Instagram (and all social media really) was created to be a happy place for everyone and that’s how it should remain. I joined Instagram in the summer of 2014 but it has changed so much since then. The platform itself has evolved and I no longer use it for the same reasons I did in 2014. Right now this app is more popular than ever and I am sure I am not the only one that goes on it at least 10 times a day. I used to mindlessly scroll on there for hours every day -which I knew was a BAD habit- so I finally decided to put an end to it.
I hope this doesn’t sound too dramatic but when I go on the app I only want to consume the specific type of content that I love (which either inspires me informs me, educates me or just entertains me). Otherwise, being on there is a waste of time.
When I go on Instagram I only want to see posts from specific accounts that fuel me with inspiration and positive vibes. My feed is made up of a mixture of Fashion and Ballet, a little bit of Skincare and Makeup and a few accounts of friends which I follow purely because I want to keep up with them. That is exactly the type of stuff I want to see when I scroll through the app.
After spending hours on the app (throughout the day) and still missing posts from accounts I actually really like, I decide to downsize. I went through all the accounts I follow and for every single one, I asked myself, does this person or their content bring me joy (very Marie Kondo)? If not, unfollow. I actually unfollowed so many accounts and it felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Do not be afraid to unfollow; it’s not a hate button. Instagram is just like real life, you cannot be friends with everyone. You can like people but you’re only going to invite a select few to your pyjama party, you know?!
I only want to follow accounts I truly love and I hope people will agree. For me, that is the number one rule in making social media a positive place (and at the same time cutting down screen time). Oh, and of course it goes both ways! I only want people to follow my account because they either know me in person and want to stay connected or because they genuinely enjoy the stuff I post. If I don’t bring you joy, you do not need my face on your feed.
Besides the unfollow button, Instagram now has a mute button as well both for IG stories and/or posts. Best thing ever! I think it was created for the exact purpose to help people tailor their feed down to the smallest details. For some accounts, I muted their posts and for many, I muted their stories and it has made the biggest difference. For the past year or so I could never go through all the Instagram Stories of the people I followed so I often ended up missing out on stuff I actually really enjoyed. After my major Instagram cleanout, I end up spending a lot less time on the app as I get what I want out of it without ‘distractions’. I would highly encourage you to rethink all your Instagram choices and I can guarantee by the end of it you will enjoy using the app sooo much more.