Why I quit Instagram

Image: Why I quit Instagram

A Christian teen shares how she fell into the "Instagram trap" ... and got back out again.

A great lunch out these days seems to require not only good food ... but also the perfect lighting.

A relationship is only official when your names are in each other’s bios ... and your 'couple photos' have been edited just right. 

Welcome to the world of Instagram.

The other day I was asked for my Instagram handle, to which I replied “I don’t have Instagram.” The response was one of pure horror.

“How can you live without it? How do you know what's going on? How do you communicate with your friends?”

It was this conservation that led me to question why Instagram is taking over our teen lives.

The Instagram trap

The point of Instagram is to scroll through thousands of photos, know what your friends are up to and stay connected, right? However, in our world as we scroll through our feeds we are unconsciously judging not only others but ourselves, becoming obsessed with the idea of being perfect online.

Earlier this year I gave into the pressure of getting Instagram. It was there that I fell into a trap of constantly comparing myself and my life to everyone else’s. It was not long before I realised the only thing that this did was take me further away from Christ. I was no longing striving to live a life that honoured God, but a life that conformed to what the world wanted me to be like.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:11 it states; “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” Instagram did not empower me to live for Christ and it definitely did not encourage or build up others.

The so-called ‘fitspiration’ movement told me how to get the perfect beach body, and said (without the use of words), that my life wasn't good enough. It was unhelpful content like this, and the message that I could never be satisfied with my current life, that led me to cut Instagram out of my life.

Cutting out Instagram

There were definitely some positives that came along with using Instagram, but the downside wasn't worth it. Being a Christian teenager is already hard enough. Having Instagram, in my eyes, was something that added an extra unnecessary stumbling block. In Matthew 5:29 we read;

“If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”

Instagram was causing me to stumble, so I made the decision to remove it. As much as we as teenagers hate to admit it, we are vulnerable and easily affected by those around us. Having Instagram shaped who I was becoming as a person and not in a way that helped me to live for Jesus.

I found that I told myself I wanted Instagram so that I could stay connected with my friends ... but the underlying reason was to fit in. 

I'm interested to know your thoughts as a Christian teen ... have have chosen to use Instagram? If so, why? How do you use it? I am not trying to guilt you, I just want to make sure we're encouraging each other and building each other up no matter what we're doing. 

Comments (3)

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  • user

    Wesley

    I try to use Instagram in a balanced way so that I don’t use too much time on it while also being able to communicate, organize events and share with friends, peers, and local organizations. I often find some posts that help me find Bible verses to read when I struggle, and save them for times when I might need to read them. The app also helps me to get to know kids from other schools.  I know there is some bad stuff on there and the app can put a lot of pressure on how we see ourselves.  By only following and liking content from accounts that I want the app automatically adjusts the content which reduces the inappropriate content significantly. I also found some great accounts that have helped to grow in my relationship with Jesus. (@instagodministries) The content from these accounts gave me things to pray about and pointed me to some interesting things I wanted to learn more about and in turn I gradually learned a lot. Through a combination of prayer and reading these verses or quotes I think I grew in learning to have patience and trust in bringing up my faith with people around me. (I’m working towards having my family and I go to Church together. I know that my family stopped going to Church a while ago to take care of us kids but now that we are older I think I can get us to go again. I’ve made some progress and my Grandma already goes. My Mom has bought me some Bible books and I see my Dad praying and driving my Grandmother to Church. And my sister seems ok with the idea so no-one seems to have any huge problems with this. Any advice? :D ) But I do agree with this article in the fact that I have sometimes seen myself compare myself to others in a negative way. When this happens, I try to just turn away and forget about it, and spending time with your family or just quietly praying or doing something you enjoy. Its hard but I think you just have to try and be confident in yourself, and grateful for your blessings.

  • user

    Ancy

    This situation prevails not only for Instagram but also for other apps like Facebook and snapchat. I have not used snapchat so I don’t know about that, but I surely do know the after effects of facebook and instagram. I was wasting my time scrolling through unwanted post which takes most of my time. So I thought of deleting facebook and I found that I had such a lot of time left to take care of myself spiritually, physically and mentally. It even goes for entertainment websites like youtube but we do not know it. When we leave all these and pray to god even for a minute earnestly, the peace and comfort we get, it cannot be explained by words. We should try it for ourselves and experience it.

  • user

    Bayleigh

    I agree with Wesley, I use Instagram in positive ways such as keeping in touch with old friends and strengthening my relationship with the Lord. I also use it to lead others to Christ and positively influence my followers and the people I follow. It’s such a great tool to use to build others up and spread the Word!!!