My friend Carter Moore deleted his Instagram account.
"I never really considered the long-term impact and influence it had on my life…"
I would do the same and delete my account once and for all but I've come up with an alternative solution that allows you to keep the account but level out the addiction.
Instagram is designed to be a sticky experience. Even with notifications turned off, it still shows those dopamine producing hearts every time you log in. It's hard to resist the temptation of identifying your likers or recent followers. People also blame Instagram for the explosion of of photo-sharing, arguing that Instagram is ruining photography. Perhaps Instagram is the scapegoat for much larger frustrations with our digital behavior.
Anyway, here here's a way to keep using Instagram without deleting your account while still enjoying the process of photography, the art of noticing, which is really what Instagram should be about.
Delete the Instagram app from your phone after you're done posting. Redownload it only when you need it to publish again.
That's it! And it goes a long way, not only preventing you from checking in to catch flying hearts but also will omit needless scrolling.
This process may be inconvenient but it works.
In summary: Download Instagram, log-in via Facebook, scan the first five photos in your feed (optional), upload your new photo, delete Instagram, and get on with your life.
Don't itch the scratch by keeping Instagram on your phone. Note: this same process can be applied to other apps including Twitter, Facebook, or Amazon, all which I only try to use on a desktop computer where I spend less time.
If you're still struggling with this proposed workaround, you can always do what Austin Kleon proposes to get more reading done: "throw your phone into the ocean." Or you can just delete your Insagram profile and call it a day.