So, I’ve spent the past 45 days without social media. Actually that’s a lie. At the time of writing this (Thursday) I’ve been without social media for 43 days but as this post has been published at 7pm on the Saturday night it’ll be 45 days. At time of publishing I’m in a field in Hampshire, camping, with friends, re-enacting battles and if I’m doing it right, well on the way to drunk…
So, what have the past 45 days taught me. Well, by and large, the points that I wrote about after 3 weeks of my time away from it all (read here), are all still very much valid. I still feel all the negative points about feelings inflated feelings of importance and reliance on it as force of habit. I also still find it a bit weird finding stuff out after everyone else and missing out on big public conversations of events happening at the time. I missed The Brits, The Global Awards, the Winter Paralympics, the Six Nations Rugby and felt like I’d have liked to see what other people I don’t know thought of them. I miss seeing the little happy things about people’s days.
I’ve realised I miss using Instagram the most. I could genuinely leave Facebook behind if I new I’d be able to keep up to date with everyone on there via Instagram. Facebook is 95% utter shite these days but I don’t want to lose the 5% of good stuff and the contact I have with people on there. I’ve missed sharing and looking at photos via Instagram way more than anything else in these past 6 and a half weeks.
But I’ve also seen the positives more in the second 3 and a half weeks too. I’m a lot more sure of who my actual, true, would-be-there-for-me and actually-want-to-chat friends and I’m taking the positives from that. I’m still going to be more critical of what’s actually worth sharing and what, after a few minutes will just be another boring thing online because the person that wrote it found it funny for all of about 0.7 seconds. I’m also going to take more time to appreciate the moment as I’m in it and appreciate quality time with friends and family more than just snapping pictures to share etc.
I’ll be honest though, I’m really starting to miss some elements of it now though, far more so than when I wrote the post after 3 weeks. I’m wanting to see what’s going on and I’m ready to go back now with better awareness and good intentions (we’ll see how long they last) to use social media more, I’m not sure of the right word here, strategically makes it too business like, holistically makes me sound like I’m about to start some kind of weird social media yoga… errrr, I guess sparingly and wisely. I’m still going to post some random shite from time to time but I’m going to try and use it less, use it for things that really matter to me and not be so reliant on it. I’m going to spend time appreciating the 5% of good stuff on Facebook and not waste my time on the 95% of shite because it’s presented in an easy format at my fingertips. I’ll use that time more wisely with my hobbies and interests.
I will still make more of an effort to contact my closer group of friends personally and not just rely on keeping up with what they’re doing via Facebook or Twitter. I’m just going to try and be more aware, make sure I spend good chunks of time away from it.
‘You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone’ is so true for this, I’ve realised what bits I miss but also, I’ve realised what it was taking away from me by spending so much of my time on there. I’ve got back time to enjoy reading and knitting etc. I’ve worked out what bits of social media I truly hate and am glad to see the back of (namely, endless arguments about Brexit, keyboard warriors, people who think they’re the be-all and end-all of political knowledge, photos that tell me my unicorn/elf/penguin/star wars name and The Kardashians).
Overall, I’m looking forward to logging back on tomorrow and catching up with everything that I’ve missed. And then I’m looking forward to logging back off after a little while of catch up and appreciating and getting stuck into the real world which tomorrow will mainly consist of playing with cannons/mortars and laughing with friends around a campfire wearing funny clothes. That’s what truly means a lot to me and I’m going to make the most of the quality time I have with my friends before not seeing them again for another couple of months.
I’m also looking forward to being able to share this new blog. I know I’m not writing with an end game focussed on numbers or growth etc but it will be nice to be able to tell more than just a handful of people that I’m back at writing again. Some of my friends, and not necessarily those that I’m closest to, have always been very supportive of my blogging and had messaged or chatted to me about why I’d stopped so I’m looking forward to being able to tell people that I’m back at it with more ideas for content and eagerness to write than ever before.
I’m also looking forward to being able to easily share things online for the other blog I’m currently writing. For those that don’t know, my husband Aidan is currently undertaking the challenge of walking all 11 underground lines, overground, this year for charity. I’m helping with the blogging and social media and putting to use all the brand growth skills I’d learnt before when making a hash of this when I blogged previously. You can read all about his venture on the blog for the challenge, The Underground Overground. Because we’re trying to grow audience to increase fundraising chances, I feel like I have a purpose to grow the following for that blog and those social media accounts so it’s giving me something to get my teeth into. Not having any apps on my phone etc has been a challenge when doing stuff for that and I do feel it let the side down a bit so I’m looking forward to getting that back on track with renewed enthusiasm.
It will be good to be back, for sure, but it will be good to be back with a better perspective. I’ve learnt a lot and that’s ultimately why I did this. I’m also quite proud that at no point did I cave. I have been honestly 100% to task with this and I’m usually the first to give up at things so I’m quite proud of finding my willpower.