I experimented with Instagram and now I can use social media to my advantage
Have you ever tried to quit social media only to find yourself scrolling the news feed again? If no, then congratulations. We have all been there.
I have become so good at quitting social media that I quit until I stopped counting. It’s not just me. Many people feel their precious hours wasted and negative emotions caused due to social media. This is the reality for almost everyone having access to smartphones and computers with an internet connection.
When I started using Instagram, the first people I followed were actors, footballers basically blue tickers. One day I opened my account to surprisingly find that some of my friends had requested to follow me. In response, I followed them back. Following two or three of my friends to having my list full of family and friends. Time flew by as I kept scrolling through the feed.
A cycle of constant activation and deactivation began after that. From being guilty of killing time to happily watch my friends post stuff then back to mentally punishing myself, the loop of addiction repeated.
I had to change something, here’s what I did
One day, partially feeling the spotlight effect, I placed a status, “I am unfollowing anyone without a blue tick in their profile.” Arrogant, right? The status forced me to act as I had declared. Never had I imagined that scrolling in social media could have been this painful, physically. It was worth it. While I was at it, I unfollowed some cringe blue tickers who added zero value to my life, Bollywood celebrities, whom I had been following for no reason.
So I stopped following all the regular people I know, but now what? I started following the news, positive, football, travel, fitness, career goals, and so on. I also follow footballers, actors, anime content, and celebrities that I admire because why not? Life isn’t meant to be completely serious and neither is my Instagram profile.
After some time, I observed that I am having to force myself to use Instagram. Surprise!!!
The positivity brought into my life
Now scrolling triggers positive emotions as the content I see is either productive or relaxing. Why should something stressful be a replacement for your boredom? just enjoy it. I use the extra time for other things like work or watching anime. Either way, I am happier.
I have listed some of the things I observed during my experiment
- Our brain is addicted to negative emotions. We aren’t sad because of our sadness, we are sad because of our peers’ happiness. Social media is great at feeding you this. The negativity is the reason our hunter-gatherers survived and we are wired to be attracted to negativity but now the times are different.
Check out my article on why you are more likely to switch between tasks.
- I have never felt a bit of sadness watching Paulo Dybala’s athletic body but when I watch a friend of mine build six-pack abs, it triggers a negative emotion in me, envy. Somewhere down the line, we have convinced ourselves that successful people example Lionel Messi, have different circumstances than me so I cannot become successful like him/her. This is the reason you enjoy a sports match not envy every damn sportsman that you see.
- Like our jobs and many other things in life, we either villainize or worship something too much. Just like social media, you can always choose what you connect with. What stresses you are what you once chose to connect with.
What you choose to connect with can potentially make or break you.
Thank you for reading this.