WHY DID I TAKE A BREAK ON INSTAGRAM?
I don't think I need a long intro for this blog. Instagram is my favorite application, no doubt about that. It was the platform where Julian and I met and started our #lifebytwo story. Even before Julian came into my life, Instagram is where I showcased my outfits and daily shenanigans together with Tumblr before it became curated. I can still remember when algorithm didn't exist and I can still scroll from yesterday's last post of my following.
Instagram then became a tool of income along with my website; name it: sponsored posts, ads, collaborations, monetized posts, etc. It's always overwhelming (in a good way) to be able to collaborate and partner with different brands from all over the world. With that said, I know what to post and my Instagram is curated; timings, theme, color, and I'm having so much fun doing it. Aside from my personal life, social media not just Instagram plays a big role in my career. I work as a Content Director and our business is mainly social media. There's not a single day where I skip Instagram since I always check our clients' accounts.
All of sudden, it became stressful.
"I think I'm using Instagram way too much", I told myself. I'm on social media for 8-hours as a work requirement then I come home and take care of my personal business which means another couple of hours on the phone. Sometimes, I just find myself scrolling and scrolling and scrolling as if I'm trying to beat Instagram's algorithm. I follow a bunch of creative people! But at the same time, my insecurities are being put in the spotlight. "Wow! She's so pretty!" "Her outfit is so beautiful!" "What a beautiful skin!" "So hot!" "These people are so good at taking photos!"
Those are positive words but then again, I follow it up with "Wow! She's so pretty. Why am I so fat? Why don't I have a beautiful skin? Ugh. I'm so bad at this." It felt like I was not doing enough. I was beating myself up. I grew weary but I couldn't stop. I couldn't stop because I was trying to prove myself that I was not affected and that I was just overreacting to things. I was in denial that social media was eating me alive. Kinain na ako ng sistema mga bes!
Until one night, it was 2 am and I was wide awake. I was staring at the ceiling and my mind was all over the place. I couldn't sleep. It felt like my heart was gonna explode any minute that time. I closed my eyes and God reminded me, "My identity should be anchored to who God is." I prayed and cried out to God. I asked him, "Why am I feeling like this?", and He answered, "align your truth with my truth." What was I doing wrong? I post about my lifestyle and my captions are genuine. But why did it feel like I wasn't doing it right?
I realized that social media was bending the truth about my identity because I was basing my capacity to create on what people comment about me, how many likes I get. The truth is, engagement doesn't define my worth.
That's when I decided to take a break on Instagram and Twitter. I needed a restart. So, I deleted both apps on my phone. I tend to keep things to myself because I feel like no one can relate to me, but Julian acted otherwise. He comforted me with God's word and prayed for me.
What did I do during my social media break?
1. I read the word. I was so updated on social media, it kept me away from hearing from the Lord. The enemy saw a loophole and it attacked bull's eye. I refueled myself with God's word and sought Him all the more. I listened to podcasts that speak about truth and life. 📖
2. I talked to people. I interacted with real people, joke around, and laughed a lot. There was one time where I was playing Everwing in the bus and I didn't notice that the lady beside me was watching me play. We both screamed "Aahhh!" when I died. Haha! It was an icebreaker and we started talking. She was telling me why she's in the UAE, and I listened. 👯
3. I observed. I usually sleep in the bus. If not, I'm always on my phone. This time, I looked around. I saw people working under the heat of the sun without even complaining yet here I am, problematic about my life because of social media. Have you seen those guys who carry folded boxes on their bicycles? They were sweating but that's how they survive this life. I say a little prayer whenever I see a worker/laborer.
4. I worked out. Instead of complaining how fat I am now, I did something about it. Haha! I bought weights and worked out at home. Sore all week? the best sore ever! At the same time, I always remember to love my body. A lot of articles and people will try to define what a perfect face and body should look like, but none of those define your identity. 💪🏻
5. I wrote a lot. My bullet journal is filled with confessions, Bible verses, and to-do lists. I substitute my twitter rants to writing. ✏️
Why am I back on social media?
Am I still going to do collaborations? Am I still gonna post? yes. Blogging is my passion whether it's a collaboration or not. I love partnering with brands and sharing people about what I do. I just have to learn the balance of it. It got overwhelming because I was looking at it in a different way and this break re-aligned my purpose. I realized that it wasn't my curated Instagram that wears me down. It was the wrong perspective. I've done a lot in life that comments and likes won't comprehend. I've accomplished things that are not visible on social media, and probably never will be but that's okay. 👍🏻 If you are caught up on social media, remember that break is good. This does not only apply to bloggers but people in general. We have things we do too much and things we do too less. I'm proud that I've overcome this season in my life, and in every fall, there's no other way but up. ♥️
I hope you are well. ✨
Have you experienced this before? I would love to hear your thoughts.