Hey Brian, good to hear from you.
I completely agree with you, and I think that adds to problem and its complexity. If there were no clear benefits to Instagram then (one would at least hope) people would stop using it completely. But it does offer a lot of great benefits to those addicted and to those not addicted.
I have cut it out completely for periods of time, but when I have, I do generally miss it, but I also don’t see myself being as addicted as perhaps others are, and I think that’s an important factor to consider.
For some, myself included, it may just feel like we are spending more time than we want or need to, such as mindlessly scrolling through the feed whenever we’re bored waiting for something/someone. For others, they may turn to Instagram for that Dopamine effect when they’re feeling depressed, and I think that’s where it can become dangerous.
It is all to do with approach, and I think yours is a healthy one that others could benefit from. Seeing Instagram as primarily your scrapbook of memories is great. For a while, I was actually the opposite — I had deleted the app but still browed the website on my phone just to see what others were up to without posting anything myself, but that didn’t help.
I don’t have much of an answer, but I think that as much as possible it comes down to being self-aware and self-critical. I rarely think I am in balance, but at least I’m always trying to find that balance, and while I am, I don’t think I’ll ever get too deep. In that sense, it’s much like any other potentially-addictive substance or activity.
If you have a significant other, try letting them know that you want to cut back and tell them to point out to you when you seem to be just mindlessly scrolling. Inter-personal accountability always seems to work fairly well.
Again, good to hear from you.