Have you ever thought about ditching Instagram for good? I certainly have, and, although I haven’t done that (yet), thinking about it and researching all the benefits that might come from that got me really excited, and I have reduced my time on it drastically over the past few weeks, thanks to that.
There are many great reasons to delete Instagram, such as time savings, mental health improvements, and building better and more real relationships with other people in your life and others.
In this article, I’ll be covering the ones I find the most relevant in detail so you can understand how replacing your Instagram time with other things might drastically impact your life for the better.
Reason #1: Save Time and Spend It Elsewhere
The average Instagram user spends 53 minutes a day on the platform. That means 330 hours or almost 14 entire days every year. Imagine if you gave up Instagram and had all this time to do other things. Imagine all the things you could do to make your life better that you don’t do today because ‘you don’t have enough time.’
With nearly an extra hour a day, there are several things you could do that you would enjoy more than social media. You could improve your life in critical areas, such as your personal life and professional life.
Here are some examples of things you could do with the time you spend on Instagram:
- Go to the gym.
- Take long walks.
- Read a book.
- Work an extra hour a day (how much more would that make you in a year?).
- Learn a new skill you’ve always wanted (for fun or to improve your career).
- Spend more time with your loved ones.
Whatever you choose, it’ll certainly be more valuable than spending your time in a platform built to make you become chemically addicted to it, as we’ll see forward.
Reason #2: Increase Your Productivity
Besides being a huge time waster, Instagram and social media, in general, can also be huge productivity killers. Just think back how many times, while studying or working, you’ve stopped doing what you’re doing and taken your phone to look for something on social media, not because you needed it, but just because you just felt like it.
Studies from the University of California, Irvine have shown that after being interrupted or taking a break from an activity you’re performing can take up to 23 minutes to return your focus to the same levels that it was before you got interrupted in the first place, even if it’s for a short period.
Therefore, that one minute to check who posted new stories might cost way more than a minute.
Imagine if, instead of taking needless and (almost) involuntary breaks like that, you just went through with your activities non-stop until you finished them. How much more would you accomplish with the same time and effort?
Reason #3: You’ll Get Better Sleep (and Vision)
If you’re like most people who use social media frequently, you probably spend at least some time on Instagram not long before bed. That’s a terrible habit that will undoubtedly affect the quality of your sleep.
You see, biologically speaking, despite living in a modern world full of artificial light, our brains are still wired to understand light as a sign that we’re in the daytime and, therefore, we should be awake. It can’t differentiate artificial from natural light.
Hence, any significant exposure to artificial light before bed will make it harder for you to fall asleep and make it harder to reach deeper sleep stages during the night, which will make you feel tired the next day.
It’s probably needless to say that this will impact all the key areas of your life, including your overall physical health, career, and relationships. Your brain capacity and humor will always be better if you have enough (and high-quality) sleep time.
Besides, too much screen time is not good for your sight anyway, so ditching social media is also a great way to spend less time on your phone and avoid vision problems.
Reason #4: You’ll Become More Present
Instagram and other social media platforms were literally designed to make you addicted to them.
Here’s how that works: their entire user flow was designed to give you dopamine boosts (aka the main chemical of pleasure) on every action you take, making it more addictive than paying attention to the real world. They’re constantly looking for ways to ‘improve’ that effect every day.
Thanks to that, you tend to get immersed increasingly more in the ‘social media world’ and become less present in the real one if you don’t set boundaries for your time spent online.
Instead of relying on your source of pleasure and self-fulfillment on fundamental face-to-face interactions with real people in front of you and working hard to make your overall life better, you might start replacing that with those dopamine boosts that will give you a false sensation that everything is fine.
People who give up social media and replace that with something like taking long walks in a park or talking to the people physically near them tend to notice great benefits from that over the mid to long term. I’ve felt that myself. While I find it hard to describe, give it a shot, and I promise you won’t regret it.
Reason #5: Get a Real Sense of How Great Your Life Is
Since people get to choose what they’ll post on Instagram, they’ll always tend to post the beautiful sides of their lives and leave the ugly ones apart. That can give you a fake notion of how your life compares to others’ since, when it comes to your own life, you can see the whole picture, whereas when it comes to others’ on social media, you’ll see very edited ones.
Please keep in mind that people don’t usually do this for mean purposes. There’s just no point in posting a selfie with your eyes red and dark circles after getting up early for work when you could post the pictures of your last trip to Asia or a night at a nightclub instead. That’s something we are all guilty of.
Always be aware that, whatever you see from someone’s life on Instagram, there’s a lot more behind that you’re not seeing, and even influencers who seem to have a perfect life have significant problems that you can’t even imagine, just like all the rest of us.
Social media still is a contest for likes and comments, and spending too much time there can distract you from what really matters: the quality of your relationships rather than quantity.
While ditching Instagram and other social media platforms for good might seem like a crazy idea given how present they’ve become in our lives, the substantial benefits you’ll get from it might certainly pay back at high returns.
Doing so will cause you to avoid unnecessary harm from social media and bring you immense benefits. Choose wisely where to spend the time you’ll be saving.
Besides, the more common it becomes for people to give up social media, the more people will get encouraged to do so. Therefore, if you make that decision and stick up to it, you’ll most likely incentivize others to do it, positively impacting their lives.
Nevertheless, even if you don’t decide to do it for now, always remember the enormous hidden costs that social media platforms like Instagram can have in your life without even noticing it and use it as an incentive to spend less time on it. Trust me; it’s definitely worth it.