Do it for the gram.
I have a confession: I’m addicted to Instagram. Between my blog, work, personal, and my dog’s account (don’t judge me, you know my dog @thedailyharley is cute af) I literally have 4 accounts that I’m checking and adding content to all throughout the day. Besides the gram, there are endless Facebook feeds that I get sucked into reading, a million emails rolling in, Spotify playing non-stop, it just doesn’t end. It’s exhausting and makes my eyes bleed, but just like the rest of the human race, I can’t stop.
But recently, everything from political happenings to the Super Bowl to constant promotional emails trying to sell me bullshit have just about made me lose faith in half of humanity. The times that I notice everyone in a room on their phones, the urge to hit that little circle every five minutes to check for notifications… Every so often, I reach a point of just being completely and utterly annoyed by technology. THIS is when I digitally detox. And let me tell you, it feels darn good.
So, what does a “digital detox” mean? I’ll be the first to tell you that this is not a “turn off notifications and leave your phone across the room when you go to bed” program (because god knows I could never stick to that). This is about detoxifying your newsfeed of all those people who bring you down and things you don’t care about, decluttering your email inbox and refreshing your social platforms so that you don’t end up wanting to move to Mars every time you scroll through your feed because you’re so annoyed by everyone you know. There are SO many digital outlets, and while writing this I realized how many tips I have for each one and decided I need to make it a series. Ta da, I now present to you the Digital Detox series.
We’ll start with Instagram tips, because duh it’s my favorite social media and I also feel like it’s the most nagging as far as notifications and getting distracted goes. When your phone is lighting up fifty times as everyone likes the *amazing* picture you just posted of your ice cream, it’s hard not to check it.
American Heart Month flower installation by Florist Fire, Hyde Park Village in Tampa, FL
How to Detox Your Instagram
- Cut those notifications (AKA constant distractions). Go into your phone’s settings > notifications > Instagram. Switch OFF the “Show on Lock Screen” setting and leave the “Show in Notification Center” on, it should also have Banners selected as the notification form. This will eliminate the constant “So and so liked your photo” notifications without actually turning the notifications off, as they’ll still be in that pulldown notification center when you want to check them.
- Start unfollowing. If you want to do this the old fashioned way – by going through your following list and clicking unfollow on people – by all means, go for it. But for time and sanity’s sake, I suggest downloading an unfollowing app (I recommend Cleaner for Instagram) to mass unfollow people with ease. If seeing a photo of someone’s Blue Apron dinner or eight photos in a row of their nephew doesn’t appeal to you, or they have nothing interesting to bring to the table, or you forgot they even existed, you should unfollow them. You can unfollow 150 people at a time on this app every hour, just FYI! It also shows you who isn’t following you back.
- Clean up your photo grid. The other beautiful thing about this app is the ability to mass delete your own photos. This step isn’t crucial, but sometimes I look back and get second hand embarrassment at what 23-year-old-me posted and want to clean things up a bit. This is at your own discretion, so delete whatever is outdated or doesn’t feel like it contributes to your account.
- Update your account info. When was the last time you changed your bio? If it still has your sorority letters in it or says something ridiculous, it’s probably time for an update. Remember, everyone can see this, regardless of if they follow you or not!
- Be mindful. Chances are, you probably chickened out on actually unfollowing half of the people you should have or missed a few in the process. So while scrolling through your feed the next few days or weeks, try to be mindful of who is popping up and what they are posting. If someone posts something that is a vibe killer, offends you, annoys you, etc., take a peek at their profile and if you see more things you don’t like, straight up unfollow them.
Now that your personal Instagram is so fresh and so clean clean, your following list is detoxed of all the people who were bringing your feed down, and you’re not getting a million distracting notifications, you’re officially detoxed!! I hope these Instagram tips helped and I promise you won’t miss the “like” notifications.
Make sure you don’t miss the rest of the digital detox series by signing up for my newsletter. Also, speaking of Instagram – take a second to follow my Instagram @sunkissedindecember pretty please!