I enjoy change.
It’s weird because I’m not adventurous in most things, however, in early 2019 I began to make a lot of changes. Specifically, in the way I approach social media.
Other than a couple of book reviews, and my Bee Stamped Wallpaper blog post I backed away almost completely from social media. In 2019, I posted 35 photos to Instagram and published only 10 blog posts. Coming from someone who has been blogging since 2009, that’s nuts.
One of my favorite bloggers, who I’m honored to call a friend, is Chelsea Sobolik. After reading her thoughts of her social media sabbatical in 2018, I knew I had to give it a try (you can read about her experience here).
Following her example in late 2018, I took a month-long sabbatical from social media. At first, it was difficult. Like most, I had developed “muscle memory” for opening intriguing apps such as Twitter and Instagram. I would open these apps without even thinking about it, however, after a week it became easier. I began to divert my attention by picking up a book instead, baking something sweet in the kitchen or finishing a sewing project, etc.
My experience in 2018 was so great, I naturally found myself gradually disconnecting from social media in 2019. There were several months where I completely forgot to open some of the most popular apps.
This is what I’ve learned since disconnecting from social media:
✶Instagram takes up too much time:
In 2019 I read over 200 books, I went for a mile run every day (and still do!), I penned 30,000 words for my novel, I made better connections with friends, I met a new penpal, began studying French and much more. My point is, for years I was losing time by getting caught up scrolling through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
✶There is constant pressure to be perfect & creative all the damn time:
This is ridiculous. As a blogger, it was, and still is, so easy to get wrapped up in the like/heart/follower game. Your content must be visually appealing and cohesive. And don’t bother posting if you can’t include a witty description. Also, you must do this several times during the day. Instagram had evolved into a “what do people want to see” etc, instead of what it should be: my account—whatever I want it to be.
Watch this clip of Black Mirror —I think they did a great job describing this issue.
✶Personal connections & friendships take a hit:
I mentioned earlier that by stepping away from social media I was able to make better connections with my friends who are local and it’s been one of the greatest gifts. Rather than feeling connected through an app, it’s so much more personal when you actually text a friend, or write a letter—or better yet, set up an evening out with a friend.
Making these changes led me to do something magical that has changed the way I use Instagram. Brace yourself: I unfollowed accounts who I have no connection with (business accounts, influencers, etc). Suddenly, Instagram became something entirely different. My account is purely friend-based now and I really enjoy it.
✶ So what’s in store for 2020?
Believe me, I realize it’s not social media’s fault that I was so caught up in it—the fault is entirely my own. That’s why reflection and then change, is so good. I’m certain I would not have found my creativity again if I hadn’t disconnected last year. Perspective is everything. I’m grateful I chose to take a step back.
Obviously, I’m no longer disconnected. I’m looking forward to sharing personal style posts, apartment DIY’s and making more 30 second videos. Speaking of videos, I think it would be fun to make baking videos—I’m by no means an expert, but it would be fun to share what I’ve learned. It’s going to be a great year!
Do you find it difficult to find balance while juggling social media?