Hi there guys,
A quick disclaimer first of all. Reading this post back it says everything I wanted to say but I want to preface it with a few things. Firstly, I speak about “fixation” which is not the same as “addiction”. Addiction is something entirely different and I don’t identify with the term personally at all. I hope you enjoy.
So today I am writing about my decision to quit making content for two weeks. This is not going to be a negative, sad blog post so don’t worry (you can put the tissues away) it’s a little story about self-love and self-improvement.
Being a content creator online is so much fun. I love my audience and I love how I get to interact with people from all walks of life who enjoy looking at my photos, watching my videos, and reading my posts. However, I needed to draw a line in the sand. I was reading articles about Mental Health Awareness Week which pushed me down a rabbit hole of article all about the effect of social media. It made me realise and put a few things into perspective. Having an audience is something that has defined my teenage years. It has shaped me as a person and made me the individual I am today. I believe in fighting for justice and standing up for power imbalances. The internet has changed the way I think about life and how I treat people. I believe it had made me kinder and more hardworking. And, maybe most importantly, I has taught me what I am worth.
However, since I turned 20 I have realised that a sign of growing up is the maturing of your thought processes. I realised that I had a bit of a social media fixation. Not an fixation to the internet but an fixation to a feeling. For me, the poster child of my feelings was my constant seeking of approval. I would create content for Instagram and then sit for hours when it was uploaded checking every like, every follow, every interaction. The notifications gave me a buzz and a mini high. But if the post didn’t do so well I found myself feeling hollow. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say this. My head would constantly be full of thoughts like:
“If I take a picture here, how many likes would it get” “Are these hashtags okay?” “If I post at this time then only this many people will see it” “Wait, that post only got this many likes what can I do better?”
For a long while I mistook this feeling for me being a business person trying to better my chances of earning and how marketable I am. I saw it as a quirky interest in statistics and digital marketing. I compared myself to other influencers doing the same sort of content as me and thinking “why did I not get that brand deal?” This realisation shook me to the core. I was a like-chaser. But I realised that I was misinterpreting my own thoughts.
So, I went cold turkey.
I uploaded Instagram stories and tweets but I didn’t take any photos, I didn’t record any videos and I didn’t actively think about content. And honestly, I feel so refreshed.
Having a break from social media, even for that long put a lot of things into perspective for me. Am I really living my life? Or am I trying to curate a story that will look fun to onlookers? During my break I realised that if that element of my life was taken away from me, life was a bit bland. So, during the break, I have planed multiple nights out with friends. I have put myself out there and actively tried to make friends in real life. Instead of following them on Instagram I spoke to them. I consolidated friendships that were based on smiles and seeing them in lectures. It feels amazing. I encourage you to take a break from posting and look at how you can enrich your life if the internet was turned off or you were only allowed limited use.
I realised that I had lots of friends but those links were only tenuous. Now, I am working towards making those links with people stronger and more resilient. I feel like I am spinning a web of “addiction” here which is not the case. I was not completely living my whole life online but I still didn’t have a balance that was healthy enough for me.
Anyway, I think that’s all I have to say. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Have an amazing, happy, healthy day.