So, it’s over. I have just completed by second annual Instagram sabbatical.
I’ve written about my first experience quitting Instagram for 30 days here and I’ve also written about quitting Twitter indefinitely here just in case you want a little read of these after you’ve made your way through this goldmine of an article.
Anyway, the point is, ya boi has got previous with quitting social media so I’m quite well versed in this space.
Essentially – trust me on this.
What is a yearly Instagram Sabbatical?
It’s simply taking a break from the gram for a prolonged period of time.
At the end of the day, Instagram is just a free app on your phone – it isn’t a divine entity.
It’s just as much of a meaningless abyss as Candy Crush or Google Maps.
Repeat after me… “Instagram is just a free app on my phone”.
Now taking a time off might seem sacrilegious to some of the great unwashed out there, but once you get past that mental hold that Insta seems to have on every man and his dog, you’ll realise that a measly 30 days really is nothing.
Taking a set break each year is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Is this the same as quitting Instagram?
You’re just taking a break. So don’t get all hot and clammy and start having palpitations at the thought of never going back again.
Your Instagram sabbatical isn’t a social death sentence, it’s the start of Operation: Plug Out. You’re gonna feel like you’re living outside the Matrix for a bit, that’s all.
What benefits are there to taking an Instagram Sabbatical?
You’re gonna get all sorts of benefits from taking an Instagram Sabbatical. You can see some others here, but I’m gonna list a few new ones below for your perusal you sexy unplugged swine, you.
Life feels less rushed
Life when you’ve got Instagram burning a hole in your pocket can really pass you by in an instant.
You’re always rushing to get your drinks or your meal so that you can capture it perfectly at *just* the right moment.
You’re always rushing to get to the end of a conversation so you can respond to your DM’s and comments.
You’re always rushing through just about everything in your life at the behest of Zuckerberg and his underlings.
When you take even just a second away from its all-too-alluring pull, you can actually take time to do the things you’re so busy capturing. Without sounding hippy dippy à la Eckhart Tolle, being present and not fast-forwarding your life to accomodate an app is a breath of fresh air.
You genuinely become happier
Trust me on this one.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, when you take time out from Instagram, you will become happier. That might sound like quite a blanket statement (which it is), but you’re not constantly checking your phone, draining your attention, being bombarded with people living an infinitely better life than you and Saudi Princes with pet tigers shooting dollar bills at you.
Life becomes what it once was – life.
Not some mad pumped up, Life 2.0 matrix that we’ve all become so accustomed to.
Get yourself reacquainted with boredom
Who would have thought it?
I genuinely missed boredom.
When was the last time you were really bored? Like actually bored?
Bet you can’t even remember.
Seriously, as soon as we feel even the slightest twinge of boredom, out comes the phone and in swoops The Zuck™ and his cronies to offer salvation from a second alone with your thoughts.
When I instinctively reached for Instagram I literally had the muscle memory to open up my phone and keep clicking where it was, only to click the random app that had moved into its place. I kept doing this for at least a week, probably longer. But eventually, I came to accept that sometimes, it’s okay to just sit there for a bit and think.
But it was great. I would sit and actually concentrate on something. A problem I was thinking over for example, would often get solved as I sat in the sofa binge eating popcorn and scratching my arse. It was magical.
Focus out the wazoo
This was probs my favourite of the benefits.
When I work, I often have my phone chilling right next to me, whispering sweetly into my ear; “come on papi, open me up and scroll all over me…” but since I deleted Instagram and I’m not on any other social media (unless you count WhatsApp), there was literally nothing to do on it, so I was able to resist its advances.
I found myself focusing for long periods, boxing off work on my business in record time. Before, I’d do about 5 minutes of work then pat myself on the back, scroll for 15-20 minutes on Instagram, go on my emails, watch a few YouTube videos, stuff my face with some chocolate, get very guilty and then do another 5 minutes of work, only to repeat that process ad infinitum.
Now I will sit there for at least half an hour, up to around 3 hours and just do what I set out to do for the day.
Honestly, it’s like taking NZT-48.
When should I take my sabbatical?
Take one whenever you damn well please my friend.
I usually take mine in June/July to get a nice summer month of enjoying myself and getting my life together.
You might opt to do one in December to enjoy the run up to Christmas and New Year or you might do January to really attack those new year new me promises.
At the risk of sounding like one of the worst types of people (the “well, it depends” brigade), it depends. What is your goal or purpose for the Instagram sabbatical? Are there any events that you truly want to be present for? Or are you just at the brink and need a month off? I’ve been there for that last one especially, trust me!
What if I never want to come back?
Instagram is great for making pals and being a snoop.
But it comes with many, many pitfalls.
If I didn’t have to be, I’d be as far away from the app as humanly possible. But there we go.
So, if you’re game on taking an Instagram sabbatical after this, then go for it.
I genuinely can’t recommend one enough.
Oh, and when you come back, giz’ a follow 😉