1 Month Instagram Detox: Why and How Does It Feel

I can safely say that Instagram has been a source of my happiness in many ways for a long time. Even on the darkest days, I surprisingly found strength from the platform. I received much appreciation more than from any social media I've ever made. I gained my confidence to show my potentials, which were previously hidden because I had been too shy. It's also the place where I keep connecting with my old friends while making new friends who share common interests with me. Not less important than it all, Instagram has been a daily dose of inspiration as a replacement for Tumblr and Pinterest where I can easily save every single thing that makes me happy only a click away. But a month ago, I decided to delete my Instagram app on my phone and log off the one on my laptop. It turns out that since the first time I made my Instagram account seven years ago, this is the longest time I have logged out of it.


From the beginning, I know that I'm the type of person who should use social media quite careful because of two things: my insecurity and my naivety. It might not be surprising for you that I like sharing my personal thoughts and stories with other people - as you can see on my blog already. And to be frank, sometimes I do enjoy other people's life too. Not in the "Lambe Turah" way, but in regards to their thoughts and daily life. What food they cook, what things they make, what scenery they see, what songs they listen to, or as simple as, what they do lately. All these kind of personal things. But sometimes I also enjoy their vulnerability and struggles. I always think that those two are the ones that connect us more, especially in this digital era where it's easier for us to show all the glossy part of our lives. In my opinion, the fact that we don't share only our superficial life but also what lies beneath is what makes us human beings.

For that reason, sometimes if not most times, I also share my personal life on Instagram. The content is varied but mainly related to my everyday life. It can be through several Stories with photos or videos with my voice and face in it. Multiple thoughts in one long sentence. Sometimes it can be just a clip without anything but music in the background. I was fine until I don't know when I become easily insecure about what I share. Way before I was an active user of Instagram, I have been aware of every single thing I put on my social media. I almost always double check my posts whether it's too personal or not. Not to mention, this blog contains more personal information, and yet, I feel more comfortable to share things here than Instagram. The most likely cause was the platform's convenient and easy-to-use-tools for sharing various content, particularly the Stories feature, that sometimes my personal boundaries become blurry. This often happens when I suddenly have this eagerness to post many things without giving too much thought. In the end, some posts cause unnecessary lasting guilt because it was seen by hundreds, and even sometimes, thousands of people. 


I don't know how the platform works, but from my experience, those Stories that contain more personal information usually end up being seen by more people. If that happens, really dude, I could check them every half an hour (ok, this is a bit exaggerating) until the Stories would be gone entirely from the timeline. Do I brag too much? Does this question sound too stupid? Do I open up myself too much? Is this post too blatant? What if I change my view someday and people would still remember it? What if I share this and one day I fail?. These are only a few examples that represent my insecurities I often feel (lately) when I share something on Instagram, particularly the Stories. Sometimes, it could also bother my sleep when I posted it before going to bed. And when it becomes such a bother, I would just delete some stories within a few hours or less after posting them. As much as I try to not think about what other people’s thoughts but when I’m not in the right state of mind, sharing something on Instagram can give a lot of hassle to me.

The anxiety that I feel about Instagram is pretty much the same with what my friend, Andin, wrote here. This is what hits me the most:
It's pretty ironic because social media was born to share with each other. It could be your daily life photos, your thought, your opinion, or to share useful information regarding what you are capable to. In fact, social media is growing as a double-sided knife for the users. I believe that the anxiety that I got is from the judgment of the other users. Even perhaps not all of them (or even none of them) judge me in a bad way, but, it is the effect of the social media itself. The anxiety to receive a bad judgment or bad opinion from the people is what I am scared of. 
At this point, you probably want to suggest the 'close friends' feature, and I must say it doesn't really solve all the issues mentioned above. From my personal view, when I post something on social media, that always means I want it to be seen by people. Otherwise, I simply won't upload it. Besides, when I was selecting who these "close friends" are, I got confused. Some of them have a closer relationship with me than some others, but oddly enough, they tend to give me more insecurity than the latter group. I'm more convinced ever since that it doesn't really matter who are the viewers, whether they are strangers or half-strangers, online or offline friends, new friends or old friends; this feeling of being insecure should be fixed first from me. Therefore, I decided to completely log off for a month as an attempt to calm myself down. 


During the first week when I started the "detox", it was surely a challenge. But the following weeks after, it gradually became effortless. Many times during the first to second week, it crossed my mind that how it would be nice to share my excitement which rarely happens. As such, when I made my very first choco-chip cookies (and how I'm so proud of it!) or when I visited one of the coolest libraries in the Netherlands to the extent that I would cry out of happiness. I did show them to people around me, but you know, sometimes the more the merrier, right?

I also realized how Instagram is a complete package of all social media, including Whatsapp and Line. There are some people whom I interact more through Instagram than the other two apps even though we also have each other contact. For instance, a few days ago I just met my friend who currently did solo travel by herself. I was surprised and excited at the same time because she had told me since last year that she was curious about solo traveling. However, as I've been logging off Instagram, I didn't know and missed an opportunity to cheer her up during her first solo trip.


After all, I'm glad that I hold back my intention to log in. During this past month, I become more productive and mindful. Not only being offline giving me more space on my head, but also I feel so much at ease. I don’t need to think about things that may potentially bother me, either from my own actions or other people's. Honestly, sometimes I could spend much time just to think about other people's thoughts and life after seeing what they share on Instagram. Since I have logged off, I don't need to worry about those things. Not to mention, it saves my time a lot. According to my phone, since the past month, I never exceed my "screen time" limit that I set 3 hours per day for social networking (including Whatsapp and Line). Usually, I surpassed my limit, and half of it was spent on Instagram :))

Nonetheless, the extrovert side of myself has asked for socializing and catching up a bit. I must admit that I miss interacting with more various people, especially those who I rarely meet in my daily life. This time, though, I don't think I would be an active user. I also promise myself to make this 1-Month-Instagram-Detox as my habit every now and then, just for the sake of maintaining my mindfulness and controlling myself from sharing too much. 

6 Comments

  1. zuuuu aku setuju sama kamuu huhu somehow ngerasa kaya gini aku ga perlu tau dan ga 'sparks joy' hahah. tapi masih tetep buka sih *tapi berusaha banget mengurangi ngepost atau 'peduli' tentang apa yang orang-orang infokan (kecuali emang bermanfaat/nyenengin). ini mirip sama kekhawatiranku beberapa waktu lalu http://addinaf.blogspot.com/2018/08/social-media-and-anxiety.html

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    1. ndiiin! iyaa aku juga pas baca blog post kamu itu langsung ngangguk2 sendiri karena mostly apa yang kamu tulis sama banget dengan apa yang aku rasain :'( tapi di sisi lain, aku jadi lebih lega karena tau ada orang lain yang ngerasain hal yang sama. thanks ya ndiin :)

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  2. Mbak Ozuu, ini bener bener ngetampar aku banget! ku masih tetep buka sih sebenarnya, tapi mulai ngurangin juga. Paling cuma ngepost tentang kuliner/wisata/thoughts dan hal-hal berfaedah lain.

    Alarm 3 jamnya sama kayak aku banget ini 😂. walau kadang aku juga masih lebih pakainya. Huhu

    Terimakasih sharingnya yang bermanfaat ini, Kak Ozuu 💕

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    1. Hi Andhira. Iya, aku pun sebelum detox sebulan ini sempet ngurangin dulu main instagram. Mulai dari yang awalnya hitungan jam, hari, hingga minggu (sempet beberapa kali ga buka ig selama seminggu atau dua minggu). Mungkin karena itu jadi lebih mudah adaptasi buat log off dan setelah itu enggak lama2 ngabisin waktu buat main instagram.

      Anyway, semoga kamu pun bisa semakin menggunakan instagram dengan kadar yang membuat kamu tenang dan merasa cukup yaa :)

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  4. Mbak Ozuuu semangat detoxnya!
    I did it last year while working on my undergraduate thesis. Untuk seseorang yang cukup rajin ngepost di Instagram (terutama Stories), aku bisa deactivate dari Instagram selama 4 bulan :" that was huge for me haha. (I wrote my journey here mbak siapa tau ingin baca he he http://septemberpride.blogspot.com/2018/02/pengabdi-instagram-lagi-puasa-mau.html).
    Sekarang buka lagi Instagram tapi lagi uninstall appsnya jadi gak gampang ketrigger kalo mau buka buka. Dan setuju banget detox Instagram bikin produktif. More imporantly, jadi ngerasa sebenernya tidak perlu-perlu amat juga untuk selalu tau kehidupan orang lain.
    Cheers, mbak!

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