I’ve been Instagram-sober for six days (Opinion)
Tuesday, someone took me to task for saying that I’m “sober” because for the second time in the last six months, I removed Instagram from my phone six days ago. As if the word “sober” only applies to certain addictions. And I was addicted. No doubt about it.
The idea of a few hours at night sitting and relaxing while scrolling through my Instagram feed would put me in a good mood; it was something to look forward to, especially after a rough day. Just mindless pleasant scrolling through the colors and pictures and outfits and other peoples lives and stuff. I used it for shopping, yes, but I also would spend an hour or two or three in the vortex of clicking on “@so and so” to the point where I’m looking at the sister of an aunt of a cousin’s roommate and I don’t even know how I got there.
What’s worse is that I never really posted—I just lurked. From the way Instagram lives look—my life is pretty damn lame comparatively. it’s not like I’m stupid.. I have a beautiful life replete with many blessings and I know that I’m very lucky. I know that those lives depicted aren’t real and that everyone has issues and problems, but the constant scrolling through seemingly perfect lives at night, at the end of a long day is akin to brainwashing.
It did sometimes start to get to me. For instance, I have no desire to live in Manhattan or even be there for more than a day here and there, so why was I all of a sudden feeling slighted that I didn’t own a four million dollar apartment there? Something was totally wrong! Not to mention the constant admonishment from my husband throughout the hours that he would wake up and roll over and see me scrolling. “You still on that f***ing thing?? Get off it! You’re wasting your life!” In fact, groggy and bleary-eyed the next morning, I would understand he was so right. Yet, I’d proceed to do the same exact thing the next night... and in any line I stood in... and in just about any free moment I had.
My grandkids would sometimes crawl on my lap and say “Grandma, what are you looking at all the time?” And (not wanting to put the device down) I’d scroll with them, narrating like a nauseating bed time story, saying, “This is Arielle.. she shows clothes that she designs! This is my friend's mom. This was her birthday party! These are pretty shoes, right?”
So I’m off, again... it’s been six days. I’m six days Instagram-sober. It’s one day at a time. And *bleep* you if you are offended from the use of the word sober to describe my abstinence. An addiction ss an addiction. I’m not proud of it, but the idea of scrolling through Instagram still runs through my head every couple of hours throughout the day. I pick up my phone and go, “What do I look at?” Then check my email for the 20th time, and think, “There’s nothing interesting, fun, or colorful in email! I. MISS. INSTA!”
But email at least serves a purpose. So it’s better than the black hole of Insta which, like an actual addictive substance, I both love and hate.
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