Social Media Breaks

Jay McLaughlin Tree Victoria Park East London Social Media break

For the past few months I’ve really taken a step back from social media. This wasn’t planned, but with various algorithm changes and the resulting increased demand for content generation, it was all just getting a bit much.

I’ve been on social media since the very beginning and am usually a fairly early adopter of new platforms. Social media has definitely changed a lot over the years, however, and instead of being somewhere you shared whatever you want, it now requires far more thought and curation if your intention is to be successful.

Before instagram, I was a huge fan of tumblr, and would easily upload 10 images per day without much in the way of effort. I was a content creation machine back then. Everything was far more organic. I created because I wanted to create, rather than being forced to. Recently I’ve felt pressure to not only create x amount of content regularly, but also for it to be a certain type of content and not to deviate. This is the way social media works, and it can be very difficult to maintain the relentless need for new content, especially when your own social media has to take a back seat to the needs of your clients.

So I decided to take a bit of a break from everything and effectively stop caring so much. Obviously I lost a bunch of followers. Only about 100 or so on instagram, and a few on Twitter. I’m still consistently growing on YouTube, despite having not uploaded in almost a year.  The world didn’t end though, and on the rare occasion I did post, it was mostly back to normal.

One of the things I’ve really enjoyed over the past few months is that I’m able to wander around the street or sit on the tube, without being glued to my phone. I actually enjoy leaving it in my pocket, and either just listening to music, or taking in my surroundings. It’s been quite liberating.

I’m now in the process of adding social media back into my life, but on my terms. I need to work out what it is I want from these platforms, and then use them to achieve that, but not at the expense of my own well being. I have pretty much all my notifications turns off, so that I only open the apps when I choose to, rather than when they tell me to.

Of course, there’s a part of me that thinks the platforms will punish me for spending less time or turning off notifications. Time will tell. In the meantime, I’m going to be spending more time concentrating on myself and what I need from the platforms, instead of only doing what they want.