I took a break from blogging which almost instantly turned into a social media break. Here are a few of the lessons I learnt:
Some People Won’t Notice
Let’s get one thing clear, I didn’t expect many people to notice. After all, there are only a handful of ‘friends’ that I would say I’m checking for. If those few people stopped tweeting or posting snaps I’d notice, but the other 95% wouldn’t even register as absent. So it came as no shock to me that people weren’t aware that I was away.
But it also served as a reminder that people don’t notice because they don’t care. Many of us (myself included) are guilty of sharing too much: using these social media platforms as public diaries, tweeting out every thought and posting 2-minute long Snapchat rants. People may read, watch or simply tap through, giving the odd comment, but ultimately, they don’t care.
Some People Will Notice
This is what genuinely did surprise me: the number of people that reached out to me because they had seen that I was inactive across virtually all platforms AND who these people were. I’ve mentioned a few times that it can feel as though we are lonely or lacking in support, but the reality is that often, the support system we have is made up of individuals we never expected it from.
I’m human, I will admit that it’s absolutely great to feel wanted, appreciated and simply noticed- especially by those from whom it is least expected. It’s also great to be reminded that I’m not alone and that my efforts, especially on this blog, are not going to waste.
Life Feels More Genuine
Ever post a snap where your wig is laid, your highlight is popping and all your squatting has paid off? Then suddenly the number in that red bubble keeps growing and guys you haven’t spoken to in years wanna ‘chill’? The worst part is you weren’t even planning to thirst trap, you were just slaying as per usual. Or maybe you just got a new car, you posted a picture on Instagram and now everyone you know wants to make plans with you so that you can take them for a spin.
Whatever the case may be, you probably always have it in the back of your mind that some of the conversations you have on social media with people, that stem from your ‘highlight reel’ aren’t genuine- there is usually an ulterior motive. This isn’t their fault. We all do it. We see the best parts of someone’s life and we want to be involved somehow.
Taking this social media break reminded me of what it felt like to have purely genuine conversations. Because the ingenuine people didn’t have access to my life’s highlights, I wasn’t on their mind and they weren’t disturbing mine.
Sleep is Better
Possibly because I was buried in less of other people’s stress… But most likely because a lot fewer people kept me up at night. I slept so much better during this period. I thought I LOVED sleep, but now sleep and I have connected on a much deeper, spiritual level!
My Mind is Focussed
It’s very easy to get caught up in anything and everything, especially when boredom strikes. I’ll be honest, the first week was harder than I had anticipated. When I got tired of Netflix or ran out of YouTube videos to watch, my first instinct was to either check the timeline or take a look at my blog to-do list and see what I could get done.
My mini-hiatus gave me the time to think about proper issues in my life, such as what colour to paint my nails or which pair of shoes I should add to my basket. But all jokes aside, during this period of ‘boredom’ when an issue arose, I dealt with it straight away because I was forced to focus on it rather than give into distractions.
We All Live in Isolation
I say communication is dead because people will see you through social media and assume that this is enough. You are alive, they can see what’s going on in your life and that is all they need to know. Someone once admitted to me that although they knew they should check up on me regularly, they often ‘forgot’ because they had seen a snap or tweet. This my dear friends is not what I would call ‘checking up’ on someone, but each to their own.
Although I’m currently in a good place, I know how easy it is to fake things. It was a reminder of how easy it is to fall into a dark place and stay there because nobody bothers with you as long as you post your regular Sunday Selfies with a Schmile! It’s crazy how much people think they know about your life because of the 30-second story you posted- literally 0.035% of your day.
Do it for the Gram
I wouldn’t describe myself as a social media whore, but maybe I’m in denial. I’ll admit that there are things I do for the sake of social media- not because of who will see but because I simply like posting. It’s weird but I’m sure I’m not the only one. Snapchat, in particular, was my weakness. When my social media break first began, on many occasions, I pulled out my phone as had become a routine and was forced to put it away again.
I won’t get all fake deep and say I was able to ‘enjoy the moment’ more. I’ve never missed the moment by posting a 10-second snap in my opinion. But it did open up my eyes to just how much I have accustomed myself to sharing. Not that sharing is bad, but a lot of it isn’t necessary.
Cut Out Comparison
Comparison was limited to what I had actually seen, people I actually knew and periods of struggle that I was a first-hand witness too. Long story short, your girl is waaaaaaay more confident than she was a while ago. You don’t realise how insecure you are until you stop being so insecure.
Mental Health Matters
A lot occurred in the world during the time in which I was on my social media break. My home city in particular felt like it was under attack. Arguably selfish: distance from others’ opinions helped me deal with my emotions at my own pace in my own space.
One major downside to this hiatus was that I was left out of the loop with regards to global issues. It’s no secret that a lot of the major news stories in the world never actually make headlines. Despite not always being factual, Twitter has always been a source of information in this regard. During my break, being that I am not one to go and dig up news stories, I was only exposed to what mainstream media would tell me.
If you’re thinking about taking a social media break, I highly recommend it! If you’ve taken one before, please share your experiences and lessons with me in the comments section!
All the best,
PS – My battery life did not improve unfortunately
All gifs courtesy of giphy.com