Bye Instagram

I’m positive you won’t be missed.

Let me preface this post by linking you to my friend Carter Moore’s article about his story of why he deleted his Instagram account. Read that first, because his reasoning and his explanation of why he deleted his account is very insightful and it was what inspired me to do the same.

Ok, now that we got that out of the way, let’s get into why I followed suit.

I’ve had an Instagram account since basically 2010/2011, so there has been many, many hours I’ve spent scrolling through the app and even many more hours creating content specifically for the app in the past. But in the last two months, I’ve felt a strange disconnect from not only the user base but also the idea of the platform. It became exhausting for me to constantly create work that was both “for myself” while also discretely creating work that “fit” to what people wanted to see on their feed. After years of doing this I think I just hit a wall where I ultimately gave up on the platform (that was around two months ago).

Initially the idea of deleting my account was foreign to me because I currently work at a church where I manage the social media accounts of three ministries. And so it almost felt pointless to delete my account when I would still have to be on the app for work. So I kind of shrugged this whole thing off and kind of stepped back from the platform for a bit and was going to take a break from posting (nearly) every day and just focus on my work (which would be great because I love my job). But it still wasn't enough and since seeing Carter’s post (that I linked too in the beginning) I couldn’t stop thinking about all the great points he brought up.

And so I wrestled with this idea of deleting my account and only keeping the app on my phone for when I needed to post on the churches account. And so as I’m writing this, that is exactly what I’m going to do.

A message for creatives and users of the platform:

Over the last few months with me hitting a Instagram “wall” and the constant uproar on other social media sites about the changes / tweaks Instagram has been preparing for (changes that no one seems to want but they don’t seem to listen). I started to study the interactions of the people I follow and the people who followed me and their response to my work and even the work others were creating… it eventually brought me to writing this right now. I feel that Instagram has grown so quickly and has become such a huge part of our society in 2016 that the thought of even leaving the platform shocks people. And that’s why I knew this was a good decision. If we become so focused on pleasing others on the internet and a network becomes so intertwined with our lives that we can’t even begin to fathom life without it, we have a serious problem. And I feel that a lot of creatives are using Instagram to gain connections, find freelance jobs with brands and other people and all of that is amazing! I love that aspect of social media. It makes the world a little smaller and a little more accessible to the underdog creative. So if that’s you and you can take healthy breaks from the platform throughout the day and create work that you love, not work that other people may love, then keep doing you. Because you can see the importance of art and the act of creating far better than others on the platform.

But my message here today is to; evaluate why you do things and how much time you spend on things. Because there is a very fine line on when that can be crossed and can become unhealthy to the same creative trying to make his or her voice heard in a sea of noise. It doesn’t take too much to create a situation or habit that quickly becomes unhealthy for you on social media.

More specifically for me I felt that it became a huge waste of time and energy to please everyone and “stay relevant” in the constant sea of photographs and video that can appear on any one feed at any time of day. So I feel that I can now focus on the work I want to create, while spending less time on something that truly was unhealthy for me.

I feel a weight has been lifted and I feel refreshed and energized as crazy as that is to say…

I can’t wait to focus on my personal work and my work work for the rest of the year as well as all the years to come.

So, if you made it this far, thanks for reading. I hope that I can maybe bring a little insight to how social media truly could be both beneficial or damaging in the big picture of things if you allow it to be.
Just be aware of why you do what you do & how much time you spend doing those things.

– Ryan

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