Many of you reading this will have attempted some kind of digital detox at some point but as a ‘content creator’ (it’s just painful to use the word influencer, no matter how accurate it may be) it’s a tricky business. There was a time when I worried I was too wrapped up in numbers so I deleted any tracking apps I was addictively refreshing. There was a time when I decided instagram was ‘toxic’ and giving me all the ‘less than’ feels so I took a break (48hrs, if that) from the app.
I’ve never been steadfast in any social break until now. I need everything in some capacity on a daily basis to keep my INTERNET EMPIRE (please read the sarcasm here) ticking over and so every ounce of my resolve is balanced with an equal counter argument that they are for WORK. It’s impossible.
2 weeks ago I caught myself in ANOTHER unecessary twitter argument with someone whom I usually get along with well. This is a regular thing for me, I even changed my bio to ‘arguing with strangers online since 2010’ to poke fun at (excuse?) my argumentative behaviour on the platform.
After this spat (which kicked off because I took offence to some throw away comment she made, like the little snowflake that I am) I recognised my fault in the scenario and, stepping back, I didn’t like myself very much. What I was saying wasn’t bad or wrong but it wasn’t needed and I realised that every single day I was triggered in to some crazy objection to SOMETHING on twitter and I was becoming ‘one of those people’ who truly seem to WANT to be offended.
I don’t think I want to be offended at all but I do think that the culture on twitter now is constant outrage and whereas once I enjoyed the casual banter with online friends and the occasional spat with a stranger – things had changed.
Maybe it has always been that way and it just took me this long to see it but I deleted the app hours before the news about Caroline Flack broke and it felt like fate. I would have been wrapped up in arguments I had no part of for days (weeks?) and it would have brought me no happiness or relief. It was the first app I opened in the morning and the last I looked at before bed and it could set the tone for my mood or rile me up so I couldn’t sleep.
I know it sounds mad but I also know there will be some among you who recognise this in yourselves too.
I thought I’d miss it, I really did.. but I don’t. It wasn’t serving me. It had no value. My screen time (thanks to those weekly iphone updates for this info) has gone down by FORTY PERCENT and I am enjoying the social aspect of instagram in a whole new way since I need an outlet for that daily chatter. The crazy thing is, I didn’t even know the weight that twitter was putting on me emotionally until I removed it.
It’s early days but at this point I can already tell you I will never be a daily user of twitter again. We only have so much control over our lives but the way we spend our down time is pretty much on us – maybe there’s something you’d be happier without..