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Why Instagram is my Secret Lover

Updated: Jul 5, 2021

An illustration of an Instagram like notification dipped in chocolate

My affair with Instagram started in July 2020 when I created my art account (@mishimooodesigns). Like many relationships, we started as friends. I’d share a new design every once in a while, I’d get a few likes from my close friends and family, and I’d go on with my day.

However, as my art business evolved, so did our relationship. Today I’m ready to admit that Instagram is my secret lover. Here are the tell-tale signs:

  • I spend time with it whenever I can slip away from my family, even if it’s only for a few minutes.

  • I receive validation in the form of engagement/growth. Hello dopamine!

  • I know it’s not good for me or my relationships but it’s too hard to resist.

  • It’s a distraction from my real life, as I spend a lot of my days being yelled at by my two toddlers.

  • The guilt.

My husband is a smart guy and there’s no doubt he knows what’s going on. Although, I’ve seen the way he looks at Reddit…

My relationship with Instagram is further complicated by the business side of things. It’s not as simple as taking a break or deactivating my account since an Instagram presence is basically a prerequisite for being an artist. What I need is balance.

In order to do this, I need to let Instagram know that I just want to be friends. This won’t be easy because it sure as heck isn’t planning to let me go anytime soon. In fact, when it starts feeling insecure that I’m not visiting as much, it pushes me notifications to draw me back in.

Obviously I need a plan in order to hold myself accountable and transform our relationship into a mutually beneficial one:

  • I will turn off all push notifications.

  • I will designate specific times to post and be on Instagram each day.

  • I will set a daily reminder that will notify me when I’ve reached a predetermined amount of time on the app. I had no idea until now that this feature was available right in Instagram (under ‘your activity’ in account settings).

  • I will move all my social media icons off my home screen and into a folder so it’s slightly less convenient to access and those little red notifications aren’t staring at me every time I unlock my phone.

Luckily for me, even if my plan fails miserably, I will be starting a new full-time job very soon (I’m currently on maternity leave). Even though I suspect the problem will resolve itself when I have far less time to be on my phone, I’d still love to prove to myself that I have the self control to manage this on my own. Wish me luck!

Instagram, considered yourself friend-zoned.

- Michelle

If cute illustrations that combine my love for junk food with everyday objects in unusual and often punny ways sounds interesting to you, I'd love for you to follow me on Instagram @MishiMoooDesigns and/or on

I'm proud to be included in Feedspot's Top 30 Digital Art Blogs and Websites To Follow in 2021.

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