I’m Leaving Social Media… Here’s Why
April 20, 2020
It’s been nearly two months since I’ve posted anything on Instagram and even longer on my blog. I’ve broken cardinal rule #1 for bloggers: “Post consistently and often.” But, my mental health imploded around the beginning of March (prior to the Coronavirus madness which has only exacerbated it).
I needed a break.
Social media has always played with my mental health. Let me rewind a few years. As soon as we were ‘allowed’ to join Facebook, I immersed myself in the platform (like I do with most things – head first and full force!) and within just a couple of years I already needed a break from the bubble that was Facebook. I then rejoined a few years later, quit again what must’ve been a few years after that, and then rejoined when I launched Simply Saffy. It’s safe to say I did a similar thing when Instagram became available. I’m exhausted just typing this so, believe me, I know how you feel!
Social Media Pitfalls:
So, whilst it may have taken me a decade, I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I’m just not supposed to be on social media. I’m not a strong enough person to handle it for many reasons:
- The constant self-comparison (no matter how many talks I’ve had to convince myself otherwise).
- The utterly overwhelming amount of information to process.
- The value I’ve placed on the success of posts (particularly raw for a blogger who depends on high rates of success to garner new business).
- The braggadocious environment that social media has become is too toxic for me and has outweighed the positives.
- The negativity. You cannot speak your mind without offending anyone. The world has always been this way, I know, but social media has amplified this to a degree that I cannot get on board with. Why do we have to subject ourselves to that? What rule says that we have to be on social media & ‘just deal’ with the heightened repercussions of backlash & negativity?
- Psychologists are hired at companies like Facebook to specifically make these platforms addictive. I’ve seen this addictive trait within myself and others too. It’s quite sad when you take a step back and think about it, or worse – when you go out in public and see the result in the way others ignore each other as they scroll their phones. I would rather leave the platforms altogether than fall into their trap.
- After discovering additional research on the detrimental effects social media is having on the newer generations (particularly teenage girls), I have noticed these same effects on myself and now have a fear for future generations if this is to continue. Watch this video for shocking stats.
Call me old school, naive, or a dreamer, but I certainly envy the generation before us who didn’t grow up with this scrutiny & constant one-upping. The freedom and privacy to live your life exactly the way you want without the opinions of others. I now strive to live far more ‘off-grid’ in an attempt to regain full control of my life sans influence of others.
Perks of An Unintentional Detox:
After taking a break from Instagram for about a month and a half I’ve found myself:
- Reading more (currently reading this and genuinely LOLing.)
- Spending less money. Besides the obvious with COVID-19 preventing outings, I’ve found less of a need to get the “new” sustainable item and showcase on my Instagram. It may sound silly, but there is absolutely a push for even sustainable bloggers to constantly be sharing new things, not just reusable/old items. My husband is thrilled with this perk 🙂
- Enjoying being more present.
- My self-love has increased! I find myself admiring my hands and appreciating them to their fullest. Smiling at the wrinkles around my eyes and thinking of the fond memories that put them there. Overall, being significantly more grateful for the small things that would’ve gone unnoticed with a head full of comparisons.
- Plus all the other wonderful things I’ve touted in my previous digital detoxes except one hundred fold more powerful!
Social Media Benefits:
Without being a total cynic, there are clear benefits to social media that I do recognize:
- New Friendships: I’ve formed some life-long friendships via Instagram which always sounds like a strange thing to say out loud but that, to me, this has been the biggest benefit of the platform.
- Old Friendships: Keeping in touch with old friends is far easier online. I’m hoping to brush up on my texting/emailing/letter writing skills to maintain these friendships and make sure they don’t fall off the wayside.
- Inspiration: It’s no lie that ‘trends’ & ideas for content creation are prevalent on social media. Garnering ideas for what my audience wants to read about will now need to come from other sources so I’ll be doing my due diligence to ensure I’m not an antiquated source of news for you all!
- Growth: Most companies looking to grow rely on social media as an extension of their brand awareness. As a blogger who relies on the income from collaborations with brands whose missions align with my own, I receive most inquiries for collaboration via Instagram. This is going to completely shift how my business grows and it’s a fate I’ve come to accept for the sake of my own mental health. I’m currently trying to redefine how I can make this work whilst still bringing helpful content to my readers.
With all of this being said, I will continue blogging (more frequently than this past month…) on here and I’ve decided to add a new component to my outreach to make up for my lack of content on social media: a newsletter!
The newsletter will be a great way for me to still share the things that might not be completely blog-worthy but equally relevant to ethical fashion, sustainably living, plant-based eating, etc. I recognize that our email inboxes are already flooded with other great newsletters (or plenty of spam) so I hope to make these enriching and valuable to you all. As tech savvy as I like to believe I am, getting this ironed out has been a bit more of a challenge than I anticipated. I’ll post on here (& my Instagram prior to shutting it down) once I get it up and running so those who are interested can subscribe and stay in touch – which I would like very very very much!
I’ve already been utterly overwhelmed by how many of you have reached out to ask where I’ve gone and when I’m posting next – thank you! I never think I have any impact (or self-worth) whatsoever until moments like that so my gratitude cannot be expressed enough for your support. Hopefully this post is not a total shock nor disappointment and you can understand where I’m coming from. Your support has fuelled me over the years and I would not be here without your love. Having you continue on this journey with me would bring me so much joy!
P.S. I’ll be disabling all social platforms over the coming week/s as I unroll this announcement to all my brands/followers, get my Newsletter in place and give you the chance to sign up.