Hours went by, and you are still scrolling reels on Instagram?
Many of you would relate to the self-realization that caught up afterwards that “I’ve wasted my time for nothing.”
You get little or no value out of your Instagram usage; on the contrary, you end up straining your eyes and disturbing your mental peace.
But that’s not all your fault, using Instagram stimulates the release of dopamine in your brain, forcing you to keep using Instagram. It surely is great for Instagram growth, but take out a minute to ponder if you are doing any good to your future.
You are not the only one if you reach out for your phone every now and then. The urge to hold onto your phone every time a notification beep keeps mounting up. Statistics reveal an average teen spends 9 hours on the various social platform in a day!
Is Instagram bad for your mental health? Decoding the side effects of using Instagram:
While you might resort to the IG app as a medium of refreshment, the ‘always active’ status of yours on Instagram is set to take a heavy toll on your mental health. Usage of features like Instagram tv, Instagram shopping, and Instagram music propel users towards alarmingly high levels of anxiety, depression, Incidence towards FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), and bullying.
Using Instagram just before dozing off keeps your subconscious brain on high alert for long after you fall asleep.
Moreover, straining your eyes on Instagram reels can cause eye pain. The light coming out of the mobile phone suppresses the release of a hormone called melatonin. This hormone makes you feel sleepy, and suppressing it would disturb your sleep cycle.
Being glued to your mobile screens for hours and doing IG live sessions keeps you from meeting your friends physically. A study conducted by “Hootsuite” and “We Are Social” reveals an average user is expected to spend 15% of their waking life using social media!
This is slowly and steadily taking humans miles away from human-to-human interaction, and thereby making you a slave of social media.
People often tend to get swayed away seeing the happy pictures of others on Instagram. They develop a feeling that everyone but them is living a lavish happy life. It triggers a sense of inferiority complex, which undermines your self-confidence.
Tips to trim your Instagram usage:
Disable Instagram Notifications:
Raise your hands if you ever tried hiding your favourite cookies because you knew you’d eat them all if the packet were in front of you.
Disabling app notifications will kill the urge to check your Instagram account every time a message pops up. Of course, turning off mobile data or switching to aeroplane mode could also be reported. But that might corner you from all other communication channels on your phone.
Hiding the app icon could work in your favour, as you won’t be tempted to use the app if it’s not visible to you.
Track your time spent on Instagram:
How many hours do you exactly spend on Instagram?
Your Instagram usage statistics might take you by surprise.
On Instagram, under ‘your activity,’ check your Instagram usage stats, updated to every second.
Alternatively, use any of the freely available app usage trackers to quantify your Instagram usage or check your data usage on your Android and IOS devices. Finally, introspect and answer for yourself if the time you spend on Instagram was worth it.
If you think you cannot do it voluntarily, force it upon yourself. You can use third-party applications or chrome extensions to block your access to Instagram.
Don’t take your phone to your bedroom:
Just like homework was the most troubling part while growing up, breaking phone addiction is surely a challenging avenue for Millenials.
For most of us, the first thing in the morning and last thing before going to bed is checking Instagram feeds. To get rid of this uncanny habit, set your phone in another room. The less hands-on time, the less likely you’ll waste it on Instagram.
Log out from Instagram for one whole day:
Asking yourself not to check on Instagram every 10-15 minutes doesn’t help. In a matter of time, you’d lose self-control.
Try logging it out for one full day. It would be best if it’s a Sunday because generally, you have the maximum free time on Sunday.
Naturally, you’d still be tempted to check it once, but kill the temptation and make yourself busy with something else, like reading your favourite author or shopping though not Instagram shopping.
You’d feel that you missed nothing of real value. An Instagram-free Sunday would certainly trim down your urge to use it.
How to fully utilize the time saved from Instagram:
- Spend this newly found time to explore your hobby that you quitted long back. With Instagram not there by your side to distract you, pursue your hobby as it would lower your stress and give you a generous “me” time.
- Take out moments to foster your relationships, may it be your family or friends. Indulge yourself in “no mobile” Family dinners and unplanned trips with friends.
- Devote your newly available time to practice meditation. Even 20 minutes of meditation would bring lots of positive vibes, inner peace and would enable you to perform better on your daily chores.
- Plan for your future and set your short, mid, and long-term financial goals in your free time. Your life should have a purpose, so you should take out an hour every week to make plans and the roadmap to execute them. Once your goals are set, and you’ve devised a method, do subsequent evaluations if things are phasing out as planned. If not, fix them.
- There’s plenty of other things you can pursue in your leisure time –
- Making a budget for the coming month
- Preparing a diet plan
- Take new online courses
- Explore new people
- Cook your heart
- Declutter and decorate your house
- Maintain a garden
This list goes on; in the comments section below, tell some other leisure time chores you’d love doing.
Remember, addictions are easy to fall for and extremely hard to get rid of. It’s the small but continuous efforts of yours that matter.
It’s not realistic to bring down Instagram usage from 3 hours a day to 15 minutes in a day. But it’s pretty doable to cut it down by 10 minutes each day. Have a positive approach to it, and the transition is bound to come by your side!
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