When was the last time you had fun on Instagram? Like, actually had fun? You know, without any stress over the number of hearts or followers (or reels) that are listed on your page.
Yeah, it had been a long time for me too.
If you would have asked me this a year ago my answer probably would have been “in high school”, when a picture of a coffee mug was considered trendy and 10 likes was going viral (for me, anyway). Then as I matured, developed creatively, and became a business owner, the main word I associated with social media was more.
I needed more likes on each post.
I needed more followers.
I needed to make more reels/post more often.
Little did I realize that more focus on the ‘Gram also meant less time focusing on things that were important, like spending screen-less time with family or tasks that would actually grow my business. Because at the end of the day, social media? Not that important. A useful tool, yes, until it’s using you.
Last December, I realized that I needed a hard reboot. As in, I needed to power all social media down for a while and simply detox. I bought a book to help me with this called, The 40 Day Social Media Fast by Wendy Speake because I knew that I couldn’t just go without social media. I needed to fill in that time spent scrolling with biblical truth and healthy reminders.
Like any detox or fast, it was difficult at first, but then it got oh so sweet. I was enjoying my time away from social media so much that I got a little anxious toward the end of my fast, when I knew I would have to step back in. I didn’t want to go back to overthinking every post, story, and reel. I didn’t want to see how many followers I had lost due to my inactivity.
I had a choice – I could choose to let the numbers control me or I could choose to do what I wanted and actually have fun, without worrying about the numbers. Now there’s a thought, right?
I’m happy to report that I chose the latter and that I’m still choosing it. This began by setting healthy boundaries around not just social media, but my phone as a whole. These look like:
Am I losing online exposure from these boundaries? Who knows. Ironically, since I’ve put them into place, my numbers have been steadily increasing.
I won’t pretend to be perfect and act like I never get sucked into the rabbit-hole that is social media. Does the anxiety over the number of likes and followers still creep in? Sometimes, yes. Then I make the choice not to let them hold any power over me and I move on.
Friend, I’m here to tell you that you can move on too. Imagine getting genuinely excited when you scroll through your feed. Imagine feeling zero amount of pressure to post every single day, or on any given day at all. Your worth is so much more than the number of posts or double taps you can get within an app. You were created with a purpose and I’m fairly confident that purpose wasn’t to have a perfect Instagram feed.
If you need an invitation to step away for a while, this is it. Log off, take a deep breath, detox, set boundaries, and then show back up ready to share your true self. Because you’re perfectly imperfect and that’s beautiful.
You got this.