I’ve done a few social media experiments in my life, but this last one has taught me to stop doing social media experiments.
Let me explain –
I thought I was spending too much time on Instagram. While I have no problem with scrolling through content that makes me laugh, think critically, or simply feel happy to have seen (every single fountain pen Instagram account that I follow), I do take issue with scrolling mindlessly over things that do not interest me. Things that only appeal to me because they were designed to leech onto my most base of instincts and curiosities.
I caught myself in a scroll of posts featuring the actors from Friends in their teen years. I am embarrassed to admit this, but I was in that feed for well over half an hour.
Half. An hour.
Do I like Friends? Sure. Do I like it enough to learn about the actors and writers? No. I do not seek Friends content. Yet, there I was wading through a river of their high school photos like that wasn’t creepy.
This event led me to the experiment: Only posting twice a month. Uploading a lot of content all at once and forgetting about it.
This idea is excellent on paper, but just like depriving yourself of your favorite food while dieting, the moment you cut yourself off, you think about it a lot more than you did before.
This is why deprivation dieting doesn’t work by the by. The moment you give in, you feel relief thereby building neural pathways in your mind that equate giving in to your craving or, in my case, Instagram with pleasure, relief, and relaxation.
But here’s the thing: I didn’t feel deprived this week. I didn’t think about Instagram at all really until a friend of mine said, “Hey, I really miss your daily mug picture.” I explained my experiment to you and told her that I am still taking pictures of my coffee. I’m only waiting to share them.
As I said that, I felt so stupid. The thing that I was hoping to avoid was endless scrolling which wasn’t a problem for me. I corrected it when I found myself doing it. I have already fixed the glitch.
So, why did I think I need to take a step back from the only social media platform I use? I let messages about social media influence my use of it.
You may have noticed that people on social media like to post about taking breaks from social media. People are constantly talking about how they spend too much time on social media. Where are they talking about it? On social media and traditional media!
I fell victim to social media in this way. I was convinced I had a problem when the fact is I got trapped in a rabbit hole and found my way out…ONCE!
So, what does this have to do with my social media experiment now and future experiments?
I’ve decided to not do anymore experiments and end this one. I am an adult. I’ll just post when I want and scroll through pictures of fountain pens when I want.