How to NOT Let Instagram Take Over Your Life

How to NOT Let Instagram Take Over Your Life

How much time would you say you spend on Instagram? I think we all can admit we spend more time on the app than we’d like to. It’s addicting as scrolling can lead to us commenting, double-tapping, and checking out the latest stories. Not to mention we feel the need to upload our own content so we stay relevant in the eyes of our followers. Before we know it, hours have flown by.

All that time spent on the app can sometimes have us feeling… Drained. Drained emotionally and of energy. With that said, how do you know when you’ve spent too much time on the app? Probably when we start comparing ourselves to others and evaluating our self-worth.

Before we start in with the self-destructive behavior (yes, this is a real thing thanks to social media), let’s go over some ways we can separate ourselves from the app and prevent it from taking over our lives.

Limit Your Time on the App

This may sound like a childish and maybe impossible task but it’s what’s needed. Setting a timer on your phone or on your alarm clock will help you be in control of how much time you spend on Instagram. Limiting the amount of time spent on the app means you can spend more time in the moment.

How many times have you seen friends or family upset by your actions of endlessly scrolling and double-tapping nearly everything? Not to mention their annoyance when you ask them to take a picture of you every ten minutes.

Using Instagram is best when you’re at home. That way, you can focus on what’s right in front of you when you go out. You won’t feel the need to check your notifications to see who liked your photo. As for taking pictures to post on the app, take them but wait to edit them. That all doesn’t need to be done right then and there—again, wait until you’re home. Focus on making memories, not photos where the only thing you’ll remember is telling your friend they didn’t capture your good side.

Unfollow Accounts That Don’t Inspire You

When I say “don’t inspire you,” I mean ones that make you feel bad about yourself. If a few accounts pop into your mind that make you feel that way, unfollow them right now. There’s no point in throwing yourself a pity party because you can’t travel the world on what seems like an unlimited budget. Or you can’t afford all the latest designer clothes.

I’ve been there, done that. Those accounts that made me feel less than were deleted. But I won’t say it came easy. It took me a while to realize that what someone posts on Instagram really affected me.  To combat that feeling, I started focusing on the accounts I could relate to and who pushed out content that made me want to aspire to be something more.

Now, I’m not throwing shade at those who can afford to travel the world and buy designer clothes every day. If you can do it, that’s great. Right now, I can’t do that so it’s nice to follow accounts who are in the same boat as I am.

Don’t Get Caught Up in Aesthetics if it Stresses You Out

I wasn’t on Instagram before having an aesthetic was a thing. I joined late in the game. That being said, all I ever knew was that you had to have some type of aesthetic if you wanted to be successful on the app. That means overly edited photos that are perfectly styled that makes you seem like you live an effortless life.

That’s why it’s so important not to get caught up with that stuff. Not everyone lives a picture-perfect life. For me, I purposely style my photos because I don’t have a home that looks like it was decorated by an interior designer. And frankly, no one wants to see cat toys all over carpet flooring. I use tiles I bought from Home Depot and set up a little “photography spot” which includes ottoman cushions in front of our big patio window. I lay out all the props I plan on using throughout the shoot and get to work.

I tell you this because it goes to show not everything you see on Instagram is as it seems. Plus, it took me a while to stop feeling bad that I don’t live in a luxurious apartment with hardwood floors and expensive furniture.

It’s Okay to Not Post Every Day

On Instagram, there’s a lot of pressure. Pressure to keep and grow our follower amount. That means posting and adding to our stories every day. Sometimes, that work becomes more tedious than fun. When it starts feeling that way, it’s okay to step away from the app.

Not posting every day isn’t a big deal. And if you lose followers over it, well, it’s their loss, not yours. You’re doing yourself a favor by tending to your wellbeing by taking a break. It’s an opportunity to regain your creativity and allow yourself to provide better content for your followers. If they can’t understand that then they’re not the right followers for you.

Instagram is an app loved by many. But sometimes, it seems like it was made to take over our lives. That’s why it’s important we take time off from the app, tend to our wellbeing, and not to get caught up with what we see.

Do you have any tips for staying sane while using social media? Let us know in the comments!

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By Kayla Peart

Kayla Peart is a storyteller and poet wandering through life and wondering about it. She shares her findings through stories and poetry on Moonflwr, her newsletter.


  1. I feel like I haven’t jumped on the Instagram bandwagon yet – I barely ever use it and I post things on it even less. I guess because I’m not an “influencer” or content creator in a traditional sense, I don’t really know what I’m supposed to be posting on it….

    1. Hey Michaela! I was in the same exact boat as you until I finally decided to take a chance on the app. At first, it’s overwhelming because of all the great looking content which makes it harder to find your own style/aesthetic. But don’t overthink on what to post. The fun thing about Instagram is you can post whatever you want to. You don’t need to label yourself as an “influencer” or “content creator”. Post pictures that make you smile or happy because chances are, they’ll brighten someone else’s day as well. 🙂

  2. I needed to read a post like this. Instagram can be so time consuming and very discouraging at times. The advice you gave on un following accounts that don’t inspire you really struck me. Looks like I’ll be editing my following list today!

    1. Thanks so much, Shannon! I’m so glad my post prompted you to start unfollowing accounts that aren’t inspiring you. Social media can be very discouraging but it’s important to take breaks from it and remember that you are good enough. 🙂

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