Featured life Wellness

Breaking Up With Instagram

September 3, 2019

When you know, you know. Growing up and growing out of Instagram and when the right time is to start breaking up with instagram

I’ve always been a believer that life unfolds through a combination of fate and free will. Some things are destined to happen, while others you are left with the power to determine your direction. I completely believe that meeting Curt was predestined. We had 3 years of opportunity to meet each other but timing is everything and we met exactly when we were supposed to meet (on the last possible day we could have, I might add). Starting the blog on the other hand was a result of free will. I don’t think I was “meant to start a blog” and that it was written in the stars to happen. I simply made a choice and let passion drive me forward. What unfolded has been a beautiful journey from which I have learned an endless series of lessons. Whether by fate or free will, every experience has molded and shaped me into the person I am today.

Along the way I’ve always had an innate sense of when something felt “right” or “off”. Call it a gut feeling, instinct or sixth sense, mine has never seemed to falter even when it sounded a little crazy. It told me to go into that grungy basement in Montreal where I first met Curt and to buy TheHealthyMaven.com on a chilly fall morning in 2012. It told me to take the leap and move to San Francisco (even when I cried everyday for the first month) and it spoke to me loud and clear when it was time to do yoga teacher training. That doesn’t mean its always felt good and it certainly doesn’t mean I’ve always trusted it, but when I have its all seemed to unfold exactly as it should.

Which brings me to today’s post – a post I’ve had written in my head for a couple months now – and how my gut is telling me that it’s time to break up with Instagram. But first some backstory…

When I started The Healthy Maven 7 years ago, Instagram was just in its infancy. I had an account (davida.kugelmass) where I very rarely shared blurry iPhone 4 pictures with ugly filters and strange white frames that had absolutely nothing to do with THM. A few months into starting the blog I noticed a trend of bloggers promoting their work and sharing a behind-the-scenes look at their lives over on Instagram. I was immediately hooked and slowly I began sharing more of my own life over there. And it felt good. Really good. I got to expand my community here and use it as a platform to encourage people to come back to the blog for healthy recipes and wellness tips. It also took the place of my weekend recaps and random ramblings giving me an opportunity to share more in “real time”.

In 2013, Instagram truly was shared in real time. People weren’t sharing highly curated images with perfect backdrops and even better hair. It was novel to get to see behind the curtain of your favorite celebrity or influencer. I should add that “influencer” wasn’t even a term yet. I remember how much I enjoyed following along on Instagram and I certainly wasn’t immune to the attention THM was getting over there. It quickly became a place for easy validation and a sense of community, when I didn’t necessarily feel like I had that in real life.

But that was 7 years ago. Today Instagram is a different place. It is a combination of overly curated, unrealistic versions of “reality” on the feed and extreme oversharing and vulnerability vomit over on stories. Admittedly, I have very much been a part of this. I, like most bloggers, felt the need to keep up as the industry moved into more fast-paced, eye-catching images rather than long-form content like you see here on the blog. Despite always feeling far more connected to the blog than to Instagram, I felt pressure to stay relevant on both. And I sense I’m probably not alone in this.

Over the last year I’ve felt myself creating more and more distance between Davida, The Healthy Maven and Instagram. At one point in my life I loved sharing the nitty gritty details of my everyday. But as I’ve gotten older, I feel less inclined and no longer believe that it serves me or you to share every moment of my life. This has created somewhat of an identity crisis as I establish more boundaries between me (Davida) and my business (The Healthy Maven). Understandably so because for many years my identity was The Healthy Maven. I shared everything. And therefore Davida = The Healthy Maven. But now, The Healthy Maven isn’t just me. It’s Tanya, and Georgia and Jess and Eilise. It’s you guys and your stories and the recipes that feed your families and the cleaner beauty products you’ve switched to. It’s no longer about what I meal-prepped for the week or what Curt and I did for date night last Tuesday. Those things may be entertaining, but they aren’t useful or resourceful. And that’s the big realization I have come to…

I want The Healthy Maven to be a resource for you, but I don’t want my life to be a source of entertainment for anyone but me and my friends and my family. This is inherently what Instagram is, a source of entertainment. Sure, you can post recipes and useful tips but it’s a platform that thrives on pretty images and witty captions. The meaty stuff, the deep stuff, the stuff that can help you make profound changes in your life (and that have profoundly changed mine) have always and will always live on the blog. This realization hit me like a ton of bricks as my gut screamed at me to make a change. It told me without hesitation or uncertainty that it was time to take a long, extended break from Instagram.

And so I am choosing to listen. I’m believing that the value I offer and will continue to offer will thrive here on the blog and the podcast without the use of Instagram. I’m trusting that the people who are meant to find tips for surviving a cold, or seasonal allergies (or SHINGLES!) holistically will find me and that you know I’m your girl when you’re trying to find the best clean foundation or concealer. I hope I can continue to help feed you and your families everyday and that you’ll tune into the podcast each week to be inspired by a new voice in health and wellness.

Over the last year I’ve slowly been decreasing the use of the platform and distancing my life from stories. I stopped sharing every meal, my weekends away with Curt, our hangouts with friends and precious time spent with family. I’ve taken more days off from Instagram than I ever had before and created a bigger barrier by scheduling posts and having Tanya share some things so I could have a break. And it’s felt really great. For the first time in my life I truly feel like I am living my life for me. I spent most of my life leading up to starting the blog living my life for other people. I then started The Healthy Maven and my life revolved around living a life for you. Making sure it was entertaining, authentic and inspiring. But what I’m now realizing is that the most authentic version of me isn’t living her life for other people, but instead trusting my gut when it tells me to make a change. I can only hope that this decision can also be inspiring to you, but I’m letting go of needing that validation.

A few other thoughts I need to get out of my brain:

-How long will I be gone for? I don’t know. I’m expecting at least a couple of months but likely more. There is of course the chance I don’t return…who knows! Only time will tell.

– I really thought of not announcing this or saying anything (TBH it feels kind of silly having to announce your exit for a social media platform), but I didn’t want you to worry or create any kind of stir. I wanted to address it head on and make sure that you know I’m still doing great.

-Speaking of which, this is not some nervous breakdown where I’m going AWOL. Everything will remain as is on the blog and the podcast. I genuinely love working on both of these and they are truly what drives me to show up here everyday. While I may no longer be The Healthy Maven, it remains my favorite platform of choice to use my voice and share my work, something I hope I can continue to do for a long time.

– I truly believe our culture has a very real addiction to social media. I urge you to evaluate your use of social media and the content you are consuming. Question whether or not you find something inspiring or if it adds joy to your life. If it doesn’t, take a moment to ask yourself why it doesn’t (we can learn a lot from our triggers) and then unfollow. Set a social media timer on your phone and actually stick to your allotted time, and from time to time move the apps around your phone so you aren’t unconsciously opening them without any thought. Also I highly recommend you read Irresistible by Adam Alter which discusses in detail our addiction to technology and the physiological effects that social media has on our brains.

-Yes, I’ve had to communicate this to brands I work with and no it hasn’t been all positive. It’s been very eye-opening for me how seriously people take Instagram and how much weight they put in a social media platform. I’m still in the process of sorting everything out so it’s been a little messy. Just being transparent with you.

-I’m so excited to get the 2ish hours of my days back that I normally spend on Instagram. I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do with them, but I’m excited to find out!

So how can we stay in touch?

Of course I’ll be here on the blog and sharing a new podcast episode each week (unless otherwise noted) and YouTube videos for green beauty favorites. You can always check in here for the latest, but I also encourage you to sign-up for the THM Tribe Newsletter so you’ll get a once-weekly email with the latest posts, episodes and videos straight to your inbox. You can also subscribe on iTunes (or your podcast player) and YouTube so you’re notified when a new episode is live.

Sign-up for the THM Weekly Newsletter HERE.

I still have so many thoughts on this subject that I’m sure I’ll be sharing another update in a few months. I imagine some distance from Instagram will be very enlightening for me.

As always, thank you for supporting THM and trusting this crazy gut of mine. I know I don’t always make the most conventional decisions but I so appreciate you always respecting my choices even if they seem a little out there. I feel so lucky and grateful for this community. Truly, thank you.

NOW – let’s go back to using the comment function on blogs! Would love to hear from you guys below. I’ll be here answering comments!

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  • Reply
    Heather
    September 3, 2019 at 8:23 am

    Love this! I miss the days of simple blogging when I didn’t feel like I missed out on a lot because I don’t follow on all the social media channels. It’s just too much! So thank you!

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      September 3, 2019 at 10:35 am

      Thank you so much for the support! I’m so happy to be going back to my roots <3

  • Reply
    Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets
    September 3, 2019 at 9:29 am

    Follow your gut always, especially if it leads to donuts.

    Seriously, kudos to you.

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      September 3, 2019 at 10:27 am

      Meg you know me way too well. My gut always says donuts…always.

  • Reply
    Nicole
    September 3, 2019 at 9:36 am

    Blogs have always been, and will remain, my favourite way to read content and be inspired. Thank you for sharing your truth, and for authentically living it…it’s a beautiful example for us all.

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      September 3, 2019 at 10:30 am

      Thank You, Nicole! I couldn’t agree with you more. I feel like the last few years I got distracted by the glitz and glam of Instagram but have come to realize that there isn’t much substance there. I recently rekindled my love for blogs and excitedly filled my blog reader with so much inspiration!

  • Reply
    Carrie
    September 3, 2019 at 10:57 am

    Amen! I want to do this too! Thanks for giving me the courage.

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      September 3, 2019 at 5:01 pm

      you absolutely should! It feels like such a relief!

  • Reply
    Jolie
    September 3, 2019 at 11:24 am

    Hehe. When you first told me I was like WOW good on you! Definitely an eye opener and reminder of how much of a time suck Instagram can be. Thanks for keeping it real 😘 See you in the newsletter and in the comments!

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      September 3, 2019 at 5:02 pm

      Honestly, one of the best parts of Instagram was meeting you. Hope I can catch you in October! Let me know how your trip was…via text 😉

  • Reply
    Taralynn
    September 3, 2019 at 11:31 am

    I have felt this way as well. Since starting my blog in 2010, things have changed so much. I have felt that pressure of keeping up with the Instagram aesthetic, and I just had this conversation yesterday about how much I dread posting. I hate feeling the pressure to share on that platform when my passion is my blog. And the algorithm is just a tool to force creators to keep up.

    Your choice to take a break is something I’m incredibly inspired by, and in January, it may be time for me to take a break as well. I look forward to following along with your blogs and hopefully following in your footsteps soon!

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      September 3, 2019 at 5:03 pm

      Girllll I can’t even imagine what a ride its been for you. You’re one of the OGs! When I finally asked myself if it’s really true that I need to use Instagram I finally realized it was a story I was telling myself. One day in and feeling great. I’ll keep you posted! Shoot me an email if you ever want to chat <3

  • Reply
    Andi
    September 3, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    I miss the “old days” of blogging and have recently felt pulled to share / post more on my own blog without needing or wanting to even “amplify” onto Instagram. My blog is MY place — and I don’t feel the sense of seeking approval that can inevitably creep up on IG. Thanks for sharing so candidly – I’ll be sure to keep following on your blog xo!

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      September 3, 2019 at 5:05 pm

      I wish I could go back to the good old days of blogging too! Maybe it’s wishful thinking but I feel like there’s a lot of IG burnout happening and maybe the tides will turn. Adding your blog to my blog reader! It feels like 2013 and I’m into it 😉

  • Reply
    Erin @ Erin's Inside Job
    September 3, 2019 at 12:59 pm

    I WILL MISS YOU. But I will still see you here so that’s ok. I started to feel the same way and then I had the cutest baby ever and now I’m full of creativity again and wanting to take so many pictures hahaha. As always, glad to see you doing you.

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      September 3, 2019 at 5:06 pm

      I will miss my daily dose of Miles! Feel free to text me the abundance of cute pics because I’m gonna need some!!

  • Reply
    Kayla
    September 3, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    I will selfishly miss you on the ‘gram 🙈 but holy moly good on you for listening to your gut. I so appreciate your transparency in regards to how brands have been pushing back as well. I’ve definitely been thinking a lot about how I miss the old days of blogging before it was all about instagram. But me it’s definitely making me rethink my time on that platform

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      September 3, 2019 at 5:08 pm

      yup hasn’t been easy and there isn’t a whole lot of understanding from the brand side. It’s actually pretty eye-opening to see how much weight so many brands put in a social media app BUT I have zero regrets on my decision. As soon as I made up my mind it was like a weight was lifted. I highly encourage you to give it a try even just for a little bit. I’ll keep you posted lovely! In the meantime love seeing you on here <3

      • Reply
        Melizz
        September 4, 2019 at 10:17 am

        So much how I feel about Instagram these days . Thank you for this honest and clear post.I follow you since hum… 2013 ^^. And you have grown so much since then .. ( I still have a micro mini blog on which I post once a year 🤷‍♀️). Anyway , I love what I create on my blog , and it is my space … as opposed to Instagram where everything feels artificial and very limited in time, and not my own. As everyone I try to be present on all social media platforms but I has been so draining , and would love
        To go back to the old days of blogging . Looking forward to more blog posts by the way. Hope
        Everything’s going fine for
        You !

        • Reply
          Davida Lederle
          September 5, 2019 at 11:10 am

          Thank you for the support lovely! Love that you’re also keeping up with your blog and creating just for you. It’s been such an important reminder to find joy in what you do even if it means making unconventional changes. Lots of love!

  • Reply
    Emily
    September 3, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    So happy for you and thank you for sharing! I think this is freakin awesome.

  • Reply
    Tricia
    September 3, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    I think Instagram is a lot of things. Yes it can be entertaining or mind numbing, but I follow a lot of informative accounts too. I get a lot of recipes and food inspiration from there. I love following all the functional medicine gurus too. I try to unfollow the accounts that don’t serve me so I’m not wasting my time. I probably would not have found you if it weren’t for Instagram! I see why you are doing what you’re doing, and you definitely need to do you!! But I think it gets a lot of negativity associated with it and I do see the good in it too. I think it’s also okay to share just your informative information and not your personal business all over social media too. But we humans tend to like brands better when we know about the people or person behind it too.

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      September 3, 2019 at 5:11 pm

      Totally! It’s not all inherently bad. I’ve met some of my closest friends through Instagram and I definitely think there’s value to be found there, however the algorithm doesn’t always necessarily reward this. The way the algorithm works is that something needs to be eye-catching to grab people’s attention and even if what you have to say/share is helpful and useful, Instagram may not show it to anyone. It’s a really challenging mental game wanting to serve your audience but also feeling pressure to keep that audience engaged. If the platform were the way it used to be I definitely wouldn’t have this much resistance to it but unfortunately it’s changed for the worse and I’ve found my time and energy is best served here. Thank you, Tricia for following along and for supporting me and THM. I am truly so grateful and hope you’ll continue following along over here <3

      • Reply
        Tricia
        September 4, 2019 at 10:50 am

        Excellent point about the algorithm. I don’t deal with that since I just use Instagram for my own personal enjoyment and not a business stand point. I hear people gripe about it but don’t fully understand the effects of it. Maybe you’ll be the start of a big Instagram boycott movement so they finally make it the way it used to be! 🙂 I will definitely be checking your blog more. Thanks for being so transparent… much respect!

  • Reply
    Ashley @ A Lady Goes West
    September 3, 2019 at 5:30 pm

    Davida! Okay, girl, this is a STRONG move, because you are right, your gut is telling you what to do. I fully support you and will be over here checking out THM more often for sure. I too, am NOT into Instagram, and way prefer to write long-form on my website as well. Thanks for sharing this and for all you do! 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      September 3, 2019 at 5:58 pm

      Glad you’re right there with me! Thanks, Ash! xo

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    September 3, 2019 at 8:58 pm

    Really admire how you follow your intuition. Have been reading/listening along (mostly silently) for the last few years. I’ve gotter a lot of inspiration from what you share here. Thank you. Excited to keep following along Instagram or not 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      September 5, 2019 at 11:23 am

      Thank you SO much, Rebecca! I appreciate the support more than you know and always love hearing from my silent readers/listeners 😉 Lots of love! xo D

  • Reply
    Megan M
    September 4, 2019 at 10:17 am

    Loving this!!! I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to use Instagram to provide value & not just entertainment as you said! And I love how you are trusting your gut, despite it not being “the norm”. THM will continue to thrive. Instagram is a free app and none of us own that platform. Blogs , websites & newsletters thru email will continue to be where the real magic happens!! 👏 KUDOS on this decision!

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      September 5, 2019 at 11:13 am

      Couldn’t agree more! Excited to see how this all unfolds but regardless I know the decision was the right choice for me. Thanks for the support, Megan! xo D

  • Reply
    Little H
    September 4, 2019 at 10:22 am

    Yes to all of this! Thank you for being so honest and for doing what is right for you. Go create happy and intimate memories with your friends and family and thank you for everything <3 xx

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      September 5, 2019 at 11:12 am

      Thank you SO much. I absolutely love the work I create and share here but you are so right that life is about the memories you share with the people you love and I’m excited to find a better balance of both! xoxo

  • Reply
    Carie
    September 4, 2019 at 10:53 am

    Mazel tov!!! I’m right there with you!

  • Reply
    Laura
    September 4, 2019 at 11:34 am

    This is so encouraging. I also gave up Instagram and all forms of social media a few months ago before I had my baby. I felt strongly that I do not want her all over the internet before she is old enough to make that choice herself. I really respect businesses and people like you who are realizing the value in quality information over quantity of posts. Your information (recipes, blogs, tips, etc.) are worth more than 2 seconds on instagram. I enjoy reading the blog and the newsletter. Thanks so much for all that you do!

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      September 5, 2019 at 11:22 am

      Thanks so much for the support, Laura! Though Curt and I are not having kids right now, it’s definitely something we think about in the future and the thought of having to subject them to the whims of social media just doesn’t sit right with me. So glad you were able to find a balance that works for you. Sending you lots of love!

  • Reply
    Jessica Dalliday
    September 4, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    Love this post and feel you in every single way Davida! I’ve been having similar feelings about Instagram lately and really enjoyed my month off it. Good for you for staying true to yourself. You’re inspiring others like me to know that it’s ok and to one day do the same.

    Love ya

    xoxo

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      September 5, 2019 at 11:21 am

      True life: I will miss Allen and watching cute videos of dogs. I’m also having the resist the urge to share 13247234 pictures of Bodhi haha. But otherwise it feels amazing. Thanks for the love, babes! Sending it right back xo

  • Reply
    Jess
    September 4, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    This makes me so happy to read, thank you for writing this.

  • Reply
    Liz White
    September 4, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    Now I won’t feel I’m missing out so much either – I love the blog & the podcast but have held off other platforms as didn’t want social media to take up too much of my time.I’m sure loads of people will not mind you’re ‘removing’ yourself from one platform. Always enjoy the blog & podcasts – you’re doing an amazing job.

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      September 5, 2019 at 11:07 am

      Thank you, Liz! You certainly aren’t missing out. Plenty of info coming your way on other platforms 😉

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Laughing My Abs Off
    September 8, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    Love this and you so much. To be honest, I hope you start a new trend with this honestly. I always knew Instagram wasn’t going to be a forever thing, and I think your hiatus definitely makes a LOT of sense. It took a long long time but I got to the place where I don’t follow any “should” with it; I think it’s a tool like anything else that we should all use as best serves us. Though of course it’s also so easy to fall into the comparison trap with it ugh.
    All that to say, I deeply deeply admire you and love that you are following your own path. Obviously will be following you on every possible platform as long as those exist (hopefully forever 😉 )
    Also three cheers for listening to guts and believing in the universe’s guidance.

  • Reply
    Saguren Redyrs
    September 16, 2019 at 7:33 am

    Well done to you for doing what feels right in your gut, even when it doesn’t make sense in your head. I think that that is why you’ve done so well over the years. I was never really into Instagram. I tried it for a few months and felt like it was taking more time than what it is worth. My strategy might be wrong, but I have chosen to focus on one social media site exclusively and focus on doing what I feel like I do best. I prefer to scroll through blogs that I enjoy and read more in-depth information anyways.

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      September 16, 2019 at 11:06 am

      Thank you so much, Saguren! I’m glad you’ve also found a strategy that works for you!

  • Reply
    Katie
    October 3, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    Glad to hear I’m not the only one who struggles with the incessant scroll and distraction. I really resonate when you say Instagram has now become a “combination of overly curated, unrealistic versions of “reality” on the feed and extreme oversharing and vulnerability vomit over on stories.” It can be overwhelming so thanks for sharing your strategy on this. Very helpful

  • Reply
    Tracy DeFreitas
    October 13, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    Good for you, I’m “older” and remember a peaceful life without photo session interruptions at each dinner. IG must be so much tedious work for many of you. Enjoy your time, I just found you through a search of Beauty Counter reviews, glad I did 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      October 14, 2019 at 2:18 pm

      Thank you Tracy! It’s been about 6 weeks now and so far so good! Feels nice to be living my life for me again 🙂

  • Reply
    Selena
    October 20, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    There is so much in this post that resonates and I 100% respect and support your decision to do this Davida. I remember my first OG blog when instagram was genuinely just a fun platform. After coming back into the space I had such a hard time adapting to the changes. And I am right there with you that I’ve dranken the kool aid and have tried to keep up with the Joneses but it’s exhausting and doesn’t always feel like the real connection is forming. Honestly, I struggle with it and like you, have a deep way with words and would rather spend time on my website (maybe it’s the OG blogger in me), pouring out all my feelings into words versus trying to write a solid short caption with a beautiful photo. Not to mention it has consistently made me question myself, my self worth and has added to my anxiety. I won’t go into SO much detail but I can’t help but wish sometimes things would be how they used to be in this space. Of course, there are great things about it but all I can say is I totally FEEL you and respect your decision. It’s allowing me to do some reflecting of my own 🙂 And obviously still here to support THM and follow along always! <3

  • Reply
    Liv
    October 28, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    Wow, thank you for sharing this! I found your blog through google btw! I started a blog almost 2 years ago and I really struggle with instagram. My blog has been pivotal for my family to become healthy again. I am a registered nurse and watched my son have seizures after a vaccine and that experience opened my eyes to really looking into health and questioning some of my conventional instruction. I always learn so much while I write my own blog articles and even started making a little income from my blog. I have struggled with using instagram for “business” because I guess I started this whole thing kinda late in the game and IG is just soooo much information overload on a daily basis and a distraction from what is important to me, which is learning, growing, and spending time with my family. It is good to know there are others out there who feel the same way because I love typing up posts but hate spending time on IG.

  • Reply
    Tory Scott
    December 4, 2019 at 9:16 am

    It is SO serendipitous how I stumbled across this post as the blog was included in a link on one of the daily emails I receive. But I am truly grateful that I did! I am 25 and I just completely deleted my Instagram a couple of days ago. I am specifying my age because you have to remember that I grew up on social media, all of my friends function on this platform and even my husband expressed trepidation about my potential social media-less existence. I had been debating doing so for the last year and would inform everyone when I would temporarily leave if they needed to get in contact (something that seemed silly to me too). But of the 800-something “followers,” the only people who talked to me were the small group of people that I already keep in contact with via text. So, I finally decided to click the “delete” button without any preemptive message and I have not looked back. Reading this post felt like further validation of that decision. Let’s get back to the way that we used to communicate!

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