I would rather do many things than doomscroll on Instagram. I would rather do many things that try to think up some short, quippy, mostly true and yet shocking thing to say on Instagram. I would rather do many things than try to be super sincere while still being vulnerable so that people will like, follow me on Instagram. So, after reading Johann Hari's article in The Guardian this weekend, I said, "Goodbye!" to Instagram. I've left my page up so that people can find me if they want, but I'm not monitoring it anymore. Here are some of the things I get to do more of now because I'm no longer on Instagram.
I would rather read a book than spend time on Instagram. Here are some of the books I am going to read in the coming months now that I don't have to devote mental energy to staring at my phone, trying to decide how to respond to Instagram comments.
I would rather play with my cats than spend time on Instagram. I have two cats — Hestia and Circe. They are sisters and they will be two years old next month. This fall they caught and killed two mice. We live in an old house, and although we've never seen a mouse or evidence of one, I'm sure they are in the walls. Two mice dared to come out and I'm sure they were sorry they did. For Christmas I got the cats some toy mice, and they are a joy to watch play with them. Cats are curious, playful, funny, and sweet. This is Circe — she sits on this stool when she thinks it's time to be fed (which is a little more often than she needs).
I would rather work on a puzzle than spend time on Instagram. This is the puzzle I got for Christmas from my cousin. Yes, it's David from Schitt's Creek. It was very hard — do you see all that black? I worked on it alone. Sometimes my husband would stop by and help for a couple of minutes. My dad helped me with the 70 pieces of just black. It's nice to stand and stare at the shapes and colours and have conversation with someone. When I finished this puzzle I opened another puzzle. It's a picture of colourful cupcakes. My son has been working on it with me, which has been lovely. Maybe I'll write about doing that puzzle next.
I would rather stand in the snow with bare feet than spend time on Instagram. No, really! This isn't a comment about how awful Instagram is, to say that something terrible is better. Actually, standing in the snow with bare feet, when the sun is shining on you, is quite glorious. And now I have more time to do this. In fact, I've gone out twice this morning to stand in the snow with the sun shining on my face. I'm sure the neighbours think I'm weird. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I would rather knit a sweater than spend time on Instagram. Last year I knit 12 sweaters, plus this tiny sweater/ornament for the tree. Knitting this tiny sweater was awful — it was knit in one piece, in the round, top down, just like how I knit full-sized sweaters. I thought it would be fun to knit a tiny sweater. It was not. But I would even rather knit a tiny sweater than be on Instagram. I will likely only knit person-sized sweaters with my extra time, though.
I would rather read the local paper than spend time on Instagram. Getting the local paper has helped me learn about the new place I've moved to during this pandemic. It was strange — for the first few months I really couldn't figure out this place. We were very isolated, only talking to family, who were the only people that we knew here. I enjoy my morning time with the local paper. I even do the Sudoku.
I would rather be practicing yoga, or breathing, or doing movement on my own than spending time on Instagram.
I would rather go to Gumdo than spend time on Instagram. Yes, we can still practice together (with masks) here. Haidong Gumdo is a martial art with swords that I started practicing nearly a year ago. I've already gotten my purple belt, and I'm hoping to get my black belt this year. It's hard work, and it's very fun.
I would rather work than spend time on Instagram. I love my work. I love learning about breathing. I love teaching. I enjoy the process of putting together presentations, the writing, the graphic design. Finding Kevala Pranayama starts NEXT WEEK! and the upcoming Breath Retraining Course begins in February. I hope that you'll join me if you can.
I'd rather talk to my oldest, dearest friend, whom I call 'sister' on Zoom than spend time on Instagram. I mean, I'd rather hang out in person, but I'll take Zoom. I'm sure you all understand this one. And that's kind of the thing — we're looking for connection, but you won't find it on Instagram like you will in real life. Put the phone down and go talk to a real person.
I thought finding 10 things would be tough, but there are actually so many more things I would like to do. I'd go for a walk in the woods, or play a card game with my family. I'd talk on the phone with my kids, or sit by a cozy fire. I'd eat meals with my husband or bake bread. What are all the things you'd rather do than spend time on social media (pick your platform!), and how can you shift that energy to the things you actually value this year? Not a New Year's Resolution (who really keeps those?), but a real shift in your priorities, your connections, your time and attention.
If you used to follow me on Instagram and you'd like to keep in touch, you can still find me on Facebook (for now), or sign up for my irregular newsletter.
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