Only recently, Instagram has released this new feature that allows you to check up on how much time you actually spend using the app. (If you haven’t figured it out yet: Just go to your profile and hit the three lines on the top right. Then hit the button that says “activity” and it’s all there.)
So I asked you guys to guess how much time I spend on the Gram on a daily basis. The answers ranged from “one hour” to “four hours” to “too much”. At this point, I wanna send out a quick reminder: I started my survey on Instagram and all of the people that participated did so on Instagram. So we’re in this together.
But guess what: Most of you guys were wrong. According to Instagram, I spend a daily average of about 100 minutes; a little more than 1,5 hours on the app. Honestly, I was surprised. Even I, myself, thought it would be more, given how I actually use the app. We’ll discuss this in a bit. First, I know you guys are going to ask me for proof so here it is. A screenshot I took before I closed the app for good the other day.
At you probably know, media studies was one of my majors at college. So of course, after finding out my average Instagram time, I started reflecting on my media use. Here’s what it all comes down to:
I usually use Instagram as my second screen
If I’m on Instagram, it’s rarely what I fully focus on. I usually open the app in the evening, when I’m watching Netflix and I’m bored by the show. Because I’m a millennial and I like multitasking.
That sheds another light on these 100 minutes. It would probably be a waste of time if I spent 1,5+ hours just sitting there, using Instagram. If I do it while watching a show, though, it feels like the complete opposite: Instead of wasting time feeling bored by some part of a show, I try to entertain myself on a different channel.
I can already hear you guys say “Why don’t you watch something else or do something else if the show bores you?”. Well, first of all I am a pretty active person and like to be productive, even in my spare time. But it’s nice to just relax on my couch every now and then and watch some random movie. And if I do so, it’s a roller coaster. I’d love the beginning of the movie, then midway get bored, then get excited again. It’d be a shame if I just gave up on the said show the minute it becomes a little dull. Once I start it, I want to finish it.
But anyway. There’s another Instagram habit of mine I want to discuss…
I spend more time on Instagram when I’m on the road
And by “on the road” I mean two things: Traveling (as in getting from one place to another) and being abroad in general.
Usually, when you take the bus, a train or when you’re in the car, you got plenty of time to kill. And while other people use the time to read books or stare out of the window, I use Instagram to get inspired. I usually check out the place I’m heading for on the Gram and plan my journey as I do so.
As to being abroad in general: Instagram is my go to messenger to stay in touch with friends. Just the other day, I spent about an hour videochatting with a friend over the Gram. An hour! You see how it piles up?
I don’t spend long periods on the app, but I open it often
The last one is probably my unhealthiest Instagram habit. But I’m aware of it and I’m working towards changing it, so don’t you worry.
Here’s the thing: My average “dose” of Instagram is not high. I usually open the app, upload a photo, respond to a few messages and close it. That’s only a couple of minutes. But I do so frequently; at least once an hour. That is, unless I’m super busy.
What do we learn from this?
In the risk of sounding cheesy: Finding out “my number” as well as writing about my Instagram habits kind of opened my eyes. I’ve always had a couple of rules, not only regarding Instagram but regarding my cellphone use in general. Like this one: When I’m meeting someone, I don’t use my phone at all (unless it’s super important or justified as in, I want to show them something on my phone). I now want to focus on these rules just a little more.
Besides this, Instagram also allows you to set a timer. I set mine to an hour, meaning that I’ll get a notification once I spent 60 minutes on the app. This way, I don’t get carried away as easily.
But now that I’ve been all honest to you guys, it’s your turn: How much time do you spend on Instagram?