Monique's Experiments

how to not get addicted to instagram

How to not get addicted to Instagram (as a marketing professional) ?

Not getting addicted to Instagram is something that has been on my mind since I’ve started helping some of my clients improve their Instagram strategy about a year ago.

I had been doing freelance marketing gigs for more than 3 years now at this point, but it was my first time offering this type of service. 

Of course, I don’t live under a rock, so I had heard of Instagram before and I had even created an account back in middle school. However, I didn’t really use it consistently. 

This changed when I started using it for professional purposes. Suddenly, I felt like I had to spend time on the app. 

Since I was working for a client in the fitness niche, I found myself spending hours looking at (and lowkey envying, I got to admit) fit girls accounts… Not only was I wasting a ton of time, but I was also becoming more critical of my body. No matter how insecure my feed made me, I couldn’t stop checking Instagram ! 

Even if I knew that Instagram was designed to be addictive, I was determined to find ways to use it more wisely.

Here’s some tips and tricks I found that help me control my Instagram use and avoid getting addicted ! 

1) Building a "custom feed" to be more in control of the time I spend on Instagram

It’s simple, if you want to make good content, you have to know what works and keep an an eye on what your competitors are doing.

You can do this by checking your feed and the Explore tab, but get ready to waste hours on the app. Instead of letting the algorithm control what I would see, I used Google Sheet to build a curated feed of the top 9 posts of the hashtags relevant to my niche. 

This is completely automated thanks to a fantastic no-code automation tool called Phantombuster. I used their “Instagram Hashtag Collector” and drew inspiration from their template to customize it to my needs.

(If you’re too lazy to set it up yourself, you can get the dashboard I use here)

Thanks to this little trick, I can keep up with the best content in my niche without scrolling endlessly : there’s a set number of posts that I can see, and when I’m done, I’m done !

2) Automating reporting to have access to my analytics without having to be on the app

We all know how it works : you just want to check how many impressions yesterday’s post got, and next thing you know, you’re wondering why the hell an egg picture has so many likes.

how to not get addicted to instagram
WTF :O :O :O

To see the data I’m interested in without having taving to check the Instagram app, I used Google Sheet again to import data from the Instagram GraphQL API (warning : it’s not Instagram’s official API !) 

Then, I used this free GitHub script that allows you to import JSON data into your sheets, for free.  I know that this sounds quite technical, but don’t worry, you don’t need to code, just copy-paste the file in your script editor and you’ll be ready to go.

This unofficial API doesn’t give you access to data such as reach and impressions, but it gives access to basic info (likes, comments, posts) you can then use to calculate more complex metrics (eg : average frequency of posting, engagement rate…).

For example, to calculate the average frequence frequency, you can use the DAYS function, which returns the number of days between two dates.

Another way to do this is to check the “Insights” tab of the Facebook Creator Studio, Facebook’s “official” tool to manage Instagram & Facebook pages. I don’t use it that often because it only shows account activity from the last 7 days, but it does work.

3) Planning your posts in advance

This is not really an automation tip and you’re probably aware of this, but I just want to remind you that planning your posts is super useful if you use the platform frequently. 

Indeed, without an Instagram planning app, the only way to post is on your phone, which is just an open door for distraction. 

My favorite Instagram planning apps are : 

  1. Facebook Creator Studio. I mentioned it earlier, but you can also use this tool to schedule any type of posts (carousels, photos, videos…)
  2. Later. They have a free plan, but it’s very limited, so I would recommend getting the paid version (starting from $15 a month), to get additional features such as the ability to also schedule the first comment on your posts, or to visually plan your feed.

4) Deleting the app on my phone

Finally, you’ve probably realized that there is a common thread running through this article : don’t use the Instagram app on your phone ! 

Instagram’s user experience has been conceived for smartphones first : this means that every detail of the experience has been thought out so that you spend the maximum amount of time on the application.

When you compare the Instagram app and the Instagram web platform, it’s clear which platform the Instagram team devotes its full attention to…

For this reason, I try to use Instagram on my computer only. If I really need to use the app, I will download it, do whatever I need to do, and delete the app as soon as I’m done.

Keep in mind that you actually only need your phone to post and/or watch reels and stories. Everything else, you can do on your computer : 

  • I’ve shown you how you can recreate a custom feed and check your analytics off the app in Google Sheet
  • You can check your followers’ feed & send DMs on the Instagram web app
  • You can post using planning tools
  • You can answer comments directly from Facebook

Before we finish, I just want to let you know that social media addiction is nothing to be ashamed of, and it’s actually becoming quite common : research shows that more than 210 million people suffer from internet and social media addiction. 

So, if you have also struggled with becoming too addicted to Instagram, please share your experience in the comments !