missed exciting events announcements and job vacancies.

Bottom line is: I am not against any social media, I am just experimenting and finding out a better, wiser way to use them and use my time, too.

Another thing that I wanted to say is: Thank you, for those of you who make my life lively, with or without social media <3

But let me know what do you guys think? Should I stay off the radar, or should I be orbiting, or should I be super active again?




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