I just about managed three weeks

I GAVE UP INSTAGRAM FOR A MONTH

SPOILER ALERT: I never got to a month. I just about managed three weeks. Pathetic, right? But it’s not as easy as it seems. Look, I’m not expecting a standing ovation but hear me out. You see, as the Digital Editor for Men’s Health, my job is to basically live on social media. I have to observe trends, interactions, engagement rates, who’s hot (who’s not) and, most importantly, what moncler sale filter to put on our next Instagram post.

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moncler sale outlet It’s a weird job, I must admit, especially compared to some of my friends who work in banks, offices and operating theatres. A bad day for them is losing a patient. For me, it’s a typo, or a bunch of unfollows. moncler sale outlet

It’s still a job. It’s my job. And I love it. Well, I did, until I started to become obsessed moncler outlet store with social media. More specifically, with Instagram.

One morning in particular, I counted that I had clicked onto the 25 times before lunch. 25 times. I had no idea why. I hadn’t posted anything, I wasn’t stalking anyone (no more than usual, anyway), it was just a force of habit. A twitch. A thing to do. A knee jerk cheap moncler jackets reaction to having a minute or two spare.

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moncler outlet online Not only were my days becoming less productive, I was tiring myself out. I was becoming anxious. moncler outlet online

Research has shown a significant relationship between social media and rising anxiety levels. Published online in the journal Computers in Human Behaviour, a recent study found that the use of multiple social media platforms is more strongly associated with depression and anxiety among young adults than time spent online.

Smartphone anxiety is on the rise, too. A review of 23 studies, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, found that smartphone use was associated with symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as increased experiences of stress. The research also found that the more participants used their smartphones, moncler jacket sale the more moncler sale outlet likely they were to experience symptoms associated with Cheap Moncler these disorders.

buy moncler jackets cheap moncler coats It’s not just normal folk feeling down as they swipe up. Chris Hemsworth, moncler factory outlet a recent MH cover star, recently admitted to struggling with smartphone anxiety and called out our dependence on our devices, explaining how it can give similar issues to those caused by drinking and drugs. buy moncler jackets

cheap moncler jackets I wasn ‘depressed’ because of social media, I was just becoming far too reliant on it. Time to take a step back. cheap moncler jackets

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moncler outlet store In 1996, the Church of Scientology created a short film. In the final scene, the host, Larry Anderson says, “If you leave this room after seeing this film, and walk out and never mention Scientology again, you are perfectly free to do so. It would be stupid, but you can do it. You also drive off a bridge and blow your brains out. That is your choice.” moncler outlet store

Like Scientology, it’s not easy to quit social media. Many platforms want a reason why you are saying goodbye and make it deliberately hard to get to this point. Some ask several times if this is something you really want to do. It’s your choice, of course, but is it the ‘right’ choice?

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moncler outlet In fact, quitting Instagram is far from straight forward. For a mobile first media platform, you can only disable your account via your desktop. And you’re only allowed to disable your account once a week. All these tiny factors are designed to moncler outlet sale put doubt in your mind. It’s your choice, as always, but remember, is moncler outlet uk it the ‘right’ choice? moncler outlet

cheap moncler coats Call me weird, but it felt like I was betraying Instagram. It had done so much for me hiding the bags under my eyes, making me look well travelled but it wasn’t Instagram’s fault that I had become addicted to it. These were my own failures. There are a number of ways this is done. cheap moncler coats

moncler outlet sale The art of taking a picture: “Capturing images has been habit forming for over a century,” Eyal says, and it stems from “this anxiety that we feel if we don’t capture this moment it will disappear forever.” moncler outlet sale

The immediate reward: “Part of Instagram’s genius is providing these filters,” Eyal says. “Now that shitty picture that I used to take on the native app https://www.moncleroutletmall.com of my phone moncler outlet online looks decent, shareable.”

It becomes a rather intimate social network: “Over time, there’s successive cycles through the hook. It’s not just about capturing the moment, Instagram is also a social network,” Eyal says. “So now the internal triggers become boredom, seeking connection, FOMO [Fear of Missing Out].”

And you’ll never want to miss out again: “FOMO is a huge reason to use Instagram,” Eyal says. “Not just to take pictures, but this fear of missing out on the moment. And my solution to alleviate hat pain point, that psychological itch, is to open Instagram and scroll through.”

Worrying stuff, right? Everything starts to get a little Black Mirror when you realise none of this down to chance. As Eyal points out, Instagram founder Kevin Systrom majored in symbolic systems at Stanford, a field that lies at the intersection of psychology and computer science. “[Systrom] knows a lot,” he says.

That’s how it felt. Only I wasn’t looking in. I wasn’t looking at anything. It was quite daunting, especially at first. I can’t remember the amount of times I unlocked my phone only to realise that I didn’t have Instagram anymore. After a few seconds of dithering on my home screen, I would sheepishly put my phone back in my pocket. This happened many times. I called it Instagram the initial withdrawal period (around day three), the jittery hands had subsided and I was starting to feel better. I wasn’t worrying about taking a picture. I wasn’t dwelling on posting a witty caption. I wasn’t getting angry at someone’s smug, humblebrag post.

I felt out of the loop. Which, at first, was fine. But no one wants to live in the shadows forever. To be pushed to one side. It does sound a little crazy, but we currently live in a world where everyone is vying for position. Everyone wants to be heard. To make their mark. Social media platforms are the place for this.

A by line on an article used to be justification enough. A glowing nod from your boss was all one used to strive for. But those days are long gone. People need more. Currently, there is this need to tell the world what you are up to.

It seems I was no different. If I had created a video series (see, I’m doing it now), or a Men’s Health Masterclass event, I want people to know that it was me who worked on it. It sounds shallow, but these are the monsters we have become.

cheap moncler outlet That’s what happened, so I logged back on. Look, we all have an ego and if we’re proud of something, we should be allowed to shout about it. But there is a fine line cheap moncler outlet.