Why I Started Taking Weekly Social Media Fasts
If you’ve been around my business and blog for a little bit of time, you’re probably aware the social media has been taking a toll on me for nearly two years. Social media has always had its negative side effects, but in the last year and a half things have been different. In a worse way.
My personality type does not do well with social media. I am a highly sensitive, highly intuitive person who feels loved by quality time. I’m very relational and care a lot about what people think about me. Now, I know that I need to grow to a place where I can be okay if someone hates me or dislikes me or judges me or thinks something about me that isn’t true. I need to get to that place. I am not there yet.
So, as you can probably imagine, social media is a breeding ground for toxic thoughts, lies, and insecurities for me.
I have plenty of “online” friends, but there isn’t a solid foundation so I second guess my relationships with people online all. the. time.
I worry if I perhaps offended someone, somehow. I worry if people think I’m not creative enough or if my work isn’t unique enough. I wonder how many people are sitting on the other side of the screen judging me or thinking negative thoughts about me. I wonder why “she” stopped commenting on my photos...may I did something? I wonder if there are people who talk with each other about me.
These thoughts debilitate me.
I have crazy anxiety now. I often make myself nauseous thinking about this stuff. And it all takes a toll on my mental health and personal life.
At this point, I strongly consider quitting my job, shutting down the store and deleting my Instagram account because of this.
Is this the cost I am willing to pay in order to run an online business? I don’t know.
My business is tied to Instagram and my customers find me there. Taking time away from social media is a little more complicated and stressful for me because so much of my “success” feels tied to the apps.
At the same time, I receive countless encouraging messages and comments from my audience about how I have been a positive light in their life. I have incredible people lifting me up daily. I have a successful store that helps support my family.
I have dreams and goals and lives to impact.
So, I often find myself at a crossroads. Where do I go from here?
Right now, my solution is two-fold. I am routinely and weekly taking time away from social media. Time spent fully present with my family and not worrying about posting or a good Instagram story or marketing my products. I take 24 hours completely off social media, once a week. This may seem like a simple solution, but it’s not. I have a very high ROI from my Instagram marketing. Is that a good thing? Yes and no. What makes it hard is the fact that my presence on social media often equals more sales. So, it’s scary to take time away. But, I’ve chosen to trust God in this process and put myself, my family, and my health above my business.
In addition, I realize that this gal needs some help. While quitting seems attractive and challenging, it would actually be an easier option for me. It would be easier to give up and not face my insecurities and struggles. So at this point quitting will not be an option for me. A better option is facing these struggles and finding a counselor to help me process why this app can be so toxic for me.
The more I talk to people, the more I realize that everyone struggles with social media and the subconscious insecurities is creates. I hope that you realize that you aren’t alone in the struggles, but also that you don’t have to just live with them. I encourage you to set limits and boundaries with the apps you use.