I recently took some time off social media. I had come to a point where I would check my platforms so frequently that most times I opened an app, there wasn’t even a new tweet or snap to look at. I would lose myself within Instagram’s new algorithm and its Explore page without realising how many hours I was wasting.
So I took three days off Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Here’s what I learnt.
The world keeps turning.
Who would’ve thought? More often than I’d like to admit do I get sucked into thinking that I need to keep up with everything at all times, but being offline for three days just showed me that in fact, the world does keep turning and the most important news will make it on platforms outside of social media. I’m simply not swamped by it first thing in the morning – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
I feel better about myself.
I knew that I had fallen into the comparison trap but I hadn’t realised quite how deep I was in there. Especially Instagram is the number 1 platform that displays ‘the perfect life’; skinny girls with their flawless makeup, their carefully manicured hands wrapped around a Starbucks coffee, dressed in the most fashionable sense, effortlessly smiling into the camera. None of the above is me but I do wish I was all of it at once, and social media doesn’t exactly help to diminish this wish, to say the least.
I really don’t care all that much.
Ever since my little detox, I really cannot be bothered anymore to read all the tweets I’ve missed whilst I was at work. I don’t want to scroll through Instagram for 15 minutes. I don’t want to watch an endless story… I’ve simply learnt to enjoy and value my life away from my phone.
BUT: I’ve gone back to inspiration rather than comparison.
As much as I realised what a negative impact social media can have on my life, it also left me feeling uncreative and lifeless when it came to my blog. I follow great people who inspire me; who give me ideas for posts and food for thought I can build upon. Not having had any input for a couple of days made me feel a bit flat and made me appreciate the positive aspects of the platforms I’m on.
I think the way forward is to come off cloud 9 and see social media a bit more realistic. Like in any good relationship, you stop idolising the other party at some point; you see their ‘flaws’ and habits but that doesn’t automatically mean that you love them less or that they don’t do you good anymore. So that’s what I’m aiming for in my relationship with social media: less filters, more inspiration.
’til then x