A Keen Look into My Social Media Sabbatical

On Taking Control of My Life

Last week, I reset my phone. Apart from the normal Google apps like YouTube and Gmail, I know have Medium, WhatsApp and Pinterest apps.

No Facebook. Or Instagram. Or Twitter. Or work email. Once, I was very active in these apps. I still am but in a controlled manner. Put together, I have quite a following and my Instagram numbers remain high in my absentia.

Social Media is Anxiety Inducing

Someone asked me what part of it is anxiety-inducing. All you have to do is post. That’s it.

It’s not as simple as that.

For a while now, I have come across articles about the effects of social media. These articles either talk about the effect of social media on peoples mental wellbeing or the anxiety it induces.

Queer Eye’s Karamo has also said how social media gives him anxiety. If you know Karamo, he’s confident and works to bring other people in a state of self-esteem, helping them to heal from any trauma holding them from their true potential.

Yet, social media has an effect on him he doesn’t like.

It Scatters Your Mind

Your thought process. At least for me, it does. When I need to post, I have to log on via my laptop to post. Otherwise, it won’t happen.

This means I might miss out on mentions where my attention was needed. Or piled up notifications. Having no apps on my phone means I miss out on trends, changes and tragic events as they happen. At times, I find it great that I don’t know something tragic has happened. Or happened.

I have no way to solve all the tragic events, which leads to a feeling of more powerlessness and more anxiety.

It’s Better To Have Piled Up Notifications

Than a tied knot in your stomach.

You get in, tackle them in a batch and get out. If and when you have something to say, you log in, say it and logout.

While I’m sure not everyone feels this way about social media, if you’re like me, you can attest to the inability to concentrate for long afterwards.

During my almost 2 years of social media sabbatical, it has been amazing. I post, but I’m not as invested as I used to be. My Instagram and Facebook engagement is almost the same but Pinterest and Twitter are on the increase.

In my sabbatical, I have been able to focus on personal growth, launch my blog, graduate, write on Medium and other sites, without the mindless scrolling. Should I decide to go back, I have a more healthy approach to these platforms.

If You Need a Break, Take It

Social media changes every day. New trends. Instagram now has pods and Facebook is prioritizing groups to pages. Pinterest brought in hashtags. Changes are happening every single day and these changes impact us and our usage of it.

I’m looking To Go Back To Social Media

For upcoming blog projects, I have to at least download and install Instagram. Every day, I’m slowly easing myself towards the knowledge that it will happen.

Now I’m more mature about social media than I was 2 years ago. However, every time I log in or stay longer than necessary, the old feeling catches up which leads me to think we’re connected more than is necessary.

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This article first appeared on Medium

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