Instagram Is a Well-Oiled Machine to Make your Life Worse

And Give You Horrible Sleep Quality

Levi Borba
6 min readNov 14, 2020


This is a picture from my hostel, that I could post on our Instagram. But we don’t have one, and I will tell you why.

As the operator of a touristic hostel in Europe, few times I was mocked for not having an Instagram, neither for me nor for my business. After all, it is commonplace for my fellow competitors to promote their Hostels there and use it to attract backpackers.

I cannot argue against the economical advantages obtained from using Instagram to promote a business — neither in favor since I never used it. But I can tell you the many benefits of ditching out this social network or never start using it in the first place.

Epictetus enters the Room

During the same period, I was thinking about creating or not an Instagram profile for me and my business, I finished reading the Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium, or “Moral Letters to Lucilius”, from the stoic Seneca. I was craving for more from the same type. My first action was to start the Enchiridion, the masterpiece from another stoic, Epictetus.

Epictetus was a Greek slave that lived in Rome during the first century. He is one of the three most famous stoics, the others being the previously mentioned Seneca, and the emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. From the former, I recommend the book Meditations.

His rich owner allowed him to study philosophy under the tutelage of Musonius Rufus. Later, Epictetus became a freeman and moved back to Greece, where he founded a school that quickly became popular. Even the emperor Hadrian heard his words. While successful in his philosophical teaching, he lived a very simple — but long — life.

The Enchiridion (a word that means something like “manual” in greek)is a short book from this author, that I had the pleasure to listen while walking in the parks of Ochota, Warsaw, where I live. It have an unusual format for today’s standards. It is mainly is composed of aphorisms grouped by common themes. Quite short, in contrast to the 3-volume Moral Letters from Seneca.

Yes, it is short. Yes, it is unusual for today’s standards. But how rich is the Enchiridion!. And, in the case you forgot, my esteemed reader, I still owe you the explanation of why Epictetus convinced me to not waste my time with Instagram. That…