Why You Should Consider an Instagram (Social Media) Detox

With the TikTok ban in India, many youngsters who were simply binging on TikTok content have all of a sudden been presented with lots of time. If they were watching videos that added no value to them all this while, I hope at least a few realize that they wasted an awful lot of time with absolutely no results to show. This brings us to the important question; which social media ban would leave you with more time? For me, it would be Instagram.

Let me clarify two things. Firstly, entertainment can just be a medium for relaxation. It doesn’t have to add value all the time. But binging on anything frequently takes away valuable time; time that you could use to improve your life physically and mentally. Secondly, you don’t always HAVE to be productive. But you should know your options. The world has so much to offer and you have a lifetime to experience them, to learn and to grow. You should know that you have an option to be better at something than you are today and the joy you get from that kind of self-improvement is immense. Do you want to let go of that joy without even trying? On the other hand, if learning or creating doesn’t give you any joy, but you are happy with the way your life is right now, that’s perfect too.

After I cleared my CA exams in 2017, I stopped updating my blog frequently. But since I wanted to keep my writing alive, I decided to write on my Instagram account, afew.handpickedthings, on a daily basis. I used to post the pictures I captured and write captions on them. Through this, I kept my writing habit alive during the last couple of years while I slacked on my blogging. It worked well until recently. After I changed my job, finding time to write daily was getting difficult. I gradually began to beat myself up for not posting frequently on Instagram. It became a tedious work as opposed to something I should have enjoyed doing.

Why You Should Consider a Social Media Detox Like Me

To add to this, the lockdown had me trying so many new things; baking cakes, trying new dishes, painting more often, exploring new art forms, singing and recording videos. But the underlying purpose of creating had shifted for me. When I prepared a food, I was always thinking of getting the right pictures for the grid. The painting and the song had to be perfect for Instagram. I noticed how I wasn’t deriving enough joy from creating as I used to, because I was focusing on putting up everything on Instagram, from where I wasn’t getting any value!

I obsessed over the order in which I posted on Instagram, the caption I would give and these decisions took away an unnecessary amount of time. One fine morning it dawned on me that I was using too much of my decision making abilities, my time and sacrificing my joys of creating, all for Instagram. So I decided to go on an Instagram detox. Last week, I uninstalled the App. The aim was two-fold; to create for the joy of creating (and not for posting) and to figure out how I could use the App to add value to myself and others without losing myself to it.

Living without Instagram has been difficult. It was my go to App when I wanted an escape and the urge to share my creations on the grid for some instant gratification is strong. During this period, I clicked a beautiful picture of the sky, made a couple of drawings, prepared pancakes and I have been thinking of putting them up on Instagram when I get back. This thought process is what I need to break. I want to put something up on Instagram because I created it and not the other way round. But here is the best part. I have read more, taken some classes on skillshare and created more during the last one week because I am not wasting my time on Instagram consuming information I don’t need.

The truth is, you can do the same thing for different purposes. But you need to understand which purpose gives you the most joy. It is absolutely alright to create for social media as long as you enjoy the whole process. But ask yourself these questions. Are you enjoying the process of creating? Would you create if not for social media? If you wouldn’t, then is the burden of creating, worth the few comments and likes?

It isn’t about social media alone. If you are spending too much time on an App without getting any value from it, it is high time that you ask if it is really worth your time. If it isn’t, take a ten day detox and evaluate how you could spend your time more productively.

So tell me if a social media ban would give you more time to be productive, which social media ban would do it? Also, do you think you’ll be going on a Instagram/Social Media detox soon?

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  1. Sri

    Nice post. Am already out of Facebook and gradually leaving WhatsApp Group.

  2. Shweta Suresh

    It’s a vicious cycle. FOMO and the tendency to do things only for the sake of social media. I get what you’re saying. I am currently on a break from Facebook and Instagram and it has done wonders

  3. chinmayeecreations

    This is a brilliant post and a valid one as well.

  4. Sai Sharanya

    +1 ! This hit the nail right on the head didi ! I have been thinking along the same lines and penning down the many random thoughts that have been going on in my mind!

  5. Dashy

    My story would be the opposite. I keep thinking that some day I will start posting stuff online, but I never really feel like sharing anything on public platforms. I limit it to my closed groups in WhatsApp. Instagram detox must’ve been tough for you, kudos to you for taking that initiative. Also, this post has inspired me to write something. Thanks 🙂

  6. Samarpita Mukherjee Sharma

    as you said, spending time on any app without adding any value is futile. its not as much as about a digital detox, as about becoming the person who knows how to use social media for gains rather than just waste to time.

  7. Roshan Radhakrishnan

    I’ll be honest. Twitter and Facebook have definitely started taking a mental toll on me… just watching people troll others, not even necessarily me. For me, Insta is kind of a safe space right now with just images and videos I want to see appearing on my timeline… but I need a detox badly

  8. Ghazala Naseem

    Digital detox is necessary sometimes as we get addicted to social media.
    Ways can be different but we need to remember that there is a world beyond it .

  9. Tomichan Matheikal

    Social media is a virtual society without which I wouldn’t have met you for instance.

  10. Ninu Nair

    Absolutely we are consuming more information than what is required. Surely I see people around me who need to take a break and detox.

  11. Manas Mukul

    Social Media detox is absolutely necessary these days for the sake of our mental health. Really timely post. Great insights.

    #MyFriendAlexa #ContemplationOfaJoker #Jokerophilia

  12. Varsh

    “But binging on anything frequently takes away valuable time; time that you could use to improve your life physically and mentally.” this line perfectly summarises your post. Social media is one of the best and worst way to while away time if we don’t know when to take a step back. Am glad the detox helped you spring back!

  13. Afreen Ansari

    Now that’s a great post and the need of the hour for all of us for sure. Love the way you have explained it all

  14. Jhilmil Bhansali

    Well not just Instagram, I go for a complete social detox at least once or twice a week, just to keep myself sane 🙂 Great post!

  15. Ruchi Nasa

    I realized this early on and have limited my interactions even in the blogging world. Many a times I’ll write and not even care to share ..helps me remain balanced

  16. Anahita Irani

    Yes, I switched off from many apps. I have uninstalled snapchat and few others. Your post was a reminder to this constant social media dilemma.

  17. Rashi Roy

    I have no idea why didn’t I ever think of a social media detox! Maybe I should. Good to know it worked for you.

  18. Deepa Gandhi

    Social media detox is a good idea and we all should try it once. For me its Instagram and Facebook too.

  19. Swiddle D'Cunha

    True.We often consume more information than we need.Social media is so addictive.Better be on gaurd and detox regularly from it.

  20. Sonia Dogra

    . I gradually began to beat myself up for not posting frequently on Instagram. It became a tedious work as opposed to something I should have enjoyed doing.
    I so so hear you. I’ve seen this happen with so many friends. The burden to create.
    Loved your post. Btw now I know why you’re missing from instagram.

  21. Ritu Bindra

    I feel there needs to be a balance in how you use different media. When it starts affecting your mental peace, it is best to step away. A part of my work requires social media, so cannot really avoid it.

  22. Madhu Bindra

    Too much of a good thing is bad. I am still learning Instagram. But I agree. When you feel it has started controlling you. you should detox.

  23. Binil Varghese

    Social media is important but we have becomes slaves to it. The best way out t would be to put self controlling mechanisms to use it only as requested

  24. Pooja Priyamvada

    Some hugely relevant points there especially now when we are more and more online

  25. Sinjana Ghosh

    I completely agree. Social Media is for people, people are not for social media. But somehow it seems that it’s the social media that controls us right now. Instagram being the most addictive of all.

  26. PraGun

    Social media detox and a little time for yourself is certainly the need of the hour. Before the internet makes us its puppet its time we take the buttons in control. Pros and cons exist for everything, its what you take from it and use it for.

  27. MeenalSonal Mathur

    Absolutely this kind of detox helps us to be more creative and be focussed in our goal.

  28. Dipali Bhasin

    It’s been a conscious decision, but since the last one year, I have intentionally restricted my use of social media. I write only when I have something meaty to talk about and refrain from useless chit chatter, gossip or forwards. Even though a part of Whatsapp groups, barring a few, most are muted. This has given me more peace of mind and enough time to do the things that I like to do. I’m learning more, working more and spending far more time with friends and family.

  29. Dr.Amrita Basu

    I steer clear of all things nonproductive.I am more into learning stuff.So I am not into too much sm.Anything which doesn’t give value or create value doesn’t work in the long run and is unsustainable for me personally.

  30. Pratibha

    Social media is a viscous cycle. You are sucked into it and there is no escape. I make it a point to switch off for 12 hours everyday! Helps me keep my sanity.

  31. Gunjan Upadhyay

    Social media detox is as important as our body detox to keep our sanity. Frankly, during this lockdown things have changed so much and SM detox asked for

  32. Poonam

    There was one time even my brain was a puppet with strings holding by Instagram. It was a wake-up call! I set off all the notifications of social media which meant no more pings and checking mobile every 5 minutes.
    Your efforts on shutting off Instagram is commendable and even I enjoy classes on Skillshare. They are fun and educative as well.

  33. Nazish Kondkari

    I could so relate to this one. But being a freelancer i have to rely on instagram and social media. Also, I am a beginner so I need to grow and reach more audience. Perhaps, the everyday posting and the grid as you said, becomes so tedious and takes away the joy of being an artist and brings all the gloomy feelings back…

  34. Trablogger

    I’ve been finding many of the bloggers that I knew gradually shifted to Instagram even without them knowing. Instagram is very easy and it has lesser obstructions when it comes to posting a content. You need to have an image and a few minutes to come up with a caption compared to many hours of content creation that goes behind a blog post. I hope you remember me from our initial blogging days.. I really want to get back to blogging just like in those good old days. Maybe this campaign will help me! What about you? Is Instagram allowing you to make a come back?!

  35. Aurora M

    We absorb so many unnecessary information through these social media which we actually do not need. Social media detoxification is must for everyone! Well written post

  36. Nils

    To be honest, I don’t really spend too much time on social media. Its a finite amount of time and that much is needed for relaxation of mind. I used to spend a lot of time on WA, but I have recently reduced that. It is strictly a means of communication – necessary communication and social niceties (since I don’t like to talk a lot and barely call up people). If anything at all, I need a detox from Netflix and Prime thats all. But your post is a very relevant one and nicely written. Best of luck on ur detox.

  37. Atulmaharaj

    I absolutely agree with you that everything needs a break at some point of time. And especially being active on social media takes a toll with managing multiple apps, platforms at once. Though a digital detox may be the solution, it isn’t easy as you mentioned too.

  38. Aarti

    I can so relate to this! I started posting on instagram and it took so much time ..I have now decided to write as and when I feel like..

  39. Dr Bushra

    Social media detox I would go for twitter, and Instagram ban alternatively. #dewreads

  40. Shweta Suresh

    I had come to this realization sometime during the lockdown. I stopped wasting time on Facebook and Instagram and I decided to be more productive, Social media detox is much needed indeed.

  41. Priya Iyer

    Very relevant post. And I am proud to say that I follow the detox quite rigorously. The moment I feel I am becoming a little too addicted to any social media app, I uninstall it and start reading a long and lengthy book or web series or start writing in my journal. It actually helps. I am completely off Facebook and I do twitter detox often. This is a healthy thing to do for our own sanity. With so much negativity and hate being spread on social media channels, it takes a toll on our mindset. Detox is the only way.

  42. Archana Srivastava

    Absolutely correct, detoxing of social media involvement is actually the very first step to be taken by everyone to engage the life in a most meaningful way.

  43. vidhya Thakkar

    This is so true!! well penned!

  44. Currently Reading

    We are all in need of a social media detox. If you are looking to read a few handpicked things only, do checkout my @Creativewale on twitter. Their curated weekly reading list is amazing!

  45. Aseem

    Actually you have quite beautifully put it out there. We have all started to do things just for that validation be it the likes a pic will generate or the comments we get on something. Sometimes it’s important to just keep the phone aside or apps aside and do things without worrying about social media.

  46. Preeti Tiwari

    Very beautifully written!! Last week I was so irritated with Instagram and I decided to take a break. I feel it’s good to rake short breaks to detox digitally.

  47. Akanksha Singh

    It was so interesting to read ..as I am myself writing on how to time manage your social media presence specially for mom-bloggers.. my Moto is consume less and create more.

  48. Shipra Trivedi

    I remember my days of FB obsession. After Orkut, FB was the new social media platforms. And I used to be so mad about posting update on it that I often delayed my client class, office work and dinner also. And then one days after being disturbed on likes menia, I deleted my account. Later I realized it was a virtual world. I should not be bothered about it al all.

  49. Dixita Agarwal

    I spend a lot of time on Instagram myself, took the suggestion

  50. Ashvini Naik

    True. Instagram can be a quick sand & breeding ground for FoMo.

    We need to streamline the platforms that actually work for us, create content accordingly & then spend time there.

    Too many valuable insights, Ranjini.

  51. Mayura Amarkant

    Social media detox is so important these days. Spending time on Instagram is addictive but sometimes disappointing too. Thank you for this informative post.

  52. Richa Mina

    I am on a detox already I don’t even remember when i posted my last pic or checked insta.. i think i just lost my love for it

  53. Mayuri Nidigallu

    I have tried a Social Media detox a couple of times in the past and it really helps one gain perspective. Your post shares all the reasons we need to step back from SM occasionally .

  54. Aesha Shah

    I would like to take Instagram detox someday. It will be difficult but I should. Though I am not obsessed with posting regularly and checking the likes and comments, I do mindlessly keep scrolling on Social media. I have got to change that.

  55. Geethica Mehra

    I would just say that been there done that! AlthoughI was never too frequent on Instagram as I wanted my writing to mark its online space and photos. Still, I tried for a month and realised that I was always in search of photos of Instagram instead of weaving stories out of situations. That’s when I ditched Instagram and am happy!

  56. Dipika Singh

    A short break from monotony is always rejuvenating. Be it Instagram or any other digital app then.

  57. MeenalSonal Mathur

    Staying active and getting addicted to SM are two sides of the coin. Post, like what you like and leave the space without any lingering thoughts.

  58. Dr.Amrita Basu

    I do social media only for my blog stuff and very little at that.Good thinking about detox

  59. Ishieta

    i agree with you, a detox is so important – it really puts the app in its place and gives you a perspective on what you are doing with your time and mental space.

  60. Charu

    I often take breaks from social media and usually avoid posting on weekends. That keeps me motivated. Else I lose the enthusiasm totally.

  61. Lancelot Quadras

    A social media detox will indeed work wonders if you can do it wisely. Glad to see you get the best out of it.

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