Social media addictions are all too familiar to most of us. If you have a social media account, at one point you’ve wondered if you are a bit compulsive or addicted to your activity. You suddenly feel like you’re mindlessly scrolling down the feed as time slips away or feel the need to constantly check for updates. Instagram is a visually stimulating platform, and yes, addictive!
A new BI Intelligence Report found that more than 90% of the 200 million people using Instagram are under 35 years old and more commonly the wealthy, urban, and female type. It amounts to 544 million photo uploads per day!
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It is no wonder Instagram addictions are becoming as popular as the app. In this article, we’ll explore why Instagram can be so addictive and how you can detox from it to improve your quality of life.
First, let’s review the reasons why this social platform grabs a hold of you so intensely. Instagram is highly addictive due to the following factors:
- The act of capturing an image. Photography has been around for over a century. It has become essential because of our tendency to think we have to capture a moment in time so that it will forever exist. It has become part of our daily lives, especially now with smartphones.
I’m sure we can relate to our phones alerting that the photo gallery is full leading to a significant amount of time devoted to managing our inventory. How many moments are still worth capturing? In the old days, a photograph had a story behind it. Now, it symbolizes what we had for breakfast on any ordinary day.
- Immediate gratification. A component of Instagram is the cool filters and other features that allow you to turn a normal picture into an extraordinary work of art you want to share.
- User investment. The most important part of the Instagram hook is that you invest time making your pictures look beautiful. This makes it more likely that you will participate in editing and sharing your pictures.
- Instagram is the default platform. Compared to other apps on your camera, Instagram is undoubtedly the “go-to” app people want to use for uploading and sharing pictures. Soon, you find yourself taking pictures right from the app and it becomes the default platform for your photographs.
- It provides social intimacy. Once you use Instagram as your default platform for taking and sharing pictures, you become addicted to the interactions you receive from doing so. It is very gratifying to find a social circle where you can share your intimate moments with your family and friends in addition to connecting with strangers that share your passions.
- FOMO becomes the focus. A new term people are using now is FOMO (fear of missing out). Not only do you want to see what other people are saying about your pictures, but you also cannot keep your eyes off what other people are posting. And, thus you fear missing out on both of those things.
It is no coincidence that the app was built to make you addicted to it. Kevin Systrom founder of Instagram studied symbolic systems at Stanford. It combines psychology and computer science. There’s a deliberate purpose to the way Instagram works.
Now that we know the process of how Instagram gets you hooked, let’s explore ways in which you can detox from the app and regain control over your usage.
A Simple 3-Step Detox From Instagram
The first step to detox from Instagram is to admit that you have a problem. If you find yourself checking the app automatically without purposefully intending to it is very likely you’re addicted. Watch out for signs of over-usage such as checking it first thing in the morning and the last thing before bed.
Another sign is if you get anxious when you forget your phone or find yourself at a place where you are not able to check the app. Perhaps you find yourself feeling bummed out or sad when your photographs don’t get the likes or followers you hoped.
Here are some steps you can take to start detoxing from Instagram:
Step 1: Delete the App From Your Phone
It may seem harsh, but you have to decide that you are going to take a break from the app, and not having the icon on your phone will reinforce your commitment to the decision – “out of sight, out of mind.” Try it for a determined amount of time until you feel you no longer think about it or get anxious from not having it. Make the time significant, a few days won’t cut it. Try it for weeks or at least a solid month.
Step 2: Delete Your Account If Necessary
If you find yourself not being able to stop after deleting the app from your phone, be bold and close your account. Prove to yourself you have the will power to make radical changes in your life. You don’t want to feel like a slave to anything, so be strong and choose to be free from your addiction.
Step 3: Engage is Meaningful Face-to-Face Social Interactions
Fill your life with exciting new things that will give you a sense of passion and belonging. If you like photography, spend time with other photographers and make your hobby a fruitful one.
Think of the time you’ll gain to be able to launch meaningful projects. You’ll start to discover a new side of yourself and call new experiences to your life.
Enjoy Your New Freedom
Detoxing from Instagram is not as hard as you may think. From simplicity comes success, which is why following these three simple steps will reveal a new you. Once you nourish other things in your life that don’t evolve the addictive tendencies of technology, you’ll have a clean slate where you can engage in social media from a healthier perspective.