Quitting social media

DSCF5954-2

I was surprised by how hard it was to do, that’s for sure. More than a little shocked, if I’m honest.

I don’t know if that says more about the medium or me.

DSCF5286-2

I think it was just too exciting.

Which is odd, as that sounds like a positive thing, but when you’re (possibly) a highly sensitive person, sensory overload can happen pretty quickly.

DSCF2749

I loved that each day felt like a party: I could switch on my mac and have a million possible fun interactions waiting right there for me.

For someone who finds real life social stuff hard, being able to log in to the online party at will (without actually having to show up in person) was quite the draw.

DSCF5087

The truly rubbish side of coming offline has been missing all the friends and connections I’ve effectively said goodbye to.

I miss all that chatter. I miss the community. And I especially miss hanging out with people who just ‘get’ my whole paper obsession and don’t think Heidi’s last name is Swamp (ha ha, Kitts).

DSCF5348-2

But I had little to no balance in my days.

I felt like I was constantly buzzing; I spent any time offline thinking about when I would next be online.

Any sense of ‘in the moment peace’ was shot to pieces and I was uncomfortable with the jittery way my brain had started to feel.

DSCF4419

And while real life relationships weren’t directly suffering, they were being impacted, because I was being impacted.

My focus was split because I always felt that pull to be online. And real people – even little ones – pick up on that pretty quickly.

When you’re investing a lot of energy into the online you, there’s not a lot left for the real life community that is so genuinely nourishing for a stay-at-home introvert.

DSCF2092

I think it was only when I tried to limit my social media use that I realised the extent of my problem. Because I really didn’t want to go without.

I noticed that I’d lost the ability to find depth and beauty in everyday things. The delicious fruit salad had lost it’s appeal, because I’d developed a taste for iced donuts instead.

DSCF2893

Ditching social media was harder than I ever would have believed.

It was a ‘two steps forward, one step back’ process and one which felt a lot like a journey of genuine loss. There was real physical sickness too.

DSCF7813

Would I ever go back online, beyond this blog?

Not now, no. I’ve struggled too hard to reach this point of ‘social media sobriety’: this peace and joy has been hard won.

I wanted my monkey brain to settle down; I wanted to experience each precious moment and be fully present.

I needed to feel like one whole person again: not two separate identities, one shiny and one somehow lacking.

DSCF9359

I think most people can cope and even thrive in online environments, but I’ve come to realise that I’m just not one of them.

And as I’m realising with a lot of things as I progress into my late forties: that is more than okay.

17 thoughts on “Quitting social media

  1. Suse Fish

    Yes! It snuck up on me, but I became aware over time that I was feeling like the real life me wasn’t good enough in comparison to the one I was hoping to project. It wasn’t at all helpful, especially when it comes to gracefully accepting the ageing process!

    Like

  2. Suse Fish

    I love your thoughts here! I love the pace too – to write one (or three, lol) little pieces a day, then go away and get on with my day feels so much healthier than my previous habit of spending hours online in tiny segments throughout the entire day. I’m so happy there are friends here to read and keep me company! xxx

    Like

  3. As a fifty-something, I like the pace of blogs – I control it, it doesn’t disappear in 24 hours, I don’t have to slog thru 600 posts to find something… I can enjoy it like a letter from a friend. Hubby and I have been pulling back from IG, FB, etc but our kids and grandkids use to help us share the everyday stuff plus I use FB for work. So, I try to check the feeds when I have time that is not better spent doing something else… not because I “have to”. I am glad you are sharing in blog form, Suse. And I appreciate your candor.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Suse Fish

    Oh, that is so funny – I’d spotted your work already! Definitely recognise that fabulous ‘text’ cover, as I so wished I’d done it, lol xxx

    Like

  5. Suse Fish

    Yes! This was me too: looking for the photo op in everything and missing the moment. And then I would post the pretty ‘good hair day’ selfie and start to feel crummy when I caught sight of the real me in the mirror.
    I’ve been a long term fan of Tsh and all she talks about… I noticed the other day that she said something along the lines of liking to keep her content on her own site, largely so that she’s in control of it and not facebook. A savvy move!
    I actually foresaw Instagram stories taking over from youtube videos and I think we’re almost at that point. Perhaps things will come full-circle and blogs will be popular again (no one expected podcasts to take off as they have!) but I rather think there will always be a crowd happy to take the time to read something and those who are seeking the instant hit of fun for whom it will never really appeal.
    Different strokes for different folks, perhaps! xxx

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Suse Fish

    Yeah… I guess the youngsters will find their way with it all and it will become the new normal. I just wonder what effect seeing disturbing content might have on developing brains.
    But I am a worrier and my husband sees the positives much more easily, so maybe I need a more balanced view.
    I think when it comes to Design Teams, we’ll see more and more applicants getting accepted because of their following and marketing abilities – I notice even now that an aptitude for Instagram stories is already a requirement for some companies. I do understand it, but also wonder what the impact on the work will be.
    I’ve told my daughter that she can have a phone when she goes to High School, but only one that makes calls and sends texts at this point.
    Gaming I’m also concerned about as even the creators are now admitting that they’re designed to be addictive…
    It’s a strange area, as it’s all so new and untested. But statistics on anxiety-related issues and low self esteem – especially amongst young women – do cause me to wonder if we shouldn’t be thinking more about possible links to extreme overuse of technology. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ‘I spent any time offline thinking about when I would next be online.’ Eeeeeks. I am aware of my propensity to not take a picture of something enjoyable but to take a picture enjoyable so that I can post it. While taking the picture I am already thinking about its caption. Talk about not enjoying the present moment. *face palm* If you follow the blog, The Art of Simple, Tsh talks about her belief that blogs will pick back up someday. Here’s hoping for that trend to reignite and flourish. The long, intentional post of a blog vs the quick fix of a social media post.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Oh I feel your worry for this new generation! I babysit and see how the kids now use technology to interact with each other. From my perspective they are constantly connected and that’s what really worries me. I know everything in online now, but media is very toxic nowadays and without disconnecting from time to time, I feel a lot of these kids will fail to see life any other way. I know parenting factors in as well, but I think it’s a lot harder now for parents since every other kid has a connected gaming system or iPad or something, and it may be hard to see your child feel left out. And of course all those in-person social problems now translate online, and the fact that you can remain anonymous makes it even worse (and scary!). I definitely worry when one of the kids I sit asks why I don’t have any games or Twitter or Snapchat, etc. on my phone. They can’t see why I’d go without them! I have much respect for you parents because it definitely seems so much harder now raising a child, esp. in this socially online-driven world.

    I’m definitely more analogue than even some of my own generation, and most of my friends are the same. I think we were privileged to grow up as the internet and technology were growing and evolving. So we got the best of both worlds in a way. Like with dial-up you couldn’t always be online, you know? That could possibly explain why I’m good at balancing off-line/online. And it’s a shame that scrapbooking companies can’t reserve a few spots on teams for those who don’t do the social media thing. From a marketing perspective I understand, but to accommodate only one or two people couldn’t be too bad, you know?

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Suse Fish

    Yay! This makes me so happy Domi! Yes, send me the link to your blog, the moment it’s live.
    It’s interesting to hear your story about social media addiction – and fab that you have things more under control this time around. There’s so much good to it – especially Instagram – and I do feel a great loss at all I have willingly turned my back on. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Suse Fish

    I love this comment, Tiffany, thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts. I do wonder if it’s an age thing in some ways… because this is all so new to my generation (we grew up without any internet at all) it could be that we’re the only ones who might struggle to find a balance with it all.
    I worry for my daughter’s generation… mainly from the perspective of bullying and exposure to online porn, but it is my hope that these other digital natives will instinctively make social media work for them too.
    I think it’s great that you can take breaks from time to time and not have trouble – that’s a great sign that it remains a healthy area for you.
    Another impact I didn’t mention, is on my scrapbooking career. It’s been tough to know that in saying goodbye to online promotion, I’ve had to say goodbye to Design Team work or other possibilities. But it was a hit worth taking when it came to it, for me. Thanks again, lovely xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I find it interesting how others deal with social media. I remember this topic being discussed on the Scrap Gals FB group some time ago, and it’s very interesting for my millennial self to see so many of the previous generations struggle with maintaining a balance. I enjoy being connected online, but I’m fine being without it too. I think this balance comes naturally to me as I generally suck at being connected in RL or online lol. I’m definitely super introverted like that! But it is always easier to just do one thing I think. I’ve definitely streamlined my social media usage because being on too many platforms did overwhelm me. I’m definitely an IG gal and quite possibly could never leave that one. But I’m fine taking a break from time to time, I don’t even have to think twice about that! But I’m happy you found what works for you. That’s always the best thing!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I understand because I was like that, addict to social media, then probably with age (I 52 old), I relativized this relationship, I closed instagram, and later I opened a new account but I feel completely detached from it, I do not post much, and I only watch the thread from time to time without great interest finally … I’m probably cured! On the other hand, I’m going to open a blog to share my scraptherapy albums, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart because it’s thanks to you that I really like these albums :). You are inspire me everyday !!

    Liked by 2 people

Comment away...

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s