My Social Media cleanse experience

Since i've started Project MIRRO and began to put my art / work out there for all to see, i've been extremely active on Instagram. Because of that, my relationship with social media throughout the years have evolved from casual user, to all out Instagram addict.

I am very well aware of my addictive personality. In college, I would be addicted to games and play Battlefild for 8 hours straight all the time. Even games like Candy Crush or The Sims would take over my life. For the past few months i've been on an Interior Design web app and I would spend hours creating my "dream house" (several dream houses mind you. I need a house in every style to suit different climates just in case I become a billionaire one day and own a bunch of real estate) Safe to say, I have the tendency to forgo everything in my life to look at a screen.


Nowadays, im much more *aware* of my tendencies. So much so, I have NOT gotten a desktop. If I did, you would probably see me playing Fortnite or PubG, and I probably wouldn't be an artist or have a business. I would most definitely be a gamer, with a bluetooth headset, never leaving the house, talking to my friends on the mic. As a professional hermit, playing games is my next favorite thing to painting. So no games for me! Instead, I am scrolling like a zombie on Instagram. Mind you, I still get my work done. I still reply all my clients on time, meet all my deadlines, post the things I need to post, BUT STILL. I always wonder what my life would be if I didn't have Instagram.


The thing about Instagram is that it's HELPFUL for my career. Most of the projects I get to do now are from my followers from Instagram who see me post and talk about my art, and eventually contact me to work together. The people who love MIRRO all found out about MIRRO through Instagram. Instagram has given so many OPPORTUNITIES in life, I SHOULD be putting in much more effort into taking nicer higher quality pics etc.

So I have tried to be more diligent and post at least once a day (I used to post once a week or one every 2 weeks) The issue is, after posting an Insta story or something on my feed, I start scrolling. For the record though, I am very strict about what I follow. So I made some guidelines for myself. I will only follow people/ accounts that :


1) Teach me something / educational content

2) Inspire me

3) Have beautiful photos

4) Funny / entertaining

5) My friends / family - people I actually wanna know about

6) Hot guys :P


I don't really follow accounts that don't add value to my life.


However, even though I follow these guidelines, I still feel like Instagram can be too much for me. In the morning, I wake up and i'd have a few dozen messages to go through. Mostly work related, only some from my friends. I realize now that my transition from "casual user" to "Instagram addict" reached a turning point when there were more "followers" than actual friends following me. I would usually reply every message I get if I can because I really do appreciate the love and support i've been getting. But having to reply my Instagram messages, my whatsapp messages, AND my emails can be a LOT and overwhelming. Instagram is not my 5 minute break from work time, Instagram IS WORK time for me. It has become part of my work as much as painting and running workshops have been part of my work. I need a break from something that used to be my break. This is such a lumrah hidup situation.


So, I started analyzing my Social Media habits. I did a *message audit* the other day. I made a rough estimate of the percentage of messages I get related to work, and personal messages (this includes Facebook messenger, whatsapp, emails DM's)


Do you know what I found out?

My work related messages amount to 85% of my messages!!!!!

Which means I spend most of my time looking at a screen (which is most of my day) GIVING my TIME to other people. The remaining time im sending meme's to my friends and replying personal chats.


But how can this be *BALANCED* ? This is not balanced at all, and I need to do something about it. I've started to wonder - how will my life be if I was on Instagram ONLY 1 hour per week (to check messages and post) What will I get done? Where will I go? Who will I meet?

The thing about social media is that it makes you think you're doing something but in actuality you've been sitting on the sofa not moving scrolling through your feed like a robot.


I am AGAINST that type of lifestyle yet here I am Queen of Instagram.


My day has become like this :


Wake up *Instagram*

Take a shower, get ready, make coffee *Instagram*

Reply emails, do admin stuff *Instagram*

Run errands *Instagram*

Go for a meeting, while waiting *Instagram*

Painting *Instagram*

Read a book, read 10 pages *Instagram*

Eat dinner *Instagram*

Watch Netflix *Instagram*

Prepare to sleep *Instagram*


WHAT HAVE I BECOME?!


Even if it's just scrolling for less than a minute, the very act of checking ANNOYS me. I am annoyed at myself for my dependency on this app. I used to read a lot more books, I used to go to the gym all the time, I used to CALL my friends and ask them out for coffee....but now, a lot of that time is used for me to do my Instagram activities. And I also start DM'ing my friends instead of meeting them in real life and having REAL LIFE conversations.


So, I have now deleted the Instagram and Facebook app off my phone. I would like to live my life, at least for a week - without these apps distracting me, and see what happens. Do I get more things done? Am I happier? Do I get more ideas? I don't know. My life has been so connected to social media I don't even know who i'd be without it. And that's saying A LOT.


I received a few messages after I posted the *deleting facebook and instagram* announcement on my social media. I didn't want to post it, but I have clients who would probably be wondering where I went to and I didn't want them to think i've just ghosted them or something. I think it's become a big deal when someone decides to get off the app. Like something BAD has happened and they have to get off it to get better. Yes guys, something bad has definitely happened - i've become a social media addict!!!! I'm addicted to the reward of scrolling. Not so much the likes and followers. Which is worse to be honest. At least likes and followers would be beneficial to the overall growth of my brand and people knowing abt my art - but no, I just like to scroll. I don't get anything from it except the neurons in my brain firing thinking i've got some sort of reward.


Anyway, I will continuously blog about this experience and see what happens. As this is the first day, I already feel like i'm getting more done. First of all, here I am writing in my blog. Something i've wanted to do since forever but i've been too *busy*Instagramming* that I have completely forgotten I have a website that I pay for and that I should write in. I'm terrible.


I've also started journaling, IN A BOOK, with a PEN, and i realized my handwriting has become atrocious since I don't ever write with a pen anymore. I spent the whole night last night writing my thoughts and ideas to "fix" my handwriting to the way it was (I would like to report my handwriting is nice and uniform again) I used to journal all the time, I don't know why i've stopped. I need to start again.


I also managed to go to the gym! I've been terrible about my gym routine. I used to work out every day, then it was 4 times a week, then 2, then now, ONLY ONCE a week?! There are days where I wear my workout gear but end up scrolling Instagram on the couch. I wanna get back to my 4 times a week routine, because truth be told, I love going to the gym. It makes me feel productive and I love the kick of dopamine. It's honestly better than checking Instagram!


I also want to READ MORE. I have 3 new books that i've been so desperate to read but I haven't because *guess what* I've been on Instagram instead of reading them. How am I to reach my 80 books reading challenge for 2019 if im not reading? My attention span has deteriorated. I can't read for more than 15 mins without checking Instagram after every chapter. I am so disappointed with myself.


I also hope to be able to PAINT more.....i've been practicing and experimenting with different styles and techniques and to be honest it's been really fun, but I HAVE been feeling a little uninspired and demotivated. I suspect it's also because of me looking at Instagram too much instead of living life out there in reality. I need to get inspired by REALITY not social media. I need to be outside and PRESENT. I have an inkling, I will be passionate and motivated again after I get a dose of REAL LIFE. I don't know, we'll see how it pans out this week.


I will continuously blog about this as and when needed. For now, i've managed to do all of the above in 1.5 days. I wonder what i'll be able to do within a week!


See you guys!









Hi! I'm Miriam, I'm an Artist, Designer, Lecturer & Entrepreneur based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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