Updated: Dec 27, 2018
I deleted my Instagram app for a couple of days (don't worry, K&K isn't going anywhere!). I’ve never done this before, but I have taken a few mini “breaks” from K&K...these usually included days where I pledged not to post anything but would occasionally scroll through my feed and give a few double taps here and there - not really a break.
So, the other day, I decided it was finally time to give it a real rest.
Honestly, I was getting incredibly frustrated with the “low performance and engagement” on my photos. It wasn’t “enough”. I was being shallow.
To me, Instagram has given me a platform to express myself. It has allowed me to work for myself and run my own business. It has allowed me to sell an ebook which has helped college students nationwide. It has fostered incredible connections with over 13,000 people. It has helped me touch the lives of all of my beautiful clients. It has facilitated friendships with people who I now call my best friends. It has brought me so so much joy.
But recently, it was bringing me stress, frustration, and anger.
That’s how I knew I needed a break.
I am the kind of person who looks for love, light, and positivity in everything. As soon as negativity tries it wiggle its way into my day, I slap it in the face and tell it to go away (i.e. deleting the Instagram app).
I believe that social media has the incredible power to make a lot of meaningful and wonderful changes. The connections that we can form and ideas that are shared are priceless and exceptional. However, social media is also a comparison trap.
I caught my inner dialogue saying “Why does she have X amount of followers and likes when I only have X amount?? Why don’t people LIKE this photo? What am I doing wrong?? WHY DOES THE ALGORITHM SUCK?!”...take a chill pill Sloane. Take a chill pill.
I fully know that Instagram likes/follows/engagement are not at all truly important to my well-being or happiness - two things that I care a lot about. Those analytics are NOT a measure of my worth, the amount of love in my life, or my talent. I am aware that just because a photo doesn’t get “a lot” of likes and comments doesn’t mean that what I create isn’t awesome, or that I’m not valuable.
And even though I am aware of all of this, it can be hard to actually accept and embody that. When we post content online for others to see and engage with, we are inherently asking to be judged. Everytime you hit “share”, you’re saying “Hello world! Here is something that I personally created. I hope you like it. Let me know what you think!”....and a lot of us are doing this every single day, and even multiple times a day.
It’s a scary and vulnerable thing to have a social media profile, no matter who you are.
So...what can we do about it?
One huge thing is to recognize the important things in your life that are right there in front of you...like in real life. There is so so much abundance, love, and support from people in our lives that help to make us happy and well. Personally, I have the most supportive and amazing family who I am lucky enough to talk to daily. I have the absolute best friends and boyfriend who give me so much love and make me laugh nonstop. I have mentors who challenge and believe in me no matter what. I have professors who invest in my learning and academic pursuits. I have a whole chapter of sorority sisters who are essentially like blood sisters.
I absolutely adore, appreciate, and cherish my Instagram community. I love chatting with all of you, learning about your lives, and supporting you on your personal health and life journeys.
All of these connections are what fill me up and make me feel loved and happy. Not the likes. Not the engagement. Not the number of comments. Not the growth % of followers.
It’s YOU! You who is taking the time to read this. You who gives me a smile on your way to class. You who gives me a hug every day. You who calls me when I’m having a bad day. You who reaches out to tell me how K&K has helped you. You who shows me unconditional love and support.
So...now that the break has happened, it’s time to hop back online. I definitely anticipate doing this again, because social media breaks are just like rest days - ESSENTIAL for recovery and strength. I also noticed that I spent less time on my phone when I didn’t have an Instagram feed to check or messages to respond to - something that I’m continuously trying to monitor and cut back on.
I encourage you to delete the app for a period of time too! It will feel weird at first, but I promise you everything will be right back where you left it :)