I’ve talked about my general dislike for Instagram on more than one occasion, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that this post is not about hacks on how one should take and edit their Instagram photos for that sexy aesthetic profile. Instead, I had to focus on the mental health aspect of social media and as Instagram happens to be one of those sneaky little things that can mess with our heads, here are some straightforward yet effective suggestions on how to use the app enjoyably:
- Turn off notifications
In general, notifications are the biggest distraction tool. The key to Instagram bliss is simply opening the app lesser than usual and a good way to do that is by turning off its notifications as they always lead one to kick-start the mindless scrolling.
2. Use the daily reminder feature
The people working at Instagram are aware of the negative impact their app has on its users (to some extent) and so one of the cool features they released a while back was the daily reminder feature. You can set a daily reminder to keep track of how much time you’ve spent on Instagram. It’s an incredibly useful feature as many are unaware that, on a lot of days, one can spend hours and hours scrolling, which isn’t healthy nor is it the best use of time.
Go to Settings > Account > Your activity to check out this feature.
3. Schedule regular breaks
I have a weekly reminder on my phone to log off Instagram. I try to be as strict with myself as possible and remain logged out for at least 24 hours. It’s a good way to ensure you’re not overexposed to everything and everyone 24/7. The routine plugging out if you will.
4. Follow the right profiles
In addition to following profiles of people you feel obliged to follow, it’s a good idea to follow accounts that purposefully add a positive feel to your feed. This seems pretty obvious, but I appreciate how whenever I come across a cute cat video on my feed, I smile. It’s one of the worthwhile joys you can get from using the app. It could be food profiles, cute animal profile, inspirational quotes profiles – whatever makes you feel really damn good, that you can most likely find only on Instagram.
5. Use the mute feature
You’re allowed to have your Instagram experience feed you what you like, so if unfollowing someone seems too harsh, mute their profile. You don’t have to hate the person, but if their posts and stories always pull you down or if FOMO constantly takes over, don’t be hesitant to use this option. Personally, I mute stories from accounts that upload 30-odd stories a day and that’s fine. It’s not rude. At least I hope not.
There you have it! I know there are many who don’t see Instagram in a negative way and never understand why people go on and on about its toxicity. But social media does affect all of us – even if it can’t be easily perceived. It’s not about being okay with the app just because we don’t a breakdown per se, but instead, the over-exposure that we feed ourselves constantly and subconsciously; all of which has certain insidious effects we may not be able to account for right away. It’s the dark side of social media we’re all too familiar with and Instagram happens to be at its front and centre.
Of course, it’s a fun app and I enjoy it a lot from time to time. I believe that as long as we can make small efforts to limit our usage of social media, things can be easier and better for our overall mental and physical well-being 🙂
Thank you so much for reading and have a great day! ❤
[All images are created/edited by me]