This summer I removed the Instagram app from my phone and didn't use it for months. You can't believe what happened next.
Nothing. I'd been slowing down my posting frequency since April coming almost to a stand still early this summer. Followers were slowly dropping off thinking I had left the service. I hadn't. I was still scrolling in line, scrolling at work, scrolling in bed, on the throne and while doing laundry. It was a true obsession and frankly just took up too much time, often times stealing it from other, genuinely enjoying activies with loved ones and from things I truly enjoyed doing.
So, I quit cold turkey one day, removing Instagram, Twitter and Facebook from my phone in the process. And noone cared. I also believe not one person noticed. It felt exciting and forbidden in a way. It was the evening before a multi-day sailing trip with Josefines family. I felt so relieved but at the same time a bit confused. I decided to take that weekend to just enjoy myself. No scrolling, giving out zero likes and just taking pictures without the explicit intent to share with strangers.
This went on for weeks and then later months. Meanwhile I was taking pictures just like before, but not the usual flatlays and new purchases that usually gathers a lot of likes but let's face it, are pretty boring in every way. My phone's battery life became considerably longer as I was enjoying more of life and less of others lives.
I did notice a certain urge to follow select photographers and of course my closest friends and family. Hence I started looking for a solution. I found solace in Flume, an excellent Instagram for the computer (with uploading! If you pay a fee). It has every functionality of the mobile app except looking at Stories, which if you enjoy them you might find the app severly lacking. I didn't at first but later found I did and recently installed the app again because of this. This time, however, with one major change. A massive unfollowing of accounts and peoples Stories (some people post very interesting imagery on their profiles but still feature bullshit in their Stories, and this whole ordeal with Instagram trying to be Snapchat with face filters and stuff, yuck! No thank you to that!). I also disabled every type of notification.
I now sense a certain urge to scroll a bit more than I'd like in the last week so this might not be the end of this story just yet. We'll see.
Meanwhile I've started this blog to better feature the images of my life without the percieved pursuit of likes nor comments that Instagram gives you. And in the absence of an alternative I'm going to keep scrolling but constantly pare down the amount of people I follow to minimize impact on my life and regularly post a small selection of images just to keep that channel open. Because Instagram is honestly the top funnel for fun work I have and I'd hate to miss out on that.