Social media has become an essential part of growing your brand or blog quite a while ago. Working in SEO, we keep hearing about influencers, people brands reach out to when trying to promote their products, and we’re all striving to reach the stage when we’re invited to a launch or an event and rub shoulders with other online celebrities. And an essential part of becoming an influencer is growing your following on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, you name it. There’s more and more apps out there that require our attention and they all demand our time. That’s why I decided to try a short social media detox over the weekend. Nothing drastic as I don’t want to lose the followers I worked hard to get, but enough to not feel stressed out and obsessing about the ever present FOMO.
My phone has become an essential body part, it’s never more than an arms length away from me. I can’t even watch an episode on TV without fiddling with the said phone. In order to grow my following on Instagram, I need to comment and like and follow and respond to comments and all this takes time. Same goes for Twitter, join Twitter chats, read Tweets, respond, think of something clever to say, etc. Don’t get me wrong. I love interacting with people, I feel like I made friends with quite a few Instagramers and Twitterati and they are all such a lovely bunch. Blogs, I discovered through social media, inspire me and I’m so grateful I can learn from the experience of others. Oh, the benefits of social media. But why do I then need a social media detox?
My mornings start with a cup of coffee and I used to read to relax before heading to the office. Now, I still get coffee, but I spend that hour of pure me time scrolling through Instagram, commenting, responding and thinking about how to take attractive photos that will appeal to the public and will, hopefully, bring more followers. Then it’s work. Come lunchtime and I’m thinking if I scheduled my post to go out at the perfect time. And what about the hashtags I used. Coming home I cook dinner, stirring with one hand and using the other to reply to interactions, because there’s a Twitter chat on that I absolutely cannot miss. Sounds familiar?
I realised that I spend my entire day working and obsessing about things and feeling let down when I look at how many followers I’ve lost in that day wanting to reach out to them and ask why? The world of social media is baffling, people come and go and you can only guess why. Didn’t they like my posts? What would they want to see? Did they only follow to get a follow?
And so I decided to claim some of my time back from the social media, brave the devastating results this might have and enjoy the weekend with the family, away from my phone. Social media detox, here we go.
What were the benefits?
- I actually paid attention to what people are saying without being distracted by notifications. I didn’t get annoyed or stressed out because someone wanted to talk to me and I was obsessing about what the next questions is on Twitter chat. Multitasking is just not that easy.
- My phone was left in the bedroom over the weekend, screen down, so I couldn’t even see the blinking light in case I walked past. Guess what? After a couple of hours I didn’t miss my phone one bit. I played with the dog. I watched TV and read my book without constantly stopping what I was doing to check the latest developments on social media.
- Everyone around me was allowed to eat their meal while still warm without me stopping them to snap some photos. Ben was also able to enjoy the weekend without me trying to turn him into a fashion photographer.
- I feel really calm right now. I don’t feel like a part of me died because some people decided to un-follow me. I accept that now. Same as I don’t follow accounts that don’t interest me, other people do the same. It’s our right.
Are there any drawbacks?
- I was worried about declining numbers of followers. Yes, I lost about ten to fifteen followers on Instagram, but I gained seven new ones. My following on Twitter remained unchanged. And since all of my follower numbers are still in their early hundreds, it’s easy for me to keep an eye on them.
- Yes, I missed a few Twitter chats, but there will be new ones. And I’ll be able to enjoy them more because I now know that missing a few will not have devastating consequences. So, I’ll be able to focus on the ones I really love participating in without jumping around and joining more at the same time.
And the biggest benefit of my weekend social media detox is that I have learnt that I can claim some of my time back to read that book in the morning or enjoy the Great British Bake Off on Wednesdays. My social media accounts will not collapse if I don’t keep an eye on them 24/7, because for every person that un-follows me there is someone who follows and who has the potential of becoming a friend. We’ll enjoy interacting and learning from one another for months to come. The benefit of social media is immense. Meeting people we could never meet in real life, growing and nurturing friendships and hoping that maybe one day we can meet in person. But it can also take over our lives. There’s a thin line we’re walking and we have to learn what works for each one of us.
For more posts on lifestyle, travel and the like, follow me on Bloglovin’. Leave a comment to tell me how you deal with social media, I’d love to hear from you and discover a new blog for me to follow. Have a great week! xx