I haven’t written in a while mainly because I felt I needed to take a break from technology…from social media really. I don’t know about anyone else, but sometime it starts to feel a little all consuming. Don’t get me wrong I fully see it’s power, the fun of it, how useful it can be and informative. But also I feel like we all get a bit obsessed by it, instagram becomes a flood of selfies and self promotion and it can start to feel like a toxic environment. I’m writing this as someone who loves taking photos and who has almost certainly over shared at some point – but also as someone who see’s the need to take a step back, switch off the phone, delete the app and concentrate on the real world for a while.
I started my blog really to be more of a diary, I have written a diary my entire life and saw this as an extension of that really. I find reading other peoples blogs hugely entertaining and insightful and thought perhaps I could add to that in my own little way. Along with the blogs, I found the various forms of social media a triumph – I could find everything from places to stay in any country to tips on how to potty train to new brands of children clothes. Plus I just love seeing my friends photos of their lives. Along with the other many many positives I found it to be a bit of light escapism on those days when you feel like you might otherwise scream.
Last week though, whilst finally finding a moment to get to the hairdresser (it had been 3 months and my hair was all roots and 90’s curtains) I was able to read my first copy of Grazia in what felt like forever, that really is my favourite part of the hairdresser which I otherwise slightly dread, getting to sit back for a couple of hours and indulge in some quality mag reading. Anyway I digress, Grazia had dedicated almost the entire issue to ‘switching off.’ It felt like a sign as I had become increasingly bored of it, and was feeling like I was spending way too much time looking at my phone. I hardly ever use Facebook now except to share my blog on as it seems to have become a constant stream of adverts or people pushing their political views on each other and scolding anyone that might dare think differently to them and then videos of dogs and cats doing sweet things (which I obviously love). Instagram seemed more and more self indulgent with people filtering their entire lives so as to make them look as perfect as is possible. It’s unhealthy and kind of annoying.
So following what was seemingly a very eye opening trip to the hair dresser I decided that I would join the ranks of the people of Grazia and put my phone down, stop scrolling and start living in the real world – or at least try. I certainly don’t want my tiff with social media to become a full on divorce (I’ve got a holiday coming up after all *photos galore*).
So with that I pranced home with my highlights done and my fringe brought back to this millennia and promptly told my husband that we were going to be ‘offline’ entirely every weekend and would have no use of our phones from 6pm onwards. This was promptly shot down as preposterous mainly as my supportive husband didn’t think I myself would be able to comply with this, so after much to’ing and fro’ing we decided that we would just make a conscious effort to not check social media every evening (maybe just the once) and when we’re together as a family on the weekend our phones can do one (until we are all fed up of each other and need that small escape from reality).
I’m about two weeks into my new relationship with social media and we are on much better terms now. I feel like (and this may seem extreme) the days are actually longer, in a good way. It’s surprising how much time you waste staring like a zombie at pictures and articles. I also feel like I’m concentrating on me, my life and family rather than what other people are doing. Then those moment when I do sit down and have a good old scroll I’m less ‘urgh, annoying’ and more ‘aww lovely’.
How does everyone else feel about the role of social media in our lives? Do you feel you have a balance with it or that you (like me) can fall victim to over looking and sometimes over sharing?