This guest post is brought to you by our Namaslay® Yoga Teacher Training Strength and Conditioning Coach Danny Tavino. I hope you enjoy! Please show him some love in the comments if you can relate. XO Candace ps- Since he wrote this post, I talked him back into getting on Instagram because in our line of work, it’s important. :/ :)
I have an addictive personality and I have trouble with moderation. I spend a tremendous amount of my time scrolling through Instagram. It is miserable. I never look up from my phone after scanning thousands of pictures and say to myself, “That was enjoyable.” It is always the opposite. You can only look at edited, cropped, filtered photos for so long before it starts to make you depressed. It is infuriating that I am so focused on being fit and healthy, and yet I continue to crane my neck and put my body in the worst postural positions just to look at people I don't like who post pictures that make me angry.
I have been wanting to rid myself of Instagram for a long time now. I kept convincing myself that I needed it. I follow a few fitness accounts that I relied on for basic stretches or exercises to help me out in the gym; how could I give that up? What about my family, how do I know what they are up to? And lastly, how can I show everyone who follows me how awesome my life is?! That is the point of instagram, right?
I recently listened to the Elon Musk interview on Joe Rogan. I you haven't, I highly recommend listening. They do a lot more than sit around and smoke weed - again all Instagram cares about is a picture of them smoking weed, they fail to report the whole story, which happens to be one of the most thought-provoking interviews of all time. Elon Musk does not have Instagram and Elon Musk is smarter than most people. He mentions what we all already know - that Instagram is where people get to post pictures of their perfect lives. Again, this is not new, but its just the way he talks about it that is so clear. These people, he says, are usually the ones who are the most unhappy with their lives. I guess that is why Elon Musk is who he is and the rest of us are just the common folk. He is able to see through the nonsense that is Instagram, shrug it off and give it the cold shoulder is deserves.
There are so many accounts that I follow that just make me either depressed or angry. There is some good on Instagram, but you have to weed through so much to find it. I have recently found out that I could "mute" people, and that was a game changer. Muting people was incredible! It was a way to not see their posts but still follow them. Me being me, I would still find ways to search for their dumb photos because if I muted someone it meant that they piqued my interest enough, like watching a train wreck - I had to look. Ironically, I was looking at the muted profiles more than the others.
There were a few moments that happened that ultimately made me do the unthinkable and delete the app. The first one was in Panama. Candace and I were on a site visit to El Otro Lado Resort in Panama, scouting a place for a retreat. The place was stunning. It was as private as can be. The only way to access it was by a tiny motor boat. The resort held a maximum of 20 guests at a time and the grounds were beautiful. We were tucked away in the rainforest far from civilization and had our own private bungalow overlooking the bay. One afternoon I found myself laying in bed scrolling through Instagram. I was deep in a luxury travel account rabbit hole. Pic after pic of people in exotic locations. Depression set in. Thoughts of, "Wow, look where they are!" and "Man, I'd love to go there", and "Their hotel is way better than this", start creeping in. Luckily I caught myself; and I was upset. I told myself to turn it around. I am sitting in one of the most beautiful places I'd ever been in, a place very few people will ever see, a place that I should be excited about and yet as I compared myself to my feed I was making myself unhappy. A quote popped into my mind at that exact moment - "The best way to ruin a good thing is to compare it to something else.” I made the decision then to leave my phone in the room and go outside and soak it up. I should have deleted Instagram then, but didn't.
The second sign that I needed to get rid of the app was when I was reading Trevor Noah's book, Born a Crime. He mentioned at one point how much time people spend scrolling through social media. He talks about how after graduating high school, he spent his time just hanging on the corner 'hustling'. He compared hustling on the streets to being on Instagram. While you are hustling you convince yourself that you're working and making progress. But in reality each day comes and goes with little to show for it. Ultimately time goes by and you are standing there with hands in pockets. Scrolling through social media is very much the same - you think you are being productive; but you're not. In that same amount of time, Trevor says, he could have earned an MBA. This got to me. There are so many books I want to read, so much to learn, and even more to accomplish. This was another glaring moment when I should have deleted Instagram, but I didn't.
I've tried all the tricks. I created a folder on my iPhone and put the app in there hoping that it would deter me from using it. It didn't. I looked into apps that regulate the amount of time you spend on your phone, but they are mostly designed for parents overseeing their 10 year olds. That didn't work either. There was one solution to my problem and I knew what it was all along. Out of the blue as I was scrolling through and being the mindless zombie that Instagram makes you, I just had enough. The profiles I follow and the pictures on my feed were just making me angry, I know it is all fake and cropped and edited, but it just reached a boiling point and I was done. I was fed up with the amount of time I was wasting away. I turned to Candace and said, "I'm deleting my Instagram." It was surprisingly easy to do. I clicked the 'X' and it was gone. That was it.
Now, let's not get crazy. My account is still in tact. My photos and profile are still there. It is not as if I have removed myself from the universe. All I did was delete the app from my phone so that I can't access it. My goal is a week, and as I write this now, it has been 5 days so far. To be honest, it has been easier than I thought. I have had more time to read, my workouts have been less interrupted. I have been sleeping better because I am not scrolling through the night. I honestly think a week will be easy and I have seriously thought about deleting my whole profile, although Candace is pushing me not to, because now it's become something I need for business. During the 200hr Intensive Namaslay® Yoga Teacher Training, part of the curriculum is social media and the business side of things. I need to be connected in order to stand up there and teach people how to monetize their accounts. I see her point, YBC is run on Social Media and in order to do my part I need to be in the loop. So here is the dilemma I am in, how do I stay connected to the business and YBC while maintaining my distance from the gravitational pull that is instagram? Suggestions are welcomed. Ironically enough, you can message me @dtslifeinpictures.