It feels like it’s been forever since I put pen to paper, well finger to key board to write a post or even post a new picture online. It has of course only been three weeks, but so much has changed since then. And well, in the blogging world three weeks offline is basically a lifetime.
I made a conscious decision to move away from social media and my blog and move forward into my own life. This was a bi-product of my life becoming a bit too consumed by social media, readers and numbers and not consumed with, well my actual life. I pride myself on trying to become a better person each day, and living a life that is right for me and I started to feel that social media wasn’t really contributing anything positive to my life.
I knew it was time to make a lifestyle and behavioral change.
That’s why I’ve quit various platforms over the past year: Snap chat around 5 months ago and Facebook two months ago. And then I deleted the Twitter and Instagram apps from my phone, so instead of mindlessly scrolling from app to app, I had to actually launch my internet and sign in – which resulted in me, hardly ever being online.
Here’s what I learnt.
LIFE GETS REAL, REALLY REALLY REAL.
To be (embarrassingly honest) it actually had more of a profound effect on me than I thought it would. I suppose just like any other addiction – you don’t really know how much it effects you until its taken away. What I found is that social media is just another way to escape the now. Be honest how many of your ‘friends’ would be friends if it wasn’t for social media? I mean people have my number, right? Are some friendships nor real friendships anymore?
Also a lot of things seemed to ‘rush’ to me that i’d blocked out before, such as what do I really do each evening? What would I do with my days if social media didn’t exist? Am I using my free time productively? I had so much free time to reflect and think about life outside a mobile device and the lens of a social media app.
I’m becoming more productive and less concerned with what other people think about me – what I realised is, without the constant bombardment of other peoples false realities, the only person I have to regularly compare myself with is me. I’m in a much more positive mindset without being constantly active on social media than I ever was with it.
BECOMING PRESENT/ GRATITUDE AND MINDFULNESS
You’ll have a deep sense of appreciation for everything you once enjoyed
When was the last time you watched an entire movie or Netflix series without checking your phone? Or even sat having coffee with your friends without checking your phone, or even looked out the window whilst on a train or car journey?
This is not just about distraction. This is about appreciation. Taking social media out of my daily, even hourly activities is how I started to appreciate things in life, it makes you more present and even calmer.
YOU WON’T NEED TO VALIDATE YOURSELF ONLINE ANYMORE
WE ARE ALL OBSESSED WITH IMAGE.
A lot of people have been struck by a need to validate themselves online and to put on a show – and I don’t just mean the bloggers and instagrammers of the world. The world has gone crazy for external validation from people they don’t even know, “ah my photo only got 100 likes, time to delete it because i’m obviously not good enough” its actually ridiculous. This is when people’s confidence and even their self-esteem are based by the number of likes, shares and followers they have.
Social media has become an environment in which people constantly seek attention and validation through one-upping people’s lives, and boasting over likes and re-tweets.
It’s social currency. Even relationships are formed online these day.
But when you start to spend less time online and more time offline, you realise technology does not define us, despite social media trying to put us into categories and reduce us to a series of likes and interests. Examining and changing our own relationship to technology opens the door for us teach through example and to practice new ways of making technology foster community and wellness.
WHERE IS THE FUTURE OF MY BLOG AND SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
It’s where I’ve built YearofYou, it’s how I’ve connected with readers and followers,it’s where I share inspiration and my creativity. So I am still going to be active online, but taking a much needed break helped ground me and remind me whats really important. My real life and not basing my life on numbers.
If you spend less time or even quit social media, your life can literally be transformed as you start to validate yourself with real-world things, like passion, health, fitness, hobbies even real world friendships and relationships.