Leaving Instagram

This year I made it one of my new years resolutions to get off social media. It’s about half way through the year, so I thought I’d do a mid-year review of how it’s been going.

Technically speaking I have succeeded in getting off Instagram. I don’t have the app anymore (still have my profile), and no longer have the urge to use it. I’ve only posted once for a friend’s wedding. I miss people’s events on Facebook all the time but that’s ok, if it’s that important someone will text me or tell me about it in person, which has happened multiple times already…for example, IRL on ~/the street/~ I ran into a friend, who asked me if I was going to a birthday brunch, and I said “no, sorry, not on facebook, so I missed that… but now I am!”

However some part of me thinks I’ve failed: I haven’t been able to change my own mind’s instinct to immediately look to fill any dull moment with some form of information to pass time. I still mindlessly open my phone and look for a distraction.

Instead of Instagram, it’s Feedly with a bunch of Fred Wilson and Ben Thompson posts about the venture/tech industry. And instead of Reddit and memes, its Hacker News and the latest programing language comparison conversation or Youtube and PBS Space Time. Less brunch photos and more (tech) news.

I still think it’s been a net positive on my life — especially after thinking more about what my overarching goal in this was in the first place: To spend my time more effectively. But if I’m honest about it, the addiction and dependence on my phone hasn’t gone away, the apps are just different.

A harder goal for the future is to break the dependence on my phone to fill every dull moment of my day. There’s a stark difference between using it as a crutch for boredom and a tool for productivity, and being more disciplined in my usage will be what I try to focus on through the end of the year.

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