4 Things to Consider Before Deleting Instagram and How to Do It
With nearly one and a half billion active users, it is fair to say that Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. Founded in 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, Instagram was one of the first platforms to put photographs front and centre. Whilst the world had grown accustomed to monochromatic Facebook or MySpace feeds filled with statuses and posts, Instagram created a feed that was full of life, colour, and vibrancy, detailing daily lives and events without the need for words at all.
Today, many things have stayed the same – while others have changed beyond recognition. Not only are users' lives revealed with snaps, but they can also now create reels, which allow followers to watch short and entertaining videos, where you can express your creativity and reveal a more intimately detailed snapshot of your day. Brands and influencers have unlocked the secret to Instagram marketing, which means the platform is split between two worlds and, for some, it’s time to move onto greener pastures.
The Perfect Social Media Platform
Instagram is, for all intents and purposes, the perfect social media platform. It allows us to take and share a variety of pictures of our day, whilst also understanding that our attention span can be limited when keeping up to date with others.
Take Facebook, for instance. The average US adult has 338 friends on this social media platform. If each of those friends placed just one status on their page, then you would have to spend your time reading 338 statuses in just one day. On the other hand, if you had 338 friends on Instagram, then one picture for each friend is far easier to scroll through and digest. Not to mention you would get just as much of an understanding of where they are and what they are doing, if not more.
It’s certainly true when they say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and we consider ourselves fans of streamlining the daily scroll.
The Deleting Conundrum
Despite all of the positives that Instagram has to offer, however, it is not all sunshine and roses when it comes to the platform. In fact, if you have clicked on the title of this article, then it is likely that you are considering deleting the platform from your life altogether. That’s fair enough. Social media is not for everyone, and for a lot of people, the benefits of using a platform like Instagram are outweighed by the negatives which it can induce into their lives. But before you make any kind of decision, there are plenty of things you should consider.
We’re going to fight the case for Instagram by walking you through the platform as a whole. What you are using it for, what it is giving you, the negatives, the positives, and whether it is really something you want to eject from your life. Don’t worry, if you still feel the need to delete it by the end of this article, then we will also give you a guide to successfully get rid of it. So, sit back, keep an open mind, and let’s go through this step by step.
What Kind of Instagram User Are You?
Firstly, it is important to consider exactly what kind of Instagram user you are. Of course, there are many reasons to use Instagram. They are as follows:
The Business Insta User
You use Instagram to advertise your business, with everyday posts detailing a product with new, inventive camera angles, luxurious adverts, or positive customer experiences. Of course, there is little reason for a business to want to delete their Instagram, especially if you have already taken the time to build followers. So, we’re going to assume this is not the reason you are here and move on.
You are an Instagram user who acts just like the average user. You have daily updates on your life and activities, as well as a few sneaky adverts which you slip into your Instagram posts every now and then. Once again, there is little reason for you to delete a source of income in your life. So again, we’re going to assume you are not Kylie Jenner and move on.
The Avid Everyday User
You use Instagram just as every avid, social media lover would. You upload at least once a day and take an hour or two scrolling through your friend’s feeds, keeping up to date with their lives, watching their reels, and staying generally interactive for a solid portion of the day.
The Passive Everyday User
You use Instagram conservatively, but enough that it is still a regular presence in your life. You may not post every single day, but you certainly click on the app every day, scrolling pretty quickly through your feed to see what’s going on in the world and keeping up to date with your friends and family.
The Once in A Blue Moon User
Your catchphrase when it comes to this app is “oh yeah, I forgot about this”, and when you click on ‘Update Feed’, it takes a couple of minutes for your phone to buffer through the months of uploads you have missed out on. You don’t, or have never, posted to Instagram. You follow a few celebrities and maybe a handful of friends, and you only update yourself on their lives when you’re bored in the restroom.
For this discussion, we’re going to rule out everyone who isn’t an avid everyday user or a passive everyday user, as this amounts to the majority of Instagram users anyway. If you are a business or influencer, then you should get back to work. For anyone else, the next thing you should consider is…
Are You Reaping the Full Benefits of Instagram?
There are a few factors you have to think about before you take the step to deleting. First of all, what are you using Instagram for? For many people, it is more of a personal thing. You want a way to record your life and keep it in the cloud. In the same way that people used to keep albums full of photographs, you want to accumulate precious moments of your life and place them into a place you can look at every day.
It’s a readymade excuse to curate beautiful moments – and having those moments curated can only be a benefit. You might even decide to make one of these albums yourself, using the tool of social media to make an Instagram photo book to hold in the flesh and have as a keepsake on the coffee table.
The other reason you might use Instagram is to stay up to date with your friends and family. For many of us, social media is the only method to keep actively involved in the lives of those who are closest to us. If a friend or family member moves abroad, then you can still feel connected to their daily lives and routine. After all, a phone call will only bring you up to date in a very matter of fact way. Your daughter might tell you about a coffee date they had with a friend, but Instagram can allow you to actually see that coffee date. It allows you to see their smile, their laughs, what coffee they had, what the weather was like, what they were wearing; you can see every inch of that moment and feel far more emotionally connected to what they are getting up to.
Something to consider…
In this day and age, both of these reasons are very important to maintaining a sense of connection and integration with a wider family or friendship group. If you were to delete your Instagram, then you would lose all of that. In terms of your own record of photographs and memories, it may still be on your phone, but you won’t have the context of what you were doing and how you were feeling. You won’t have the reactions from your friends and family, or comments about how wonderful your day looked.
Similarly, you would not be able to keep in contact with your friends and family in the way that you did before. That coffee date which you could see, and feel would become a passing line during a telephone call, which take place once or twice a week if you are lucky. Keeping your Instagram allows you to keep connected to everyone that matters in your life.
Why Are You on the Fence?
Of course, simply keeping a record of your life and keeping in contact with your friends and family is a good enough reason to keep Instagram. But the fact is, you are here reading this article, which means there must be reasons you want to delete. The most prevalent of these reasons is that you feel Instagram is impacting negatively on your own life.
Perhaps you feel that you are jealous of other Instagram accounts, feeling like your life is not as invigorating or exciting as your friends. Or perhaps you are tired of routinely trying to find the perfect picture to get the best reaction possible. There are ways in which social media can impact you negatively if this is the case. No one wants to feel that their life is not good enough, and vice versa, it can be quite draining to go to great lengths to make your day or activities more interesting than they actually are.
Another reason you may want to delete is simply because you enjoy using Instagram too much. You are too enwrapped with keeping up to date and you spend far too much time wanting to update your own Instagram, agonising too much over the number of likes or tone of reactions.
Something to consider…
For any of these reasons, there are perfectly good solutions which do not involve permanently deleting the platform as a whole. First off, you should never feel jealous or ashamed of your own life in relation to others. It is important to remember that Instagram is just a snapshot of a day, and a carefully orchestrated one at that. This is certainly true if you are following a lot of influencers. If you are thinking of deleting Instagram for this reason, then delete the number of people you are following. This way, you will not be scrolling through a variety of users who greatly exaggerate their own lives to make themselves look good.
You should also be aware that, for the people that love you most, just a picture of your face or your surroundings can be enough to brighten their day. No one is asking you to provide exciting, invigorating content. That is not what Instagram is about. Everyone’s life is interesting and different in their own way, and you do not have to present this to the world on Instagram. Similarly, if you are spending a lot of time thinking about how you portray yourself and how others might feel, it is likely that you are also one of the users who spends too much time on the platform. The answer to this is to limit your online presence.
Find alternative hobbies which can take your attention. Go outside and leave your phone on the bedside table. Turn off your notifications, so you are not constantly tempted to take a look. Put distance between yourself and the platform and you will find that your experience will be better and more positive as a whole.
The Relevance of Instagram
Of course, there are some people who may question the relevance of Instagram in today's world. While there are plenty of other popular social apps such as TikTok or BeReal, the reason Instagram keeps growing is because it is still the best and most effective way of connecting with those closest to you. Whilst TikTok may be fun, it is not a true representation of your friends and family. Instagram can give you so much more than a funny dance video. As mentioned before, it can open you up to a world which you would otherwise be missing.
There are also other things you can do with Instagram that you are unable to do with many other social media platforms. If you curate a yearly feed of photographs, captions and hashtags, then these can all be used to create a photo book which you can keep on your coffee table or your bookshelf. This helps to place your memories and photographs outside of a cloud and into your own hands. It means those moments you have captured of your children, or those funny pictures of your dogs; they can not only be seen by all of your friends and family, but they can be wrapped into pages and allowed to last forever inside your own home.
Something to consider…
Social media is a constantly evolving and changing phenomenon, but some things will always remain the same. No matter how relevant other social apps might be it will always be a mainstay in the public consciousness. It is the best way to interact with those close to you, to keep your mental health positive in the knowledge that you are still connected, or to curate the best moments of your year and turn them into something physical and beautiful. There will be other worldwide phenomena, but nothing can beat the practicality, convenience, and simplistic beauty that Instagram has to offer.
What To Do If You Still Want to Delete
If you have read all of this and still feel the need to delete Instagram, then that is entirely fair. We have fought for the positives of the platform, but sometimes it can be better to simply cut and run, taking the time to invest yourself in new things and new factors of life. That’s why we are still here to help you if you have made this decision.
Deleting Instagram is not a quick and easy thing to do, and it must be done tactfully if you want to do it right. Here is a step-by-step guide that you must follow in order to get rid of your Instagram for good.
Download Your Data
Remember that once you have permanently deleted your Instagram account, then that’s it. The account is gone for good. For this reason, you want to make sure your data does not go with it. If you go to settings, then tap the privacy and security tab, you will be given the option to download your data. This will then be emailed to you in the next 48 hours.
Log In to The Browser
You can’t delete your Instagram properly through the app, so you will need to log into your Instagram account on your computer or phone browser.
Click Onto Instagram’s FAQ
Once you are logged in, go onto Instagram’s FAQ, and then click on the ‘Managing Your Account’ in the left panel.
Choose To Delete Your Account
Click the ‘Delete Your Account’ option. You will then be given the option ‘How Do I Delete My Account?’. If you click on this, then you will then be given conditions to read through before finally clicking ‘Delete Your Account’.
Select The Reason You Are Deleting
After this is done, you will be asked to give the reason you are deleting your account. State the reason, then retype your password for final confirmation.
Confirm The Deletion
You will now be asked to confirm your deletion with an option to click ‘Permanently Delete My Account’. If you click this, then you will have done it. Your account will be marked for deletion and removed from Instagram after the next thirty days.