Those of you who follow me will know I haven’t been very actively blogging or using social media for a couple of months now.
Firstly, any motivation to put pen to paper (or rather finger to keyboard) left me as I’ve not been in the right frame of mind. My brain an anxious fog. I’ve had to put every ounce of spare energy into my work, which has been quite positive as I’ve been more productive, have refreshed my business brand and picked up some new clients. But, secondly, I noticed that social media was draining my spare time and energy, and kind of making me feel a bit stressed.
The thing is, there’s something about social media that I love and plenty that I hate, and I’ve gradually come to the conclusion that, for me, developing a balanced attitude to using it is key.
On the plus side, social media helps me feel connected to others and up-to-date with what’s happening. I like to use it to share and chat and problem solve. It’s been a huge source of comfort since we lost Abi and during difficult periods since.
Yet, it also offers so much information that it feels like my mind can’t keep up. I often forget who I last interacted with, who was doing what and when (and I know I’m not alone in this and it’s not just down to ‘mum brain’). My mind is so cluttered and it’s not just due to the stresses of life but also this constant stream of information overload. Something has to give!
So, with the arrival of Lent I decided to more consciously withdraw from the social media world for a bit. To refocus my time and energy. I didn’t switch it off altogether, going cold turkey would be equally harmful I felt.
I have read blog posts by other mums out there who were giving it all up. Having started blogging when their children were very young and napping, they’ve gradually realised they have added another ‘chore’ on their list and have become fed up of the distracton that blogging inevitably brings (taking photos of everything just to blog or tweet about it rather than to enjoy the moment, feeling guilty if you don’t comment or blog for a while, writing posts just because you feel you should… you get the idea. I’m not saying everyone does this! There are so many beautifully crafted and written blogs out there it’s untrue. I just get a real sense of guilt from many of the blogging mums in particular if things go ‘off plan’ with their blogs and that’s not where I want to be.).
But, I must write for my sanity and I enjoy sharing my writing on my blogs. I just don’t want to feel the pressure that I put on myself (I stress that, as it all comes from me) to be a brilliant blogger who has stats and gets offers and likes and links. It seems so easy to get drawn into it all. Gah! This isn’t so much fun anymore.
So, I turned off my notifications and I moved my app icons off my phone’s home screen where they flash at me constantly. I’ve really come to dislike Facebook as if you comment on someone’s post you get a notification for every other comment by someone else. So this stops me wanting to comment on posts by big blogging pages.
Immediately, I felt some sense of relief that I wasn’t being reminded to check my phone. So I’ve got more into the habit of checking it every now and then, rather than all the time.
I also had to turn off most of what I wasn’t interested in. This meant lots of bloggers I’d followed. I realised that most of these don’t follow back and my feeds were full of pictures and statuses of people I’ve never met or even interacted with. I still keep my favourite reads but this really has been culled to only those I genuinely read and engage with. My mind feels a little clearer without having to see what so-and-so had for tea (and don’t take offense at that if sharing posts about your meal plans and routines is your thing, I get it and sometimes do read them, but it’s not what I want to see day in, day out).
So, what about my blogging? Well, my rebrand was coming up and I wanted to really consider how I plan to use my blog in the future. I originally went down the ‘parenting’ route, but I’ve realised I don’t really like writing about parenting (not entirely anyway). I’m a parent but it doesn’t define me at all, I have lots of (probably rubbish) opinions on big issues, I run my own business and have hobbies (when time allows) so I want the blog to be about me, writing about whatever I feel worth writing about. I don’t want to feel ‘told’ when to post a picture or when to comment just to keep up with a load of people who more than likely don’t give a hoot. I want it to feel much more natural. And if that means nothing for three months, so be it!
So, I suppose my posts will probably be read by a handful of people, if that, because I’m not forcing it on anyone unless they stumble across it. I’ll still share my links on Facebook and Twitter, and if I get reads, great! If I don’t then it doesn’t matter. I have to remember why I started this!
If you do read my words fairly regularly then thank you, I really do appreciate it, because I know you are reading because you want to rather than because a linky made you!
[This post is not linked to anything or anyone!]