It's been seven days since I officially deleted Instagram off my phone. Seven long days. As one of the founders of Women Who Explore, it was one of the hardest things I have done. In a day and age where social media seems to be everything, it is a risk for us to take a step back. Leaving over 200,000 followers in the dark for a month, not knowing if they would support us, or leave us. Not knowing if they will be there when we return. Not knowing if they will understand why we felt this need to go #darkforthirty.
The idea to go dark for a month was born on a road trip. We were feeling drained and consumed by the world of social media. We started calculating how much time we actually spent on IG, and it was just way too much. There are important things happening in our personal lives that should be the priority, and they weren't. We started chatting to women and realizing that they were being negatively impacted by social media. Instead of wanting to get outdoors and be inspired, they were comparing themselves to others and feeling bad about they way they looked and the places they went. We realized something had to change.
The toughest part of it all was realizing that we are not perfect with our content, and we recognize we need to take a time out and reflect. We want to post photos that inspire women but don’t make them feel badly about themselves. We are taking this month to think about the content we want to publish, to re-connect with the people we love and the people that have come into our lives through Women Who Explore. It’s a month of brainstorming, a month of detox, and a month to make Women Who Explore even better in the future.
So….how’s it going, you might ask? Well, if I am being honest, it’s hard as hell. I miss seeing what adventures people are going on. I panic thinking about what we are missing. What new Instagram features are happening that we are missing out on. What is our audience up to? Are they doing rad things that we should also be doing?
Looking back, it’s hard to imagine I even had time to spend three to four hours per day on Instagram. It’s only been a week, but I have accomplished more on my to-do list than I ever thought I could. I’ve also put down my phone more, and I haven't sat in bed every morning for 30 minutes checking out our hashtag, liking photos, and responding to comments and messages. Frankly, it’s been a little liberating.
In seven short days I have learned one thing: I need to stop comparing myself to others. I need to remember that social media often shows a quick snapshot of someone's life, not the whole story. I haven't felt this tug of longing that I do when I look through my Instagram feed. I haven't felt the need to plan 37 trips that I definitely can't afford to go on. I haven't felt like my hair isn't pretty enough, that my outfits don't match the scenery enough.
I hope this bold step will encourage you to take a look at your life and really take a moment to think about what is truly important. We hope that this inspires you enough to put down the phones and focus on what truly matters in life: real human relationships with your loved ones.
Seven days down, 23 more to go. I’ll be back next week with an update on how week two goes!