Instagram is one of the biggest social networking platforms around. According to statistics, over 1 billion people use Instagram, with 500 million of them using it every day.
People everywhere spend much of their time applauding and promoting the many benefits of online marketing, especially on social media. So, one day, I decided to take part in the dynamic digital explosion.
After weeks of organizing and categorizing my photographs in tidy little square formats, and crafting the best Instagram bio, I felt ready and finally took the plunge!
Beginning of an Instagram Addiction: Hitting The Jackpot
Wow! After posting a few pictures, the magic started to happen….and suddenly, I was counting the “likes” for my pictures like a person who just hit the jackpot adding up their coins. It was exciting and fun!
Suddenly, I was glued to my phone. No matter where I was, or what I was doing, I kept wondering how many “likes” each photo was getting.
Then I began checking my phone every hour, then every half hour, and without even realizing it, I was checking the phone all the time – even every few minutes.
I was hooked by the response I was getting, especially since I had never shown my photographs before. I had no idea if anyone would notice them in the big vastness of the internet.
Zap! Kapow! Holey Moley!
Then just a few weeks into the process, I posted a photo and BAM! The response was amazing.
Before I could say unbelievable, 60 people had tapped their buttons and given me a boost of excitement like I had never known! All in just a couple of minutes. It was lighting fast. Zap! Kapow! Holy Moley! 60 “likes”, I bragged to everyone I talked to.
Boosts of Happy Brain Chemicals
I felt like a shining star in the universe! I got boosts of happy brain chemicals every time I thought about my Instagram.
Before long, I was begging everyone I met, to just take a look at it (so I could get even more instant responses which gave me instant gratification).
Then, the next phase of the Instagram addiction happened. I realized that I was constantly comparing my photos with that of other people. I was even comparing the numbers on each picture to see if it got “as many” as some had gotten before.
Instagram Addiction: A Crazy World of Numbers
I was immersed into a crazy world of numbers, and each number represented how much I valued myself and my photos. It was insane.
It was a matter of pride, I told myself. But in reality, it was just a great big fat “ego trip”, much like a roller coaster ride that just keeps going.
Then one day, my son asked me, “How many times a day are you posting?” And after I told him 3 or 4, he said most people only post once a day. Well, of course, I realized I was over-zealous about the whole darn thing.
So I tried to cut back on my Instagram addiction. But then I really didn’t want to! I found myself sitting up at night, parked in my car and scanning other Instagrams for hours at a time. I found myself checking my Instagram first thing in the morning and throughout the day.
What The Heck Am I Doing?
My Instagram addiction had suddenly taken over my life. Oh. I woke up one day and realized how much time I was spending on it, and that I wasn’t getting anything else done. Wow. “What the heck am I doing?”, I asked myself.
So, I decided that I had been sucked into an Instagram addiction and it was time to stop. I imagine it is exactly like gambling.
I had to do an about-face and get back to doing the things that are important to me. I had to put the phone down and start living in the real world again.
It wasn’t easy at first. But after I decided that it was mostly about the “ego boosts” I was gaining, I realized that it was ridiculous.
I found out that by diving into the digital world, I was disconnecting from my real life experiences.
I Had To Put The Phone Down
I had to put the phone down and move on. I had to limit the number of posts I was making and only check my Instagram during the times that I scheduled myself to do it.
So now, my life is back to normal and checking my Instagram is only a very small part of my day. I plan my posts about a week ahead of time to minimize the effort. And I am pleased that after just a couple of months, I have about a thousand followers.
That’s plenty of attention and just enough “digital happiness” for me.
Cell Phone Mania
I am hopeful that others can see the humor in what I have done and try to cut back their cell phone mania to a manageable level.
After all, no one should miss out on all the really great moments there are in the real world that is happening right in front of us. Life is too precious.