I am sure that these lessons can be learned without switching off your favourite app. In fact, I know they can, because Instagram didn’t stop me from slowing down. The choice is always yours; you can put your phone down, you can set boundaries and you can simplify.
Here’s the thing; while Instagram didn’t prevent me from doing those things, it didn’t encourage it either. Switching off from the app has already done what I hoped it would. It has quietened the noise around me and brought vibrancy back to things which had dulled. Mostly, it has given me a sense of freedom.
Surprisingly, where I thought I would gain so much more time, I have realised that time in itself wasn’t ever an issue. I don’t really do what you are meant to do on Instagram; you are meant to spend time, scrolling, liking, replying, searching, engaging, creating. That wasn’t me. Most days I uploaded a few stories of little moments, each story takes less than 2 minutes to create… and then my phone went away again. I spent time on an image and a caption, roughly 15 minutes, and then my phone went away again. I have worked out that not being on the app has earned me around 30 minutes a day; not life changing!
But oh that freedom!
The freedom not to share my moment with the world.
It kind of feels like walking around with a sweet secret.
The world didn’t get to see my dinner party with friends, my 7am ‘pile in the bed cuddles’, my wandering around the garden ‘exploring’ with the girls.
Instead of pulling out my phone, I captured it with my eyes and I relished in the magic of the moment. It’s a season that has shown me the importance of tending to your heart.
I’m immersed in the beauty – the way the light streams into the kitchen, casting pretty shadows over the girls while they tuck into breakfast. The dark lashes against delicious baby cheeks and the tidy corner where I have taken to curling up in a cosy armchair to put words onto paper. I’m so grateful.
Yesterday, as I sat in the playroom with a chunky knit throw wrapped around me, watching the sky turn from dusty black to a rainbow of pinks and oranges I realised there was no need to drag myself from my cosy corner to capture it on my phone. I just sat there, and breathed it in. Focused on being still and being present. There was no announcement to the world. Oh the freedom.
I met with various friends who I know only through Instagram. It felt so personal and so exciting to sit there and catch up; like really catch up. Hearing their news, discussing what has been stirring in our hearts. It gave me such a wonderful buzz.
I am learning that there is something profound, holy even, in doing the hard things without telling the world that you’re doing hard things. I have more desire to walk outside, check on my plants, breathe in the frosty air because these simple things fill my soul and provide so much more inspiration than I ever got from scrolling.
I am learning that growth often occurs in anonymity.
And I am certain that all of this can be learned without switching off your favourite app but I needed something new and new feels so very good.