Do you love Instagram or other photo sharing apps? Are you addicted to them? Let’s find out! Insert your favorite photo sharing app in the context below and see how you measure you.
1. You check Instagram first thing in the morning.
You wake up from a good night’s sleep. Another great day. Before you even roll out of bed you glance over to your nightstand. There it is. You get your morning stretch in by reaching for your fully charged phone. Without even thinking you open up Instagram. You catch up on latest since you went to bed last night. You browse every photo until you’re completely caught up. Ahhhh Now you can start your day.
2. You browse the Instagram feed every moment you have “downtime” throughout your day.
About an hour after you wake up you feel another urge to check Instagram. I mean C’mon. It’s been 60 minutes…a lot has probably happened. You browse the photo feed every break you have throughout your day. You hate the feeling of missing out on something. Whether you’re in the car sitting at a stoplight, waiting in-between classes, walking into the grocery store, sitting at lunch, etc. you find yourself on Instagram.
3. You post multiple photos a day. Many of them selfies.
“What do you think of my new hairdo?” “Hitting up the gym!” “Starbucks stop…love my latte!” “Sad face because it’s Monday.” “Selfie Friday!” “Sassy face Saturday!” etc. etc. etc. Posting selfies throughout the day is a favorite pastime for most Instagram goers. Now there’s nothing wrong with posting a fun picture of yourself here and there…I’m talking about posting selfies on a regular basis. When your Instagram feed becomes a personal portfolio, that’s a sign you’re a bit obsessed (with yourself). You feel the need to let the world know everything about you and your day.
4. You upload a photo. Then you check your phone every 3 minutes to see how many “likes” you’re getting.
You snap that perfect selfie, choose the filter that makes your skin look flawless, add a catchy title, and hashtag some funny lines. Then you wait. Wait and check. Check and wait. The likes start coming in. A smile forms. Then someone popular likes your photo. You smile even bigger. You continue checking your phone every few minutes until your photo loses it’s steam. You take a mental note of your total “likes” and secretly hope to get more next time.
5. You purposely follow people or groups just to see if they’ll follow you back.
You don’t really know them. They don’t really know you. But you want to see what they’re up to. You want to know what goes on in their day. Are they cooler than you? Prettier? More popular. Better taglines? You want to know. But even more than that, you want to see if they’ll follow you back. If they do, you celebrate. One more follower to boost your numbers. If they don’t, you wonder why. You’re disappointed. Several days later you decide to unfollow them. You would never want the number of your followers to be less than the number you follow.
6. If you’re unable to access Instagram for a long period of time you feel totally “disconnected.”
You’re on a road trip and lose cell signal. You’re in a class and can’t use your phone. You accidentally leave your phone at home for an entire day. You’re on an airplane with zero internet access. You can’t access any of your social media sites. You feel a sense of loss…a sense of disconnection. What’s going on in the world while you’re away? You feel anxious about losing access to your apps. You count the minutes down until you will once again access Instagram.
How did you measure up?
How did you do against the 6 signs of Instagram addiction? Could you relate to some of them? If so, I’m sure you wondered how I read your mind. I read your mind because I read my mind. I use to struggle with most of those 6 signs.
Technology is a great tool, but can easily become a great trap if we’re not careful. What started out as a fun photo sharing program can easily turn into a major time waster and an avenue for prideful broadcasting. I’m not against Instagram (I have an account), it just needs to be used cautiously.
If you find yourself out of control with your favorite photo sharing app, I have two helpful tips for you. These tips are what helped me gain self-control with my apps.
1. Check your pride factor.
Instagram (and other photo sharing apps) is an extremely tempting platform for pride to flourish. Ask yourself the why questions. Why do you post so many selfies? Why do you crave more likes? Why do you envy people with more followers than you? For most of us it comes down to a pride issue. We’re looking to someone or something else for our identity. We unknowingly base our worth and value on how much our “friends” like us.
The best way to overcome these issues is to recognize our prideful heart and confess it to God. We will never feel totally secure and accepted until we focus on what God thinks of us more than what our friends think. We will never stop seeking praise and compliments from others until we embrace our worth and identity in Christ.
2. Set up boundaries.
If you want to lose weight, you go on a diet. If you want to get fit, you start exercising. If you want to pass a hard test, you study. If you want to keep Instagram in check, you set up boundaries. Time is precious. You only have so much time as a young woman. Don’t waste it! Don’t waste hours, and hours, and hours on photo sharing apps. I’ve been there and it’s not worth it. Nothing good comes from it.
The best way to keep your apps in check is to set up firm boundaries for yourself. My sister struggled with wasting too much time on Instagram, so she set up a strict personal boundaries. She committed to only getting on Instagram twice a day. That’s it. No more. Maybe less. It was haaaaard for her at first. But now it’s easy. She broke her bad habits and now uses her extra time for profitable, productive things. Set up boundaries for yourself.
What about you?
- Do you find your identity and worth in what your online “friends” think of you?
- Do you purposely post selfies to “feel good” about yourself and get attention?
- How much time are you wasting on Instagram and other photo apps each day?
- What kind of technology boundaries can you set up in your life?
I’d love to hear from you girl! Let’s chat about Instagram more. Share your thoughts, insights and questions in the comment section below!
Photo credit: www.flickr.com Violently Japy