I’ve just had a couple of nights away with friends in the countryside and I chose to give myself a much needed digital detox.
I disabled notifications for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Telegram, WhatsApp and WordPress on Sunday morning and I don’t have any desire to turn them back on. My original plan was to get back to normal yesterday but I couldn’t bring myself to do it out of fear of becoming trapped again.
I’ve had a quick browse through the usual suspects but the thought of being back on it 24/7 is kind of terrifying.
I’m sure for those who use social media for pleasure, it’s really not a big deal. For most, it’s not a topic worth getting your knickers in a twist about but somewhere along the way I’ve truly lost myself in the sticky world-wide-cobweb.
While I was away, I didn’t actually miss it that much. I felt free from its chains. Ok, so every now and then I’d feel inclined to upload an Instagram story or want to share where I was and what I was doing with the world, but I just had to resist temptation and it soon passed. I’d click on the Instagram icon out of sheer habit while waiting around once in a while.
I’d put my phone in another room and forget about it. I took photos with my Canon Powershot G7X so I wouldn’t miss anything because I do love taking photos. I’ve always loved documenting my experiences with family and friends and that’ll never stop.
Last night I confessed to my husband how nice it felt not relying on social media and he told me how refreshing it was to have me in the room, present and undistracted.
I think I have this fear with social media, Instagram specifically, that once I open the floodgates, that’s it. Game over. As though its all or nothing.
Building a following on Instagram is hard work, especially since Facebook took over and built a bullshit algorithm that purely serves to line their pockets from advertising and sponsored posts. You may be thinking, “so what? who cares” but as a blogger and an aspiring writer, I need to be out there promoting my shit and Instagram was always my favourite platform.
I don’t get the same level of inspiration from browsing Facebook or Twitter. I’m a visual person and Instagram truly scratches that itch, so it seems natural to pore my attention into it as a promotional tool.
I need to stop worrying about the numbers though because that’s what’s been pushing me over the cliff edge.
Perhaps if I spend more time building my writing portfolio, I’d get more freelance work which is my ultimate goal.
I need to start prioritising my workload and figure out what’s legitimately important in the grand scheme of things. Long term, not short term. Authentically, not superficially.
I don’t want to go back to midnight scrolling in bed or checking Instagram as soon as my eyes open in the morning. It’s not healthy, it disturbs my sleep and I end up pinning too much importance on likes and follows. It perpetuates my feeble obsession with acceptance and validation from others, which is never a good thing.
I’m not sure I’ll ever turn notifications back on. Perhaps I’ll turn it back on for emails but zero notification has given me unexpected peace of mind, and I get to check everything in my own time.
Going forward I’ll be keeping to a social media/blogging timetable and letting loved ones know to call or text me if there are any emergency issues that need to be addressed asap. I mean, how did we survive before iPhones?
I want to explore nature, read, write and have face to face interaction on a more regular basis. That should be my goals in life, not plugging into a tiny screen all day hoping for it to fulfil me on a primal level because it never will.
Social media and devices are a great way to make connections as a content creator, check in with friends, get inspired, research and fill our heads with knowledge, but they’re also a terrible distraction and, to our detriment, we place way too much importance on them as a society.
If you feel a little overwhelmed by social media, try and have a detox because it will help you to recalibrate and reset your mind. It will also become glaringly obvious how much you use it through boredom, rather than necessity and hopefully, it will inspire you to change your habits for the better.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
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