I deactivated my Instagram for a portion of October this year as I had a moment of realisation that I was becoming obsessed with it. I was picking up my phone simply to scroll and double tap, not really even paying attention to the content I was ‘liking’. I couldn’t even begin to calculate the time spent doing this absent mindedly throughout my days but I would definitely be more productive at work and at home if I could just stop it!
When I did reactivate my account I realised something – the majority of the posts I was liking (and therefore IG algorithms were creating for my browsing convenience) were ‘fitness’ related. When I say that I don’t mean motivational, not for me. I mean women with a body type that is not mine – and to be honest, it’s not likely that it ever will be. I was creating an ideal based on image and every time I looked at them I felt bad about myself. Perhaps if I didn’t eat as much sugar, or just went out for a run more often, or joined a gym, I might be happier. Which is of course not at all true.
I became so annoyed with the way my brain had created this pattern of sub-conscious self hatred that I naturally disconnected with social media, but I have been doing some thinking. Perhaps instead, I could use it to my advantage – it is, after all, the way of the world now, people are becoming more and more visually stimulated as we don’t read as much anymore, but we seek instant information and gratification in the form of pictures & videos. Instead perhaps I could change what I look at on IG, make it not about this body, or this mind (which has clearly been malfunctioning) but about moments.
My intention for 2018 is to experience more. Of course this means to travel (if you do follow me – I like to travel) and visit interesting places, but in between these trips I am challenging myself to really be involved in the interesting aspects of the world around me wherever I am. Be it on my long walk to the train station in the mornings, or when we’re out walking in the hills in the UK. I want to experience learning (new books!), different foods (I’m trying vegan again – new post on that shortly) and more presence. I want to capture the moments I am aware and really nourishing myself, my mind & my soul in 2018. It may well be that this is a lot of lying on my yoga mat on my living room floor so you might get a lot of photos of my ceiling but I am challenging us all to look outside of the material aspects of our lives, outside of our narrow vision of our looks and our possessions and try to look up, look out, look far but just look with intention.