“SH*T! I don’t have anything to post! I’ve got behind on my Instagram, should I just post anything?” This was the point I first considered quitting social media.
When I realised that IT was running ME. It was time to stop.
I know that being on social media is considered essential for a blogger. We need to get the word out and cultivate our relationships. This is done online through our social profiles. Instagram, Twitter, facebook (ergh!), Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc, etc, etc. But this was starting to cause me some problems.
I’ve already spoken about what I did when I realised I was a digital addict.
This was a step beyond that. I needed to take a break. After posting to Instagram, every day, twice per day for months on end – it was starting to get boring. I found myself tempted to post anything so that I didn’t break the chain.
It was a habit, but it was a bad habit!
This was a habit that wasn’t working for me. I knew I needed to take some control back.
Quitting Social Media (Crossing The Threshold)
So I went on a “No Social Media” Detox. I stopped using Instagram for nearly 2 months.
Quitting social media seemed like a daunting thing to do. Everything that I had learned about blogging and building a blog would depend upon maintaining a presence and being consistent. I had this feeling that, if I had no social media presence, I would be undoing all the work I had put in so far!
I guess it was a kind of FOMO (Fear of missing out) mixed with some loss aversion.
The one thought that pushed me to finally do it was this. I need to enjoy what I was doing; to publish content that I am excited about (not just filling a quota); and to stay creative.
To do this, I wanted to take a little time out to regroup my thoughts. To rethink how I approach it and to get everything straight in my head before I go back.
I was now ready for quitting social media. Instagram was switched off and I wasn’t going to switch it back on again until I felt like I could do my content justice.
Road Of Trials
Social media platforms are designed to be addictive! They want you to spend as much time on them as possible to see and click their Ads. The people that design them are clever cookies and they know how to get us all.
I’ve devoted some considerable time and will-power lately to realising (and eradicating) behaviours that are holding me back. Quitting coffee, sugar, TV, etc – I’ll write more on these soon. This seemed like another one that should crumble under the weight of my will.
If I’m not in control of it, then it is in control of me!
To quit my addictions, first I needed to realise it was one and then I needed to feel what it was like without it. I usually then feel pretty bad for some reason. Then I “blame” the bad feelings on the thing I’m addicted to.
Here’s someone else’s quitting social media story for you to consider, too.
I link the bad feeling with the addiction. I don’t see the addiction as the cure for the suffering – it’s the cause! Whenever I realise I’m reaching for my social media I stop myself, count to five and then walk away. I then have a small, smug sense of self-satisfaction that I managed to control it. This becomes my new behaviour-to-reward connection that builds a habit. This is my approach to quitting social media.
Starting Out Fresh
Quitting social media gave me time to rethink how I wanted to use it. Up until now, I used Instagram as a platform to share my photography. Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But, this was leading me into a few problems:
I needed a constant stream of professionally edited photography
My feed could not be spontaneous – it needed rigorous planning
It forced me to want to publish photography that was “less than my best”
My new approach is to share my love of the creative lifestyle I have chosen to follow. This means I want to include more content about my everyday life. As long as the content is relevant to my mission statement – yeah, I have a mission statement for my blog AND for my Instagram. It helps keep my content “on point”. Here it is:
My blog’s mission is to share, inspire and contribute to like-minded readers with interests in the outdoors, adventure, creativity, paragliding and the non-traditional work-life lifestyle through personal stories, opinions/observations and guides.
To inspire people with my lifestyle choice. Photography, paragliding, non-traditional work-life, and adventure in every moment.
“To bring you along on the ride of my life”
I’ve always had a mission statement but over the months since I began this blogger life I have slowly refined it. Gradually working out what I want to do and the direction that I want to take. Quitting social media has given me the break that I needed to see things clearer. Putting everything in perspective and letting me find a better direction.
All fired up with the possibilities of what is to come. Not having to stick to an “outdoor landscape” theme on Instagram is really exciting. I know, that’s just a sad statement, but all of this stuff means a lot to me so, forgive me if I get excited by trivial things 😀
Ready to post photos taken on my mobile, photos of lifestyle details and to share more of what I get up to on an (ir)regular basis. I will also start including more content from my paragliding journey toward becoming a pilot.
Having a mission and a framework that allows me to be spontaneous and more “in the moment” is the best thing that has happened to my Instagram in a while. Even if it doesn’t attract more followers, this is going to work better for me.
I hope you enjoy the new direction and I would love to hear your comments. Either drop them below or, better yet, head on over to my Instagram and leave me some feedback over there. What would you like to see me publish?
Thanks for reading this far, have a great day, speak soon, watch less, create more,