Turning Down Online Noise

24.8.17



Social media.  Online life.  It can be overwhelming, right?

70% of the time I enjoy online platforms.  I like engaging and talking to people and I enjoy the creative process of composing and editing photos.

But that other 30% of the time it's a huge drain.  With algorithms playing havoc it can feel like shouting into an empty tunnel.  There's plenty of opportunities for comparison, discontent, self-doubt....plus it's a colossal time waster.  I wouldn't dare to try and add up the hours I've spent mindlessly scrolling through Instagram.  Honestly, the thought of that saddens and disappoints.

A couple of weeks ago I wiped my phone in readiness for an upgrade.  No Instagram, no Twitter, no Pinterest...nothing.

It was only for few days, but being social media-less was bliss.  It felt strange at first, not knowing what people were eating for brunch, but that soon passed.  The urge to check my phone upon waking up cleared.  I felt more focused on real life and far less concerned with online life.

Because let's face it.  Online life and social feeds are carefully curated.  For the most part they're diligently assembled for the best aesthetics.  And I get it; we all want to consume visually appealing things.  But life isn't always like that, is it?

And if you need more persuasion as to why we should all be a little more considered in our use of social media, read this.

So I promised myself that once I had a new phone I'd be more intentional with my use of social media.  That I'd edit the feeds I follow and limit the time spent devouring updates.

I didn't manage it.  New phone in hand and I utilise more social media apps than before.

I'm back to needlessly checking Instagram's suggested posts - observing workout routines and watching more videos of Beyonce's live performances than I'd care to admit.  Using YouTube as background noise when I'm not even in the same room, scrolling through the feeds of people I never see on Facebook and feeling like it's pointless attempting to be heard on Twitter.

But I'm working on it.  I now regularly review the instagrammer's I follow and get rid of any that I never engage with.  As I type, I'm seriously debating removing the Facebook app from my phone (I never needed it before, so why keep it now?).  I've whittled down the people I'm following on Twitter (unfollowing various magazine and brand accounts) and even managed to unsubscribe to 60+ YouTubers.  Sure, my "watch later" list is much shorter but on the whole I can't say I've felt like I'm missing out on anything. 

I've turned down the noise and whirlwind of the online world so that I'm able to focus on and engage with the accounts that matter to me.  It allows for more perspective, balance and contentment in my day to day life - which is, y'know, #lifegoals...right?

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