On social media: a challenge and an experience

If you follow me for a while now, you might have read the I read every day before bed and after waking up for a week: an experiment and a challenge post I’ve written in October. Basically, I wanted to find out if ditching social media helped with my mood and reading habits. Short answer: yes, it did. I recently watched one of Ruby’s videos, How I stopped wasting time on social media, and I decided to do another challenge. When it comes to social media, I only have Instagram, so this post is going to focus on that. I also set myself ground rules for other websites.

Other websites

First, I’m going to talk about the other websites, as they are quick to explain. I set a screen time limit on my phone and tablet: thirty minutes per day for YouTube, fifteen minutes for Goodreads, and fifteen minutes for a Hungarian bookish site. These are in total, and my devices sync in between, so I can’t trick them, haha. I also set a downtime between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m., so I am not able to browse basically any site. This kind of forces me to read a book, or do something else.

Social media

Now on to the longer stuff: social media, which means Instagram for me. I have a love-hate relationship with this app, but recently, it’s been causing me a lot of distress. The only time I was a hundred per cent in love with it was when I came back from a quite long hiatus in 2019 and started to connect to a lot of bookworms. I met so many wonderful people there, some of whom I can call my friends, and they are basically the only reason I haven’t deleted my account a long time ago. Back then I was really active, I followed a lot of accounts, liked and commented a bunch, and my engagement was pretty great. But then, as I started to use it less and less, became less present there, I started to get a decline in the engagement I got.

I kind of realised that I would need to spend a lot more time on Instagram, follow more people, engage with lots of people’s posts if I wanted to have more recognition. Plus, apparently, photos are not enough for the inventors of Instagram anymore, they push videos and Reels to a ton of people, and thanks to this algorithm, people who don’t want to make them, stay in the shadows.

I slowly became less and less motivated to put out content. I changed up my theme and made digital reviews and stuff, but it didn’t help. I realised I don’t want to spend a ton of time on an app that makes me overthink myself. I always thought my content was not good enough to be more popular. I thought maybe the problem is that I’m not US-based, I don’t have a lot of physical copies, and I write longer posts and reviews, etc. Then I recognised that my mindset was a bit toxic for my mental health, as nothing felt enough, I was always wanting for more.

So I decided to go on a hiatus until September 1, to try to come up with a solution. I want to change my mindset about making content on Instagram, as at the moment it’s not causing me happiness. Honestly, I don’t know if I will find a key, and I might be off that app for a lot longer than I am currently anticipating. I don’t know if I’ll keep the other challenges for daily screen time limits after September 1, but we shall see. I will for sure update you on how it goes!

Are you on Instagram? What are your thoughts on it? Do you struggle with social media too?


21 thoughts on “On social media: a challenge and an experience

  1. i’ve always had a love-hate relationship with instagram haha. on one hand i love creating fun photos for it, but i also am always scrolling and comparing myself to others. i’ve learned to just take it easy and post what i feel proud of and simply support others that i see on my timeline. i hate that i went so long making it an internalized competition between me and other creators. i’ve also hidden my like count on my posts so that i don’t spend hours obsessing over every person who likes it lol. i really enjoyed reading this post, i’ll definitely have to check out ruby’s video on social media!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hiding your like numbers is definitely a really great idea, I’ve done that too and it made me less fixated on like numbers!

      I hate that it makes us comparé ourselves, too. 😞
      I’m glad you enjoyed my post, and hope that you’ll find something interesting in Ruby’s video too!


  2. taking social media breaks is so important! i used to be so active on insagram to the point where i would point every. single. day. 😳 which led to so much burn out. but i realized i was only doing it for the engagement and not for my own enjoyment, which was a huge red flag so i decided to take a step back and now i hardly spend more than 30 minutes a day on there.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I also recently watched Ruby’s video and I found it so interesting and inspiring! ❤ I loved reading about your goals with screen time and social media! The app that I need to tackle is definitely Twitter, I sometimes catch myself mindlessly scrolling through it/opening it when I have a short break – which I don’t think is helpful or productive for me 😅

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m often tempted to set a screen time limit on my devices but I never do. I don’t have instagram but I’m guilty of mindless scrolling through twitter. However, it makes me mad that I find it hard to cut back on it without actually blocking it. But then again, cutting back on youtube would be quite hard on me—definitely the hardest—because I use it for everything: exercising, dancing, sewing, and I have it playing whenever I do chores. So I truly applaud you and I hope you find out what works for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Twitter is such an addictive place! I had it for a few months, and then deleted myself. 😂 I hope you’ll find a way to cut back on it!
      For sure, YouTube is a really great place! I wouldn’t count those things because sometimes I also use it for doing exercise/dance but that’s productive and needed, so it’s totally fine.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I kind of had to accept throughout my blogging journey that I’ll probably never do well at any social media platform because I don’t want to put the effort and time into them. 😅 I never loved spending time on social media, so it seems pointless to force myself to do it when I could be doing things that I actually enjoy. I abandoned instagram about two years ago because I didn’t like the fact that, due to the constant changes in the algorithm, I was getting essentially the same amount of likes as I was when I first started using the app, even though I had more followers. I know likes aren’t everything, but it’s frustrating to put hours of effort into something that isn’t rewarding at all.

    Speaking of, the only part of instagram I enjoyed was taking photos with my friend – I didn’t like writing captions or trying to post consistently. On a side note, I also felt kind of fake – I wanted people to like my photos, but at the same time I had to force myself to comment and like others’ posts because it just wasn’t something I enjoyed doing. 😅 In the end it made the most sense to abandon the app. I’m still on twitter, but to be honest, I don’t interact a lot – I use it to follow the bloggers whose content I enjoy, share my posts, and to chat with bloggers in private messages. I know if I used social media regularly I could probably bring traffic to my blog, but I just can’t be bothered. 😅

    Great post! I hope you’ll be able to find what works best for you with regards to social media. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, glad I’m not the only one who feels this way! 😂 Exactly!! Why force yourself to do something that doesn’t make you happy, when you could read a book or something? Same! It was frustrating to see my account grow so slowly, but the likes stayed the same or even lessened…

      I relate to everything you wrote, lol! Social media drains energy so much, in my opinion, it’s not worth the time, even if I could have more followers if I promoted it on several sites. 😅

      Thanks for commenting, I loved reading your experience!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Bookstagram seems like SO MUCH WORK! I’ve thought of trying to focus on it, but I really can’t be bothered to spend so much time on that app when I could be reading or doing anything else. I think writing and reading blog posts is more my speed. I also already have a job where I’m managing an organization’s social media so that’s a double no for me to putting tons of time into bookstagram.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have a love-hate relationship with Instagram as well. I don’t have a bookstagram but I use it for my small business and the algorithm is so terrible! I hate filming reels so it’s so frustrating seeing my engagement just keep dropping. I’ve found hiding my likes and just not checking the insights is really helping me though.
    I also love the idea of having timer limits for apps – I used to have it but I just wasn’t very disciplined and kept clicking ‘ignore for today’ every time it came up oops.

    Liked by 1 person

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