Aug 2, 2016

I Tried to Give Up Blogging

and I failed.

I wrote a post explaining my reasoning.  I had big plans to make better use of my time.  I was going to work more, and finish writing my story, and not feel so frazzled and burned out when in reality I spent way too much time on social media.

That post got delayed and delayed and delayed until now, when I can finally post it, and I don't really feel like being on a break anymore.  Initially it was easy to take a break.  I was in a mini slump anyway.  But then I started wanting to write, and having ideas I really liked for posts and finally I cracked and started writing my posts without sharing them.  Since that really doesn't save me any time or help my productivity, I might as well stop pretending and go back to what I was doing.  With one exception.

I'm enjoying being away from social media.  I'm still on Facebook, but no more Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest.  No more phone games.  I'm desperately trying to break my Reddit habit.  Ideally, I'll get to the point where my phone is a tool and not a huge time-suck.  It's already gotten way better.  I can spend maybe 15 minutes on Facebook before getting bored and moving on to something else.  But when I had everything, I'd spend hours flipping back and forth between the different social channels.

Somehow, I haven't magically transformed into a hyper-productive #GIRLBOSS, but you know what I have done?  I've read a lot.  And I get a lot more out of that than the 2 or 3 hours spent on Twitter.  I feel relaxed and like I had leisure time, whereas the instant gratification of the phone somehow makes me want to keep doing it, but I don't feel like I enjoyed myself when I finally quit.

I still catch myself reaching for my phone sometimes, out of habit, but I'm a lot more likely to just put it down again now that there's no fun things to do on there.  I have no desire to get it out at red lights anymore, which was always a dangerous compulsion that worried me about myself.

I also really like being in the moment.  I like being out with people and not needing to capture a picture for my blog or Instagram or Snapchat, and not spending 20 minutes adjusting filters or responding to comments instead of talking to the people I'm with.  I like being present and I'm definitely happier when I'm not multi-tasking.  I listened to a TED talk a while ago that said that being able to think about something other than what we're doing is a superpower that only humans have.  But most of the time when we're doing it, we're actually less happy than when we're not.

So I guess that's where I want to go with this.  I still hope that not spending time on social media will open up extra hours for productive work.  But even if I just read more, I think I'll be happier.  And if I ever need to get caught up on social issues and current events, I can turn them back on again.

Have you ever taken a break from social media?  If you've ever tried to write a book, do you find it difficult to do while also blogging?


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11 comments:

  1. I go through phases where I check social media several times a day, and then I can go days without checking it. The only time I open Facebook is if I have a notification. I just don't enjoy scrolling through the feed like I used to. Way too much bullshit there. I do waste time on phone games in the morning before I talk myself in to working out!! Lots of time....

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  2. I am completely with you on being present, especially when I go out in group settings. I get really annoyed when I look around and no one is talking because everyone is on their phones. Snapping a quick pic is one thing, but scrolling through different sites when you're with friends seems silly, not to mention inconsiderate to those who chose to spend their time with you. And I agree- I was happier after reading than after wasting time scrolling through various social channels. I'll never give up IG or blogging though!

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  3. I have had to take multiple blogger breaks when my mojo disappears or I'm too busy on other projects but I'm not ready to quit, just give myself the needed breaks when necessary. I am selfishly glad you're not leaving us though! I also love that you're deliberately choosing to limit your time on social media and be more present. Social media can be a huge time suck and sometimes I feel worse afterwards versus energized. It can be really depressing seeing all the crap people say and do.

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    1. There haven't been that many times where I didn't want to blog, so when it happens it always feels like "This is it. It's finally the end." But I'm starting to learn that I'll recover after a week or three and want to write again, so I think I'll make less of a big deal about it from here on out.

      Yes! It really is like this black hole where my time disappears. And it never feels like it's been an hour or two or three. I think I flip through waiting for that post that's going to make me say, "Yes!" or laugh my butt off, but the majority of them are just, "Oh, eh" and not worth the time I've invested. And then there's the actively negative, although I mostly see that on Facebook.

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  4. Glad you're back and finding a way to make your tools work for you. I try to be super conscious of my phone usage when I'm with other people, and aside from snapping a few photos (for me, for memory's sake) and maybe occasionally throwing one up on Snapchat or Insta after the fact, I rarely touch my phone unless I'm expecting a specific call or email. I don't understand people who open Insta or Facebook while in a group of people just to scroll and see what's up. I could be better about how frequently I reach for that stimuli at home, but I'm glad at least I have it in check when actually socializing. It's actually nice that when I'm with David I almost never touch my phone, and I don't seem to miss it.

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  5. I totally understand. I love blogging even though sometimes I really don't know what to do with it.

    And limiting social media can be soooooo good for you, even if it's just a little.

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  6. I think it is important to be conscious of where we are devoting our time and what we receive from it. What works for some people, doesn't work for others. Finding our own personal balance is key, in my opinion. For me, I love Instagram, and I just dabble with twitter and snapchat. I'm on facebook, but these days, it is primarily for my book challenge group, and that brings me pleasure. I erased all my phone games too. I was finding those to be a wasteful time suck...but I know others who say it is a stress relief. I'm aware reddit is huge, but I've never even been to the site. Again, finding our own balance and what works for each individual.

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  7. I think taking breaks from online life is crucial. It's the same as in regular life when we hole up on the couch for a weekend and binge watch movies. We just need to shut down and recharge.

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  8. love this! i am glad you are back, i definitely missed you :)
    i used to be way too attached/obsessed with social media, facebook especially. i deleted all my social media apps from my phone for like a month and it was so nice! i eventually added instagram and snapchat back but not facebook or twitter. i'm really not very 'good' at twitter anyway and i don't much like it, so no biggie there. facebook, i ended up deleting 80% of my 'friends' and only use it for family i want to keep in contact with. i also have a blog facebook that i never go on haha.
    i was just wasting so much time on things i didn't even enjoy. i do like snapchat and Instagram, but i will - and am happy to - go days without looking or posting. it's just not worth the stress that we put on ourselves.
    i think i would get obsessed with reddit if i let myself, but i have never really understood it so it's probably for the best. i get obsessed with things easily really, so i just stay away from things i know will be a time suck but i won't get any enjoyment out of.
    anyway! gosh i'm a rambler, bet you missed that didn't you :-| anyway. i don't become super productive either, but i do become less stressed and more happy, more reading, more relaxing, less worrying about getting good photos or likes. blah. who cares!

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  9. In case my spamming you with comments didn't tell you, I'm glad you're back. I missed you. I have basically given up Twitter. I still have it but I don't check it. I never post of snap chat but I do check it occasionally. I am talking to a guy that does no social media at all. Its crazy to me. I want to blog about it but its so new and weird I am afraid. If you want to hear about it I can email you.

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  10. I am coming off a month long blog/social media break and it really felt good, but not good enough to give up the blog yet.. I do know I need to spend more time doing other things. I am glad you are staying though because I enjoy reading your blog!

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