I used to be extremely addicted to social media.
I would be that rude person at the dinner table, scrolling on Instagram at people who didn’t know me whilst being surrounded by the people who did know me.
It was an urge to check what other people were doing, what they were wearing, which restaurants they were eating at and I just wasn’t living in the moment.
It all began with MSN.
Rushing home from school, logging on and seeing who else was online only to sit there for hours on end to talk to the same people I’d spoken to a few hours before.
Myspace came next and that was all about the rotation of your favourite six friends – how your boyfriend always came second to your best friend because girl power will always remain strong no matter the year.
Facebook was slowly introduced but I was still loyal to Myspace and it was only due to family in Australia why I joined ten years ago. You weren’t in a proper relationship unless it was official on Facebook and unfriending someone was like a stab in the heart.
Twitter came next and I joined because of my blog and I quickly became a part of the Blogosphere with a solid group of people who I had never met face to face but I spent majority of my day responding to tweets and engaging with fellow bloggers.
Instagram was always the platform which killed my confidence each time I opened the app and sometimes, it still does because my fashion sense isn’t worthy of hundreds of likes nor are the places in which I travel to.
There was no moment in which I declared that I would spend less time on social media, I just kind of spent less and less time there and now when I’m out for friends, my phone is always in my pocket and I won’t use it unless I need to check a train time or I need to Google the name of a something because my brain has failed me.
I do believe that we are the society of people who can’t live without our phones.
Just walk down the street of your local city and you will spot so many people with their phones in their hands or held up to their ears. How many times have you accidentally walked into someone because you were on your phone?
I can still hear the elderly man saying “kids these days” in my ear.
I was constantly checking my phone because my notifications were popping up and when you’re out and about, enjoying yourself with family and friends – the last thing you should be doing is checking those notifications.
Who cares if someone liked your Instagram post thirty-three seconds ago?
Who cares if someone retweeted your blog post?
Those notifications won’t disappear, they will still be there hours later when you’re on the train home or you’re a passenger in the car.
I have majority of my notifications switched off – I don’t receive them for Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, YouTube but I do keep them switched on for WordPress and Emails because nobody ever leaves comments on my blog or emails me.
Switching off notifications for Twitter and Instagram was the best thing I could do for my social media addiction.
Nowadays, I’m not fussed if I see that someone has retweeted my blog post or has liked my Instagram photos because I know that once I get a spare moment, I can easily check.
Granted, there are a lot of bloggers who need to be on their phones quite frequently – they’re influencers, they have deals with brands, they need to respond to comments because of how big their following is and I’m really glad that I’m never going to be that person.
I find social media tiring.
Keeping up with everyone can be exhausting, it is fun at times but it’s also draining and I think a lot of other bloggers feel like the exact same way (I know they do because I’ve read their blog posts and Instagram captions).
I’m actually glad that my notifications are switched off because they don’t urge me to be checking my profiles every five minutes.
Yes, I do scroll in a morning and in an evening but that’s about it. If I’m scrolling every hour, there is less chance that I’m going to see anything new because nobody posts in the middle of the day anymore.
If you’ve had a crap day, checking your social media can go either way – you’ll go online and see that everyone is living their best life or you’ll notice that someone has left a really lovely comment on your blog which may be the only positive to come out of your day.
I do think I would still switch my notifications off even if I wasn’t a blogger because it just isn’t healthy to be on our phones 24/7.
People have noticed a change in me when we’re out – my phone stays in my bag, I’m interacting a lot more and I’m no longer thinking about what the online people are doing because at the end of the day: I don’t want people to remember me for being the girl who was always on her phone.
So try this: switch yours off for a week and see how you feel afterwards.