I broke up with Instagram- and this is what I learnt.

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Instagram and I parted ways 3 weeks ago. I didn’t intend for it to happen, but me and Insty needed time apart.

I’d lost myself in the haze of pressure and obligation to keep posting and sharing and revealing more and more of my life!!

Oh and making sure I was getting enough likes, and the endless pressure of doing it ALL really well!

I felt tied down, trapped and suffocated. It had all got a bit too intense and I needed to reclaim my sanity and have some space. The constant need to keep checking my phone felt addictive and I knew it wasn’t good for me.

On average millennials check their phone 100x per day, and we do it unconsciously, so we don’t even realise we’re doing it, and I can well believe it because this had become me too.

Instagram had brought out a side of me I didn’t like, the insecure side, the “I’m not enough” side, the angry and resentful side! And I kept butting heads with this angry Jody, so I needed time out to have a little chat with her and figure out why she kept getting spun out at the thought of posting something on the infamous “grid”.

I think the main thing I realised (which I hate to admit to myself) was that I was AFRAID of being judged for not being “liked” enough or loved enough.

And of course to the mature adult Jody this makes no sense and sounds very silly, but to the young teenage Jody, this is the absolute truth and resonates 100% I knew I needed time to figure this all out, so I gave myself permission to not have to share ANYTHING for as long as I wanted, and weirdly it didn’t freak me out at all.

I did everything in my life privately: festivals, dinners, events, holidays, weekend breaks away without sharing a thing on the gram.

And omg I loved it.

I remembered that there’s a life outside of social media - and as obvious as this is to say, soooooo many of us forget!!! Having time out reminded me of how friggin great my life actually is!!Here’s what else I learned (and will be exploring more in-depth as I go along):

  1. INSTAGRAM is not the enemy: it’s our ego (or personality brain) who labels our relationship with instagram and turns it into what it is. Instagram is a fairly innocent party (& I know it’s been designed to get us addicted to the instant hit of getting likes and comments) but c’mon it’s only a technology platform! Let’s get a grip now!

  2. YOU CHOOSE HOW YOU RELATE TO THE GRAM: it is ultimately your choice, so wake up and take some time to think about how you want to use it, how you want to relate to it and how you want to behave around it. There’s always a chance that it could get taken down or become yesterday’s news so create a fulfilling life outside of it!

  3. FALL IN LOVE WITH INSTY: if you want to use instagram, shine a spotlight on your current relationship with it and make a choice to love it unconditionally!! Regardless of whether you’re getting enough likes or comments (whatever that means by your definition!)

The BEST way to change how you interact or engage or behave with anything or anyone is to fall unapologetically in love with it or them.

This is my mission from now on. I’m done with pressure, anxiety, stress, fear and most of all people pleasing. I believe Insty and I can work together in a relaxing and calm way, and I fully intend to make this my priority.

You with me?

Jody Shield