19th June, 10:01
Good morning lovely readers! Today I thought I’d share with you the reasons as to why I’ve taken a step back from social media the past few weeks.
It was a very easy decision to make, almost done subconsciously; it was exhausting trying to stay on top of every single thing I was doing, from studying to working to writing, and I knew something had to give. Sometimes, social media can be a great outlet for people to discuss their feelings, make friends and establish a connection with others. For me, it just isn’t providing those things right now. I was finding myself struggling to find something to Tweet, and wanting to do so purely so I didn’t lose followers on my author account, and hardly finding anything of interest on my personal accounts. To update my pages was feeling like a chore, rather than something I enjoyed, which took all the fun out of it.
Leading on from this, social media did what it does best: it started making me compare myself to others. I’ve had Instagram for a while and am used to seeing gorgeous girls and amazing holidays, recipes and clothes that I knew I would never have. And I didn’t mind. I still don’t, mostly. It’s just, on the off chance I was having a bad day, I would see a photo and sometimes it would upset me. Why wasn’t my life like that? Why didn’t I look a certain way? Why did I not have thousands of followers? And I came to realise I didn’t want to have to see these things, to have unattainable standards shoved in my face all the time. I just wanted to focus on myself. Meanwhile on Twitter, I was seeing authors rave about how many reviews they had and books they’d sold, whilst I was feeling pretty deflated about my own figures. Again, I’d compare myself to them: what do they have that I don’t? Is my writing awful? Am I unlikable? What wasn’t clicking? Logic took a backseat, and I ended up feeling irrationally annoyed or upset when people would post these things, as if it was a personal jibe at me. I know it wasn’t, just like I know people posting on Instagram aren’t doing it to show off or shove their wealth/prettiness in other’s faces. People use social media to share news, both good and bad, and that’s fine. It’s just I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to see it.
So, I had a break. Not a clean break: I needed to ensure I didn’t lose all my Twitter followers as my author account is for business after all, but I stopped opening my apps every night and switched it to a couple times a week. I stopped worrying about what everyone else was doing and started focusing on myself, and bettering my own life for me, not because I wanted to be like somebody else.
I now feel a lot happier using social media, though I’m not on Instagram or Twitter nearly as much as before. I understand some followers may lose interest, and that’s okay: I’ve put myself and my real life first over the life it looks like I lead over the internet. I think people forget that sometimes, someone could post a really happy Tweet or picture, but the reality behind it could be very different. That’s what I had to remind myself of.
Anyway, there’s no message here, really, just a little ramble. And if there is, I guess it’s that it’s OK to feel pinned against others or jealous or annoyed because of a social media post. And it’s even more OK to take a break from it all – to put your phone away, stop worrying about followers and posts and content, and live your real life. Because that’s the one that matters.