Throughout July I went on somewhat of a hiatus. A social media hiatus. Okay, so I still used my personal Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram but everything else, I ditched. I stopped logging on to Twitter, I stopped blogging (and actually turned my blog onto private for a while) and deleted my Blog’s Instagram. Granted, it wasn’t a full blown hiatus and my family and friends were still an audience to my life that I was sharing online.
However, I did stop writing and I stopped expecting myself to write a new blog every week and I essentially, stopped putting the pressure on myself to be so present online and my word, it felt so damn good. Alas, as you have noticed if you are reading this post, I am back. I won’t be on twitter as often and I won’t be brining back my Instagram account but I will be blogging-often-because I love to write, it’s what I’m good at and it’s what I know I can turn to when I can’t turn to anyone else.
I’m going to be making some compromises with myself however as I return and that means more creative pieces, more pieces involving my study and my thoughts as I enter my third year of social work. I’ll be writing more about travel as I embark on two overseas adventures this year as well as many other travel adventures. Ultimately though, I’m going to stop putting the pressure on myself to perform to such high standards, but I’m going to keep writing on this blog because it’s what I love.
Whilst on my hiatus, I learnt a couple of things and have decided that going on a social media hiatus is something that not only I should be doing every now and then, but so should you and here’s 6 reasons why!
1.You learn what you really need
Do you really need to have every single social media app? Probably not. During my time off I learnt that I don’t need, nor do I really have a use for, Twitter and I definitely don’t need two Instagram accounts-one is plenty! Figure out what you use the most and then delete the rest!
2. You learn to post less!
Do you really need to tweet every meal or every thought or every TV show you are or are not watching? Definitely not. I’m not saying that posting these things is necessarily bad, but it distracts us from actually enjoying our meal or relishing in our thought or finding new TV shows to watch!
3. Thus, you become way more present!
Okay so you probably hear it everywhere (I know I do!), but I’m going to give you another reminder. Honestly though, once you go off the grid for a while you start to become more present without actually having to remind yourself to do so and bonus: you actually stop seeing all those *annoying* posts on social media reminding you to be present.
4. You essentially get more time for yourself, your friends and a damn good social life!
I don’t really have to explain this any more because it’s self-explanatory; less pressure to perform to any online standards you’ve set yourself, means more time to get out of the house- and let me tell you that I have never been home less in my entire life, than I was throughout the month of July, purely for the fact that I had time to hang out with old friends and make some new ones.
5. You learn a lot about yourself-including what makes you happy
So, you don’t have to delete your entire social media presence to discover this (I didn’t!) In fact, I don’t actually know if there is a correlation between this point and social media, but I can assure you that going off the grid for a little while, definitely helps this point come to light. You begin to learn whether you’re posting that photo or tweeting that tweet because you want to, or because you think that’s what you’re supposed to be sharing with the world! Again, there’s nothing initially wrong with posting things to show off you/your life to the world because that’s what you think everyone wants to see, but sometimes you have to ask yourself, is posting that really making you happy?
6. You stop relying on “likes” for validation
I’m still struggling with this one and I don’t think it’s ever going to be something I will 100% be able to do, but I definitely got used to not looking on Twitter or Instagram, waiting for the next like or retweet. You also realise that likes do not determine your worth as a human being!
Maybe one day I’ll do a massive social media cleanse and go on a hiatus for 6 months and maybe one day I’ll be ready for that. However, the 6 weeks I took off blogging and twitter and Instagram was perfect for the point in my life I was at. I lived a lot more. I got out a lot more. I met many new friends. I spent so much time with old ones, and most importantly, I got to spend a load of time getting to know me and what is important to me.
Let me know in the comments below if you have been, or are thinking of going, on a social media hiatus and how it worked out for you!
Oh but it’s good to be back.