My thumb actually just goes there. No, really, I can’t control it.
This is what I learned about myself a few days ago, when I took my cell phone into the bathroom with me (okay, I know you all do it). I opened it, and my thumb went to the app.
I’ve logged out of my personal Instagram account, and am committing to stay logged out for at least a month.
I would delete the app entirely, but I use it daily for work accounts, so I have to stay logged in to those. This makes it more of a test of self control, though, which is probably a good thing. If the app was gone entirely, I wouldn’t have to force myself to stay off of it as much.
I don’t think I realized before how often I would check Instagram. But now, I’ve realized it’s like an itch that you think you need to scratch. It’s literally like the thing to do when you’re not doing anything. Or… all too often, the thing to do, period. Scrooolllll.
I’ve thought about deleting the app all together, many times (I’m sure you have, too). In praying about it, the reason I don’t is because I feel called to be a light in the midst of a lot of darkness. There are definitely plenty of lights on Instagram, which is wonderful… but the amount of darkness puts me in anguish. And the amount of accounts – some that I don’t prescribe to see, that appear on my explore page – that can lead me into subconscious – or very conscious – comparison games is just not healthy.
It’s been 6 days so far, and, I gotta say… it’s been good.
It’s convicted me to text friends that I haven’t caught up with in too long. It’s convicted me of how often and easily I would waste time scrolling. And it’s convicted me of that comparison mentality.
You see, Instagram has an awful habit of showing us our greatest idols the most often.
For some, maybe it’s the allure of travel. Their explore page is filled with dreamy beaches, mountaintop adventures, couples backpacking together. These people could easily end up constantly wishing they were anywhere but home, and neglect their family, job, and the blessings that surround them.
For others, maybe it’s pictures of half-naked men or women, and they spend their time lusting after other people’s bodies and, in some cases, cheating on their partners with their thoughts.
For me, it was usually food, fitness, and “health”-related content.
That’s healthy, right?
If taking photos of my body to line them up next to another woman’s body to see how much more cellulite or arm fat I have than them is healthy, then I don’t want to be healthy.
I am not blaming my own struggles and sin and self-absorption on the Instagrammers, not at all. But I am saying that this is the kind of habit that I can no longer allow to be a part of my life. I don’t believe that this is as simple a fix as having the discipline to stop – I believe that I need the Holy Spirit to do the work. Alone, I am weak and powerless, but “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13).
Now, using Instagram for work is tough because… that feed is always there to scroll during non-work hours. I’ve had to intentionally say, This is not my account. This is for the purpose of growing a business. It sounds crazy, and it sounds like an addiction. But our phones are wired to addict us, lure us in. That’s not an excuse, but it’s true.
“When you step away from this device of allusion…“
In case you haven’t seen this video, here’s your daily dose of conviction.
I am genuinely considering deleting Instagram for good. I’m praying about it, and I’m asking God to show me what the answer is.
I would encourage you to, too.
Let’s live this life for God, not ourselves. Let’s live it to serve others and praise His name, not our own. And let’s be a people seeking Truth and Jesus’ face, not likes and our own images.
I’ll be back soon with another update on this Instagram-free experiment. For now… time to get off this screen, and spend some quality time with my husband!