Regular readers to this blog will know what a social media addict I am. I’ve been on the major social media networks for as long as I can remember and my time spent on them has only increased since this blog took off. A social media presence and running a blog go hand in hand and you are expected to be online regularly. It went without saying that this wasn’t a problem for me. It was second nature.
A constant presence
Then I started looking after the social media for the company that I work for so I was spending my time scrolling through timelines and interacting with people even more. It got to the stage where I was eating Twitter, drinking Facebook and sleeping Instagram. It all got a bit much.
I fell out of love with Facebook a long time ago. I’ve talked about this often here. I only keep it to stay in touch with those who I am really interested in and also because you need an account to run a Facebook page, which obviously I have for this blog. But overall, I can take it or leave it. I could easily go days without scrolling through the timeline and this tells me clearly that I’m over it.
Twitter has always been a favourite but recently I began to lose interest in that too. I worked hard on my Instagram and the frustrations of trying to grow that account started to just irritate me. The follow/unfollow games that go on over there are enough to drive anyone insane and I just used to end up wondering why I was bothering.
A break away
A welcome break came a few weeks ago. Towards the end of the Summer holidays, we had a long weekend away in Torquay. Something really weird happened. I barely went on social media and do you know what? I didn’t miss it at all. I didn’t think constantly about taking just the right picture for Instagram. I didn’t think of something clever or witty to post on Twitter and well, I didn’t care about Facebook anyway, so that was no different. But it felt alien to have no desire to pick up my phone to see what the world was up to.
That same weekend, I rediscovered my love of reading. I had more interest in picking up my book than I did losing hours scrolling through lines and lines of text from people I don’t know. I lost myself in stories and I couldn’t wait until there was time for me to do it again. I didn’t miss social media at all and that is something I never thought I would say.
Has it changed since I’ve been home and has everything has gone back to normal? Well, not completely no. Yes, I’m still present on the platforms, but nowhere near as much as I was (with the exception of my Big Brother opinions!). Do I miss it yet? I can honestly say that no, I don’t.
A new balance
I enjoy it when I’m there, don’t get me wrong, but I’m happy with the balance that I’ve now reached. I’m happy that I’m enjoying another hobby that doesn’t revolve around the same thing I do for work. I like the escapism that reading gives me, it’s something that social media just can’t do for you. In fact, it’s totally the opposite.
I won’t ever leave Twitter or Instagram (I’m not so confident about Facebook!), but I have learnt to not get so caught up in it all. I’ve learnt to use it how I always used to and not feel like I need to be on it all the time. It doesn’t feel like such a chore. In fact, it feels like it did in the old days, which can only be a good thing.
Social media isn’t what it says on the tin. It’s far from social. It can take over if you’re not careful and I am really happy that I have managed to take a step back before it took over completely. I love my online friends, really I do. But I love my own little world too. Sometimes you have to work out what’s more important.
How do you feel about social media? Has it taken over your life in the past? Let me know in the comments.
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