Okay, so I won’t lie—I love Instagram. It’s by far my favorite social media network and always the most frequently used app in my iPhone screen time reports (however I won’t disclose how much time is spent on it - but it’s a lot, okay?!). It’s such a rush posting a new photo for your followers to see, watching the likes and comments flow in. No matter what people say, there’s nothing more confidence-boosting than posting a selfie and having your best friends drop a comment with fire emojis, ya know?
But let’s not kid ourselves: Instagram also really kinda sucks. It’s suuuuch a time-waster and real soul-sucker. I could get lost scrolling through the oodles of influencers sharing their favorite outfits and products, feeling my self-esteem shrink with each double tap on a perfectly poised photo. Sure, I’ve liked-to-know-it more times than I can count just so that I could purchase my very own pair of overpriced over-the-knee boots. And yes, who can ignore our friends’ engagement photos where the sparkly diamond is on full display for easy zoom-in access (obviously), or our favorite celebrities walking the red carpet on a Tuesday—looking polished and perfect.
It’s as if while we’re scrolling the highlight reels of our Instagram feeds, we suddenly find ourselves lying in our towel across the bed, one whole hour after getting out of the shower with a damp comforter & declining dignity.
Can anyone relate here?!
I can’t be the only one that gets lost on the popular page, scrolling through the unknown depths of accounts that sparkle. If you often find yourself getting discouraged by the app that we all know, love, and spend way too much time on then buckle up sister. I’m sharing the 5 things I do to scroll Instagram with purpose, because I’m obviously not quitting cold turkey. You’ll have juuuust enough time to snap that mirror outfit selfie of course, because I’m not an animal!
1. Pick your core accounts to look at it & then draw the line.
It may seem odd at first, but I’ve started to only view the accounts that I really care about it. Whether it be bloggers that give me the most inspiration, my favorite podcast hosts, or my best friends—scrolling your entire feed is soooo last year. I’ll make a mental list in my head of who I want to see, and once I’ve completed my list I’ll cut it off. I follow a lot of people and I’m sure they’re posting fantastic content, but a girl only has so many hours in the day and if I’m trying to get a workout in, eat healthy, fold my laundry, and work on any side projects after work—selective viewing is just how it has to be.
2. Set a time limit of scrolling per day.
When it comes to being productive, Instagram can really cramp my style. As with anything in my life, when I’m intentional about changing something I usually find that it’s easier to stick with it. Gone are the days where I lie in bed and spend hours on my phone. I’ve been giving myself set time limits of checking social media and it’s been so unbelievably refreshing. There aren’t exactly set times during the day that I pencil in Instagram, but it is nice going into the app knowing I’m only allowing myself 10 minutes to scroll through it.
3. Turn your notifications off.
I’ve had my Instagram notifications off for years now and it’s the greatest thing. I mean, there’s nothing more distracting than seeing a push notification light up your phone screen while at your desk. Also—it’s so fun posting a photo and then being totally surprised when you reopen the app to see your likes, comments, and internet love. (Just don’t be like me and open the app every 32 seconds… it defeats the purpose!) Bottom line: cut out some of your daily unwanted distractions, and keep your notifications off.
4. Limit your stories intake.
The greatest part of Instagram is undoubtedly the stories. We all have our favorite accounts that make us laugh or drop wisdom in the form of 15 second videos. For me, tapping through stories is what really eats up my time, so I try and tap through with intention. Again - I’ll go to my favorite accounts first, which - thanks to Instagram’s mind-reading algorithm are often first in line (I don’t ask questions). At this time in my life, it’s really just more important for me to spend my time on things that fill up my cup, and comparing myself to Instagram models wearing #nomakeup or tapping through the exciting nightlife of a friend on vacation is just not it.
5. Keep things in perspective.
Always remember that people are posting their best of the best, so even when you’re feeling your worst of the worst while you’ve got one hand scrolling and one hand spooning the ice cream—chances are that girl has been there too. No one looks as pretty or polished as they do on their Instagram feeds, so give yourself some credit. You’re beautiful and strong and wonderful just as you are! No #sponsoredpost of bouncy, voluminous curls popping up on your newsfeed on your worst hair day to date can bring you down, girlfriend.