I haven’t written a blog post in a month. Well, nearly a month. Here are my thoughts on taking a break from Blogging and Social Media.
I haven’t been ‘feeling it’ recently. I don’t know if I follow the wrong people. Perhaps the algorithms on social media platforms aren’t showing me the content I want to see. Anyway, I needed a break. I wasn’t inspired or motivated to write anything.
I’ve been limiting my social media use recently, because I’m angry, stressed, and need time out.
Featured photograph by Andrew Walker, taken at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. The sixth and final exhibition in the NOW series, highlighting the work of Scottish artist Katie Paterson (Winter 2019).
Social Media Thoughts
I feel like I convey a different attitude on every social media account. On Twitter, I come across as more frustrated than on Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr or this blog. Have you noticed a similar phenomenon with your own social media presence?
I wish my timeline was full of compassionate people talking about real world issues. Sometimes, it is. Remember June? Black Lives Matter by the way.
Most of the time, it’s tweet after tweet of first world problems. I get it. People need an escape, a place to vent, and we’re all going through a pandemic. You do you. But for me, I’ve noticed that I need to take time away from it. It’s draining.
I tweet about social issues, which may seem like a juxtaposition with the self-care content I write. Self-Care isn’t selfish. Yet, it does seem shallow and selfish to only focus on Self-Care with my platforms. I am disabled and struggle with mental health issues, but I am also very privileged. I believe that an important facet of Self-Care is to be active within your community. Speak about social issues, donate when you can, provide support and compassion.
We are all citizens of Earth.
I quit Instagram for a very long time. I’d sporadically upload a photo, then leave. I rarely scrolled through my feed.
I realised that a lot of my issues with Instagram stem from my own body image struggles, and the people I follow.
After quitting fast fashion, I began to notice quite how pervasive materialism is. I realised that while I love blogging, connecting with others online, and creativity… I don’t like influencer culture.
I unfollowed a lot of accounts on Instagram. The ones who post a new outfit every day, the ones who post ‘luxury style’ (not my thing!), and brand accounts that aren’t ethical.
I also followed more plus-sized content creators, trans women, and artists. I want to take control of my feed, and see the content I want to see.
I still have a long way to go, but it’s been a bit more positive for me recently. I’ve also been engaging more with Black women, whose content I love but rarely seem to see in my feed. The algorithm has a racial bias. You can read about model Nyome’s experience here if you don’t know about it already.
I despise it. I really do.
The only reason I still have a Facebook account is because my older family members are on it. I also use blogging Facebook groups every now and again, and a support group for Lupus.
Deleting the Facebook app from my phone was a positive step I took recently. No more inflammatory and divisive content for me, thank-you very much. I still have the Messenger app on my phone. For me, it’s a convenient and necessary evil to stay in touch with friends and family.
What I’ve Been Doing While Taking a Break from Blogging and Social Media.
I finally got my Master’s degree results. I got a Merit in my MA Classical Art and Archaeology.
It’s a bit strange to be graduating in quarantine… a topic for another blog post I think. I decided to put on the dress I planned to wear for graduation, and wear it to the park to read some books. I also got Andrew to take some photos of me wearing it with his fancy camera… a step outside my comfort zone!
- Growing plants. I’m having a huge planting moment to be honest. Taking care of plants, watching them grow, and getting my hands dirty is such a joy. Related blog post: 10 Plants for Your Witch Garden.
- Spending time in nature… when it’s not a heatwave. Living in a London flat is not fun right now.
- Reading. I have a lot of unread books on my shelf, so I’m working my way through those. Related blog post: 13 Books To Read in 2020.
- Watching important documentaries. Most notably, Immigration Nation. I haven’t cried so much while watching anything in a long time. You can read about some of the other True Crime Docuseries I recommend here.
- Having discussions with my flatmates… about social issues, museums, archaeology, music, pretty much anything and everything.
- Singing and playing guitar. I did start a TikTok account and posted a few singing videos on it. I haven’t felt like recording recently, but I’ve been playing and singing to myself… and my flatmates.
- Decluttering. The main task I’ve given myself over the past few months is reducing the amount of things I own. Clothes are the biggest problem for me, followed by random homeware items, and old tech. Selling on eBay has helped put a few more pennies in the bank too, so that helps!
You should take breaks from social media.
Taking breaks from social media and blogging is very important for my mental health. I recommend giving it a go, or imposing limits on yourself. I need to feel engaged with the ‘real world’, to foster my relationships with myself, my flatmates and nature.
Although I’m ‘back’ from this break, I’m being more intentional with my social media use. I will take many more breaks and spend less time online generally. The benefits simply don’t outweigh the costs for me. Sometimes you need to be tough on yourself, and set boundaries.
I’m happiest when I’m offline, enjoying art, music, and nature. In fact, I’m going to plant some seeds right now!
All the best,