LEARNINGS FROM A DIGITAL DETOX
Hi, I’m back! I’ve been gone a little while, 31 days to be specific and I’m sorry about that. I’ve been on a semi-digital detox and I say semi because it wasn’t a true digital detox really. For the month of October I decided to stop making content and stop sharing online for the first time in almost 8 years. It’s something I chose to do for many reasons really, but mainly what it came down to was my happiness and well-being and I’m sure some of you noticed I wasn’t really myself in September.
I love creating and sharing more than anything and I’m so lucky to have the job that I do, but when things get difficult or unmanageable it can all feel a bit overwhelming. I don’t think it was one specific thing that pushed me over the edge, I was just very busy and I felt like all the years of being a content creator had all just come to a head and I needed a bit of headspace. Aside from my honeymoon, where I put on an out of office and didn’t reply to emails (but still shared photos online), I haven’t ever taken time off the internet and that to me just isn’t healthy. I wanted to know what it felt like to be a ‘normal’ person who maybe scrolls through twitter and instagram now and again, or watches the odd video, but doesn’t share themselves online. I had other projects to work on and this was the main reason for the break. So I wasn’t taking holiday, I was just focusing my time on one job instead of ten.
I moved all my social media apps to the back of my phone which stopped me checking and because I wasn’t sharing there wasn’t much to check up on, so naturally I didn’t look as often. It only took 4 days for me to notice a huge difference in myself and it was such a positive change. I found that when I wasn’t immediately tweeting my thoughts, it meant that I could just have my thoughts to myself. My head felt so much clearer and I was able to form my own opinions without relying on others’. I wasn’t scrolling through my YouTube comments, focusing on the few bad ones, which naturally as humans we always tend to do. By week two I felt like a different person and by week three I wasn’t even thinking about posting anymore.
I missed it though, I definitely missed making content and I knew I would because no matter what negativity comes with my job, I still love it, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it. I’ve realised that I just need to set my own boundaries and know when to come offline and have some time with my own thoughts. I don’t ever want to scroll through Instagram, put my phone down only to pick it up again 5 seconds later to do the same. It’s not healthy.
It’s hard to share everything I experienced from this little experiment and I don’t want to come across as negative or moany, a part of me quite likes that it’s something only I know about. I bought things and didn’t tell anyone about them and wore things and didn’t show anyone, to me that is crazy and something I haven’t experienced for years! It does make me think about creating an online/offline life balance and that even if something kicks off online or I get an influx of terrible comments, the world will still go on and I don’t need to be available online 24/7.
I am so grateful for all the lovely messages I received when I decided to go offline, you were all so supportive and I’m so happy you guys stuck around for my return. I’m so lucky to have the job I do and the audience I have and I’m really excited for the next year ahead! I feel refreshed and ready to get back into the swing of things, maybe just swinging slightly slower this time…
There will be a new video coming this Sunday, subscribe here so you don’t miss it!
Photos by Lydia Collins