Why removing Instagram has been the best decision to focus on my career

I’ve always been a creative and social mind, and using Social Media at work and becoming a specialist in the field came naturally to me. However, I never thought something so easy and natural could become a potential threat to my mental health.

According to the World Health Organization, burnout symptoms include:

  • Energy depletion or exhaustion
  • Job dissatisfaction
  • Negativity or cynicism related to work
  • Inability to fulfil responsibilities

I had all of these symptoms and more. I was totally burnout.

As Hootsuite explains in their article “10 Ways for Social Marketers to Avoid Social Media Burnout” the work of social media managers is often underpaid, under-appreciated, and unrewarded. Misconceptions about the industry abound, and while skill-level expectations are high, social jobs are often relegated to the intern economy. And I started to believe that my job was useless and not important at all, downplaying it and becoming my own enemy.

I was unable to get inspiration and ideas, posting was like a punishment, opening the laptop was a huge effort and even answering an email was exhausting. It’s been my first and only time having these feelings and I think the pandemic had a lot to do with it as well.

Covid made us stay at home for longer than ever and Social Media came as salvation. Live training sessions, live concerts, DYI, and workshops… content creators were key to keeping us busy. And with that came the addiction to Social Media and the only way to entertain ourselves when meeting with friends was almost impossible, that made me dependent on it in a way that I was not really being conscious of at all.

· I was depressed.

· I was investing more time looking at what others were doing rather than paying attention to my own life and goals.

· I got lost between what others thought was cool vs what I genuinely wanted.

· I started surrounding myself with superficial and frivolous thoughts when I’m not a tiny bit of that.

· I felt I was losing myself wanting to be “normal” and popular rather than embracing my weirdness and what made me special.

While putting everything together in this post seems like a clear result of what I was facing, at the time I had no idea that this was happening to me, or at least that it was happening because of Instagram, and it has taken me a good 2 years to come up to the conclusion that Instagram doesn’t add any value to me at this point neither professionally nor personally and that either I learn to use it or don’t use it at all.

I addressed the issue with my manager at the time and switched to a more generalistic role within marketing and, some months after, thanks to a conversation with my mentor, removed the app from my phone, a total detox of Social Media that has given me so many benefits that I no longer envision it coming back to my smartphone at least in a short-medium period of time.

Changing roles was easy, but removing the app felt really scary as it was like disappearing from the world, but hey! I’m still here, I’m still having fun and enjoying my time and being more productive and focused than ever. In this month of detox, I’ve started a new job, learned how to code (I’m still on it) and I’m trying to get my driving license, definitely the best decision that I made to be the person that I really want to be.

Let me know your experiences, would love to read you! :)

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