Last Christmas my boyfriend announced that he would turn vegetarian for a month if I gave up social media for the same amount of time. It took me less than a blink of an eye to agree as vegetarianism is super important to me!
So the 1st March marked the end of a month of breaking up with social media. There’s been no Twitter, no Instagram, no Facebook, no Pinterest, no YouTube, no blogs, no LinkedIn…or any other of these social media hangouts the cool kids use now. And by the end of it I felt pretty darn good!
Now don’t get me wrong – I wasn’t a social media addict. I didn’t get cold sweats at the thought of a 3G black out or my phone battery running dead. But I had a pretty consistent routine going on: Instagram in the morning as I was getting up; YouTube videos over breakfast (during the week my boyfriend isn’t up when I have breakfast – I’m not that rude!); blogs as and when throughout the day; Facebook as I got ready for bed…and if I had a bit of spare time at the weekend I’d dive in to Pinterest. When I write it down that seems quite a lot…but most of it was just “perusing” (great word, perusing) my feeds rather than posting anything. In fact outside of the blog, I don’t really post anything.
When I gave everything up on the 1st February I didn’t really feel any longing to go on there. Sure, brushing my teeth became pretty boring, but I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything. The worst things were not getting to communicate with you guys so much, and not being able to participate in some of the Facebook groups I was in.
But despite not having any withdrawal symptoms at the start of the month, I did notice a difference in how I felt by the end. At the start of the month I was pretty dissatisfied with my life. I was comparing myself to friends on Facebook and feeling like I should have got further in life. I should be married with kids and have a house and a mortgage. Or I should be spending my life jet setting across the globe. I didn’t seem to be able to get into my head that I didn’t want those things yet. As I became more and more dissatisfied I became more and more angry and unappreciative of life.
I’m not sure when during the month things changed, but I finished feeling much more positive about my life, and almost like I’d found a new sense of freedom. I was no longer trapped in some comparison cycle, but I was just living life how I wanted to.
A few days out of my social media ban and I still haven’t been on Facebook. I’ve not browsed through Instagram or been on Twitter. I’ve watched zero YouTube videos. I’ve dipped back into a few blogs but that’s it.
And I hope to keep it that way until I’ve found a balance with how I want to use social media. Over the years I’ve found some real motivation to recover from my eating issues on social media, as well as some wonderful women who are spreading the body positive love. Blogs can be the pep talk you need on a bad day. Facebook is a great way to keep up-to-date with your friends lives even when it’s difficult to stay in touch. But I don’t want to fall back in to the comparison trap – I want to keep social media at arm’s length so that it doesn’t become my frame of reference and I can continue to feel positive about my life.
So that February goal was a hit! I also finally got round to doing my Easter cards and they arrived today. I feel SO PROUD! They’re by no way perfect but I love how much thought and effort went into them. Creating printed Easter cards is something I’ve always wanted to do so I’m so happy I’ve finally done it. Not only did it get me back in to some sketching, it was also a great learning curve to understand the design and more importantly the printing process. Check out my Instagram for a picture.
My goals for March are:
- Get on some skis. In a couple of weeks I’ll be in snowy Austria with my boyfriend’s family for my first ever skiing trip. I wouldn’t say I’m looking forward to it: I’ve never skiied, nor had any desire to ski, and will be flying solo for most of the time in the beginner’s classes whilst the rest of the family are all off gliding effortlessly down the slopes together. But it’s a great opportunity to learn a new skill, so even if I can only afford a couple of days’ worth of skiing lessons I’ll be proud of myself for giving it a go.
- Crochet an elephant! Yep, this one’s pretty specific! My parents got me a “crochet an elephant” kit for Christmas and since I’ve never crocheted before I thought it would be great to try out. It’s pretty different from both blogging and creating Easter cards (the last 2 months’ craftier goals) so I thought it would be good to shake things up and keep it varied!
What’s your view on social media?