After months of isolation, it was nice to spend a full seven days outside. My back is brutally sunburnt, I have scrapes and bruises from wiping out on my bike somewhere in the middle of Cape Cod, and I have more bug bites than I can keep track of. To be honest, I’m writing this as a way to currently distract myself from the itching. Yet while I learned a lot about camping and cooking outdoors, I also reflected a lot about myself. And I’m going to be honest, I didn’t exactly love what I found.
Here’s where I concluded: I’m distracted and worn out. I’m constantly stressed about my “brand” online and I find myself thinking about my career more than I care to admit. When I’m distracted and stressed, I try to relieve it with a glass of wine and a few hours of scrolling through Instagram on my phone. And while I try to tell myself those are things that will relax me at the end of a hard workday, I know it’s not actually true.
When I came to terms with my Instagram obsession and my constant worrying about “where I’m going in life,” I knew I needed a full break to really think about it. So I posted that I was signing off for a few days, and except for my planned Imperfect Foods post, I haven’t done anything on there since. I completely unplugged, and yes, even turned off my phone for a while.
It was like jumping in the cold ocean. Completely refreshing, renewing, and eye-opening. How could I be so blind to let such a small little app completely shape my everyday life? It not only distracts myself from what’s going on around me, but has become the excuse to not truly catch up with friends. Reading a post or watching a series of IG stories is enough of a catch-up, right?
Wrong. I let Instagram (and other social media) distract me from actually living my life. I know it’s drastic. I also know it’s probably something you’ve probably heard others say before. But when I really dig into the dirty details, it’s true. It distracts me from the kind of writer I really want to be. It distracts me from actually catching up with those I love. It distracts me from truly giving my body the rest it needs during my nights and weekends.
I wrote about how much scrolling was shaping my habits a few months ago, and while I wish I could say to you things got better, quarantine has absolutely made them worse. I’m tired of worrying so much about the number of followers and engagement I have. Why worry so much when I don’t even plan on making a career of it?
So after coming to this brutally honest truth, I took some time to set new habits. New goals. New ways of relieving stress. Here’s where I concluded.
I plan on taking a step back from social media. For good. What does this look like?
- I’ll still schedule feed posts to go out on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, but I won’t be living or engaging on there much. I’d rather spend more time right here on this blog…writing. And working towards the new goals I’ve set for myself.
- I’ll be posting my work over on Twitter, which I’ve already been doing, but I want that platform to be a true representation of my professional writing.
I think I’ll be writing a lot more on this, because I feel really passionate about it. I’ve spent a lot of my life on social media because of my career, but now that I have found some clarity for the next steps in my life, I think I can finally put to rest the ever-present stress of social media in my life. It’s just not worth it anymore.