I Deleted Instagram Off My Phone and This Is What Happened

Sunday, March 10, 2024

 It's been two full weeks since I deleted Instagram off the home page of my phone. Since then my life has become exponentially better: I started painting again which is something I've been wanting to do for literally years, and I finished my first project (a painted Louis Vuitton bag) within one and a half weeks. I also made the decision that even if I had to sit and stare at the walls in boredom it would be better than the black hole of scrolling that had consumed a massive amount of the last few years of my life. And what happened was that I was forced to notice my feelings, and through them, I was able to address certain fears and insecurities that were holding me back. This led to me actively working through healing processes that I spewed about on social media, but had obviously been running away from, by escaping into virtual reality and playing the role as the coach, healer and expert. And man it's definitely easier said than done. But I did the uncomfortable work by really going deep into my feelings, listening to the  parts of me I had been keeping hidden away, giving myself compassion and then finally shifting into a new version of myself that was dying to come out. I also faced one of my most uncomfortable fears and resumed writing a book that I started literally five years ago. 

One of the things that I did to set myself up for success was to replace the Instagram app with a journaling app. Because these social media apps have been designed and programmed with AI to get us all addicted and distracted to the point that if we don't post everything we're doing, eating, or feeling it's as if our lives don't count at all, I knew that I would instinctively go to and click on the app in that location whenever I felt bored or tired. But what I found out was that in those first few days, my neural pathways were so ingrained to click on the app, that I did it constantly throughout the day without even thinking about it. So I journaled instead. I also realized that taking photos and posting things in and of itself is not a bad thing; it was and is something I love to do as a powerful form of self expression. The difference was that I was doing it privately for myself, which eliminated all the expectations for likes, comments, messages...aka outside validation! 

With every day that went by, my addiction to clicking on the app started to wane, and I began to feel empowered about keeping my life private, as well as saving loads of energy that spending time on social media seems to zap out of us, for writing, painting, and expressing creativity in ways that served to boost my own self esteem and love, rather that steal it away. I also actively made an effort to reach out to friends and family that I love, or wanted to get to know better, and scheduled to meet up with some of them. I created a social calendar for myself that was full enough to not feel isolated, but also gave me my own space to expand myself, heal and create privately.

Looking back on my journal posts, I realized that on the first few days I wrote as if I was planning on posting what I was writing on social media to "share" with the world; because that is somehow how I justified spending so much of my time on the app. I convinced myself that I was "inspiring the world," and that after a week or so I would get back on and share my posts. But, my mental health and life in general got so much richer that as the days went by, my journal posts became more personal, real, and for-my-eyes-only, as journal posts should be! 

This morning I woke up and decided it was time to write about my two week experience more publicly, but in a space that is my own and has a lot of meaning for me. Opening up Blogger and logging on was like coming home to a place that gave me so much joy and fulfillment, even before Instagram was invented! Will I go now and post this link on Instagram? I have no clue yet. Maybe I'll just leave it here and whoever is meant to see it will, and that will be enough. Maybe not. But either way I am writing this for myself in this moment. 

So now, I'm going to selectively share some of the thoughts and insights I recorded in my journal that will bring light to my Instagram detoxing experience. Of course I will only pick out the things I posted that I choose to include expressly for the sake of sharing some of the journey of the experience. 

Sunday, February 25, 2014

My first journal post was a voice note I recorder that is loosely transcribed here:

    "So I replaced my Instagram app with this app so I could take a break from Instagram which I started to find was very toxic for me, and it was sucking out the time that I could be using for more creative endeavors. And I know if I do some creative things, I will be happier. So, since I added this app, it's been maybe an hour and I clicked on it like 3 times just instinctively and then I would just quickly turn it off, so now I'm entering my first journal entry. It's Sunday morning, when I should be saying my tehillim and davening and connecting spiritually, but of course I keep going back to my phone, so one of my goals this week is to get more connected spiritually and elevate my vibrations to feel the love of the world for myself and others and do my creative work without having to post it or get validation for it from Instagram which is extremely toxic."

    "....I already feel so much better abut writing in this journal than scrolling or posting on Insta. With posting there are expectations of validation; with journaling there is just relishing and holding onto the current emotions and moments for yourself. I can already feel how much healthier this is for me."

Here are some more journal screenshots. (Note: I cut off parts that I'm keeping private and are not relevant to this post):

Monday, February 26, 2014

Journal voice note about self expression for the sake of self expression for yourself, transcribed loosely:

    "Another thing I'm learning about myself through this practice of journaling is that I have so much to express. I have so many ideas that keep coming to me that I need to express. The problem is, when you express on social media there are only a tiny percentage of people who are going to see it or respond to it. When you're putting it out there, it kind of comes with an expectation of results. So with that expectation comes the disappointment of realizing that most people don't even appreciate what you have to say (it waters down your impact, as opposed to sharing one on one with real friends). And that can trigger feelings of not being heard, seen or appreciated. But when you write it in a journal it's just for you. There's no pressure whatsoever. Expressing yourself does not necessarily depend on the approval you get to be valid. Whatever you want to express is valuable and worthy in its own right, and based on your perception, not anyone else's. As the famous quote goes: The way others react or respond to you is always about them, and not about you."

Tuesday, February 27, 2014

Monday, March 4, 2024

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Friday, March 8, 2024

This was after my daughter ran in the Jerusalem marathon and I got the itch to share. But I ended up sharing on WhatsApp with close friends and family only.

Pretty much towards the end of the first week, my posts were mostly private journaling, rather than about being off Instagram.  It took LESS THAN A WEEK to wake up and live fully outside the metaverse without feeling any lack or emptiness (besides for a few minutes a day of Pinterest scrolling for inspiration for my creative endeavors).  Once I unglued myself from the muck of AI addiction it becomes crystal clear how dull, repetitive, competitive, and negative life is in there as opposed to living in the real world. Even if that includes times of boredom and facing uncomfortable emotions. Life is still richer and healthier offline. I'm honestly mindblown at how effective AI is at convincing us of the opposite! 

I now see Instagram simply as a tool. Perhaps I'll share this very post there. Perhaps I'll visit once in a while and create some content when I feel like I have something worthy of sharing. Or perhaps I'll just let it go for good. Because after two weeks I hardly miss it and can clearly see it has done nothing beneficial for my life. And yes, I'm even including the fact that it helped me facilitate some fame back in the Fashion-isha blogging days. Really! What has it given me that I have sold my soul to the machine for? It hasn't made me more rich or authentically loved. And it certainly has not aided in healing what needed to be healed. If anything, it did the opposite. If and how ever I decide to use social media, I'm going to be the one using it, and not the other way around.

With much love,


March 10, 2014

A note on being an activist on social media: This may get me some hate, because I know from personal experience that getting swept into becoming a keyboard activist for a cause gives you a tremendous sense of purpose and accomplishment. The ego will convince us that we are changing the world and without our posts the world will fall apart. But here's the truth: The world IS falling apart and full of evil regardless of our posts.  The world is ALSO constantly being built up and full of beauty, love, joy and goodness. The perfect example is Israel: For people who only know Israel from media, it is a scary, dangerous, war torn, politically broken, sad, and for many, evil place. But in the real world, Israel is exquisitely beautiful, constantly being built up, full of joyful, strong, resilient, kind, friendly, and crazy fun people of every race and religion. Today, an Arab couple out celebrating the upcoming Ramadan stopped me to ask if I would take a picture for them. The interaction was light and friendly, as if all was good and peaceful in the world. And in that snapshot of the moment, in both my world and theirs, and the world of everyone who was around us, IT WAS good and peaceful! New high tech and modern buildings, roads, train tracks, gourmet restaurants, and businesses are popping up and flourishing at a pace that is nothing less than miraculous, despite any concurrent darkness. But the metaverse (and that's where we all are when we're spending hours on social media), is a way darker place than the real world. Inside, we have access 24/7 to every horrific thing that is going on. We are literally exposing ourselves to too much darkness! G-d created us to have a limited experience based on our own personal lives, not to have to experience every terrible thing going on in the world at once, or to have to see everything everyone is busy with all day and night. This is absolutely terrible for our health and well being and does very little to actually affect things in the real world. We've been brainwashed about how evil it is to stay silent on social media, but by spending hours inside a virtual world, we deplete any and all energy we have to actually take actions necessary to try to fix the real world. This, I believe is purposeful and part of the evil agenda of social media. (Apple's logo is pretty much symbolism for Adam and Chava's Eitz Ha'daas fruit! And guess who the snake is?) A cordial conversation with an Arab taxi driver is far more effective than reposting online trolls to show how "bad" people who are sitting behind their keyboards (or bots) are. I've wasted hundreds of hours as a keyboard warrior and it has done nothing to change whats' going on on the outside. What it does do though, is it rots us on the inside, causing us to feel frozen, stuck, paralyzed in doom and despair, and eventually desensitized and brainwashed.  I've learned that by getting out of there and actively using our energy to become our best versions in the real world, we can change the environment around us, which creates a ripple affect around the world. If you have a blessed life, but feel guilty because it's so bad on social media that you feel like you have to post, it's just an illusion. Get out of there. Enjoy your blessed life and give back in the real world. 

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