Monday, February 24, 2014

social media detox - what I learned

I was away for a week and the world kept turning, blog posts kept happening... basically it was no big deal.

I would love to tell you that I didn't miss it at all, but that would be a lie. I would love to say that I did lots of productive things but unless marathoning Homeland and starting House of Cards season two (OMG that first episode!) count as things worth doing, I really wasn't. But consciously spending time away from screens? That was great.

I admit, I cheated a little. The idea of my bloglovin getting into the triple digits scared me, so I snuck a few posts (less than ten all week) and marked a lot as read every night. I scrolled Instagram one night (I forgot to uninstall it from my iPad) and honestly? I didn't really see anything that made me miss it. I was away, but not completely. I was more like I once was - on the outside of the blog world looking in.

And you know what, blog world? I kind of like it there. I don't remember the day or the post that made me think that posting four to five times a week was just what bloggers do, or when I thought I needed to follow and comment on so many blogs. While I still like the idea that if I read it, I should comment, do I really need to comment when I have nothing to say? I'm kind of thinking not. I want to be involved, but not so involved. I want time to be missed and to miss my favorite bloggers. I have noticed a recurring theme of bloggers taking breaks, getting tired, feeling burnt out. Y'all - we are doing this to ourselves! How silly, right? This is just a hobby meant to be fun and we are starting to dread it. Let's stop the crazy. Now I see why so many bloggers quit.

The commenting to get comments is my biggest issue now. I want to be a good commenter, but not at the expense of living a real life. Of course I like blog comments, but please don't feel like you have to comment all the time. I'm going to work on not feeling that way. There is no rule book that says we are terrible humans if we don't comment on every post, so let's stop acting like there is one. If you have the time and are so inclined, then comment away! But as for me - I am going to try to stop judging the value of my posts based on how many people comment. I would prefer to leave a few meaningful comments a day to bloggers I am building relationships with rather than crappy comments to bloggers who don't know me from the rest of the crowd. "This blog is for you, dummy" - that's what I keep telling myself and maybe what I should change my blog name to. Maybe not, though. I really do like this name.

I can no longer promise that I will respond to every single comment. If someone says "Happy Monday!" or "Pretty" or something... I don't think I'll respond. Kelli gave me great advice once - she said that just because someone likes her blog doesn't mean she has to like theirs, and vice-versa. It is so hard not to feel mean when you don't follow back but fellow bloggers, please understand - I don't have a kid and I don't cook and I am definitely not the pinnacle of health so if any of those are your focus then it isn't you, it's me. Really.

I think I missed twitter most of all, but I am going to attempt to not feel the need to read every single tweet from everyone I follow. Just scrolling back an hour or so is fine. If you are a fan of the Olympics, this was a great time to avoid social media - I really had no idea who won anything the whole time I was "gone." I also had no idea what was going on outside of Houston, so clearly I need to work on how I get my news.

So that's it. I highly recommend getting away from your online world if you feel so inclined. If not, then that's cool, too. My best advice is do what works for you and don't feel like you have to do what everyone else calls the norm. I've always taken pride in doing my own thing, anyway.

I made Valentine cards for my coworkers with some extra time I had from not blogging! | Andrew was eating a clementine when I picked him up from work one day so I took a slice and a selfie, naturally | This awesome mural is one of my favorite things in downtown Houston, and it's also on the block with my favorite bars.




26 comments:

  1. So glad to see you back! I thought about you several times last week.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Here's to hoping you can find a great balance between blogging and life! Like you said, I think it is something all bloggers struggle with.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am SUPER glad you are back. But of course we will never lose touch. :) I agree with all the things you've mentioned and I'm glad you got a much needed break! It's totally worth it. Welcome back BFF!! :)
    Where is that mural and that bar?!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I unintentionally took last week off too, and didn't miss it much. I feel the same with comments. My issue is that once I get to "know" a blogger I like, a lot of the stuff they post, I find funny and/or agree with but don't want to just say, "omgggv, you're like soooo funny!" We know I don't really talk that way anyway, but you know what I mean. Then, I feel bad for NOT commenting, wondering if my bloggy friend thinks I don't read their blog, either.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am glad that you are back, but I completely understand the absence. It's good to have time away, and not feel like you're doing things because you have to. I am like that with blogging. I usually post daily because I want to, but there have been months where I posted maybe once. I went without Facebook for over a year a while back and I loved it. I only got back on so I can see more photos of my niece who I only get to see a few times a year. You've just gotta do what works for you! Blogging and all social media should just be fun!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I totally missed your posts. I had to come here and read your last post in the middle of last week and be like ohhh right that's still this week, haha. I actually realized recently that I love reading what other people write but I don't necessarily always like blogging, so you know do what you want and what makes you happy :) And I'm glad you're back!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I struggled with that for a while - just because someone likes my blog doesn't mean I have to like theirs. If there's not connection, there's just not. And that's okay but it took me a while to get there.

    I also no longer reply to the Cool or awesome comments. Yes, it was cool and awesome. Thank you.

    I think the thing that enables me to post 5x a week without burnout is writing posts on Sunday morning. I might pull 1 a week down and replace it with something I've gotten a wild hair up my ass to say on that particular day, but most days I let it ride. I read as many of my favorites that I can, but I can't read them all.

    When it starts to feel not fun or overwhelming is when I stop doing it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yay, I'm glad you're back!! I definitely feel the need to detox from social media and blogging sometimes; it's just nice to have a break! And I'm with you on comments and blog reading; I've completely stopped commenting to get comments and following to get followers, because it's just too much of a hassle, and the numbers don't really matter anyway. The hobby and the real relationships are important!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Amen to this line, "I am going to try to stop judging the value of my posts based on how many people comment." Ewww. I do that. If I get a handful of comments or none at all, that insecurity pings me and I worry that my content wasn't good enough. But who cares! As long as I wrote the post because I wanted to, it shouldn't matter.

    I also don't play that game of follow back out of obligation. Believe me, it crosses my mind that I may hurt someone's feelings and that's the main reason I stopped paying attention to my numbers. If someone reads my blog, I hope it's because they enjoy my randomness, not because they want a follow back.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yay you're back! I try to stay away from the blog world on weekends and it feels great!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Yay!!! I'm so glad that you had a great week away from blogland and were able to reestablish a balance that works for you. Saturday night was like a kick-off for you returning back to blogworld hehe

    ReplyDelete
  12. Yay for making your own blog rules except I emailed you and you didn't email me back (it was food related) so make an exception for me. Lmao. :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I missed you! I couldn't agree more on the not commenting just to comment. The not following this is so hard for me because i don't want to be mean but some I just can not relate to at all or really hard to read. I need to work on this one.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think it's great you took a break. I know plenty of blogger buddies that are getting burnt out too. Some days it feels like a big game and that gets old real fast.

    I for one could stand to do better with commenting, but honestly ,there just isn't enough time in the day sometimes to fit it all in. I can't keep up with all the social media, write a new post, comment on other blogs, and respond to comments. My job does not let me sit on my phone or computer all day and do blog things. I have the feeling some bloggers have that option, LOL.

    Anyway, the point of that rant was just to say I agree with you, it shouldn't be stressful. We should just do what we can, and keep it fun!

    ReplyDelete
  15. It's definitely important to remember this is a hobby. It's ok to put the time you want to put into it, even if that's a lot of time. But it's also ok to only put as much time as you want to, even if that's not much time. The commenting for the sake of commenting gets me every day too.

    What I find crazy these days are the bloggers who schedule posts while they're on vacation. If you're taking a vacation from real life, why not take one from blogging too?

    ReplyDelete
  16. i think this is the best mindset i have heard when it comes to blogging! and i think i need to do the same thing. i took two days off last week and it felt really good.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love taking "blogging breaks"...but I'm not going to lie...it stresses me out a bit when the bloglovin' reaches well into triple digits. The social media that I would miss most would be IG

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm proud of you for taking a time-out for yourself, even if you did fit a few little cheats in there :) Go with the flow and keep doing what makes you happy.

    ReplyDelete
  19. We are the same in terms of the way we feel compelled to comment. I was off work for 3 week and not sitting in front of a computer all day so commenting went down a lot!! I didn't read every post or comment on every post I wanted to and you know what? It was okay!! I popped in and did a few here and there and that just had to be good enough. We can't read all and comment on all. It's just not possible. As for daily blogging. You will never catch me doing that. I don't have time to post that much and I'm sure people don't have time to read them all either.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm glad you're back!! I totally think about doing a break like you did, but I'm kind of scared (I know, I'm a wimp)! I'd need to pick up another hobby to do with my hands because if I wasn't using social media I'd probably be eating, which is not a good thing!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm glad this helped give you some clarity. That's what I'm aiming for myself. I know I want to make this work for me, it's just a matter of figuring out how it works best for ME and MY life... one day at a time!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I sometimes feel guilty if someone visits my blog and I am just not a fan of theirs.

    Welcome back!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Glad you're back. I wind up being very all or nothing with my social media. I'm either in it or I just forget about it for periods of times. With the exception of my blog I'm entering a phase of nothingness with the rest of my social media...I post some pics on instagram but haven't really checked it, I've briefly glanced at Twitter but haven't really read or tweeted, same with Facebook.

    Also, you will notice now that you are back, when you hit reply...it's going to go to my email. Ha thanks for staying on my about it. I finally figured out why it wasn't saving.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm glad you're back! I was looking for this post, but then I had the flu, so I'm just getting to it.

    Thanks for sharing with us your thoughts on your "break." I have noticed a lot of "burning out" as well amongst many of my favorite bloggers. And it has inspired me to really be more myself on my blog, and not try to keep up with the "blog race" as much. I don't know why I even tried, when I really consider why I blog. You're right- it's a hobby for fun! It's certainly never going to be my career.

    Anyway, thanks for the insights and WB.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I don't have much to add to this that we haven't already discussed in lengthy detail, I just wanted to say WELCOME BACK! YAY!

    ReplyDelete

I like comments and read them all but I'm not great about responding to them, so please don't be offended. I would much rather visit your blog instead!