When was the last time you took a break from social media? I mean a good long break. I just did a two month social media cleanse and I feel free. Free of guilt, shame and all the fomo that comes with online life. My relationship with social media has always been rocky: I enjoy connection with friends and promoting causes I care about, but also it can be an anxiety inducing experience that drains my energy. Maybe it's because I grew up in the woods and didn't have much experience with screens. Maybe I'm not alone in these feelings of duality. There is something about being online that is both wonderful and terrible at the same time.
We all know that not long ago, most of us didn't need social media at all. I didn't get into social media until I was a teenager, and it was during these my formative years that I developed a strong relationship with the online world and I sometimes feel it's the only way to communicate. But there is so much more to life then turning our lives into content.
I find sharing my "story" while consuming other stories to be a draining experience, and if you feel this as well, then take the plunge to go offline. I find myself doing this at least twice a year, going totally rogue and deactivating all my social media accounts. To only reply to personal and business messages. To make more time for reading, podcasts/radio, art and thinking. I write in my journal, go for long walks, record long personal voice memos to my close friends.
At first it can be painful, a longful yearning to share and be connected with the greater community. Then slowly I start to think my own thoughts, to look at a beautiful sun set and not bring out my phone, to just enjoy it. Sometimes I take a picture just to show one person, much more personal. I love and cherish these weeks I spend. I feel all of my emotions and go into deep self reflection and find inner strength I didn't know I had. Sometimes I have a break that inspires and motivates me! Sometimes I commit to my wilderness guiding and truly enjoy my experience with nature. And sometimes, like this time around, I just need a good mental health break and take time to regain my composure. It has been a particular difficult year, with covid, isolation and the difficulties with running a tourism business admist all the travel advisories. I needed time to figure it all out. My primary reason for using social media is to share not only myself, but Aski Holistic Adventures, which is an extension of myself. Every part of my being is tied to my business ☺️
It's one of my favorite parts of being on a canoe trip, when we are deep in the woods and the cell service runs out and the batteries are dead. And it's just us in the canoe and we can finally open up and share and talk without filters or curation.
I wonder why I feel this way about online life and I wonder if any of you feel this way too. How does taking a social media break effect you?
I am happy to be back, renewed with strength and positivity and ready for a new chapter in my life. Part of what I want to do is create more for my website, more meaningful posts but with no schedule or commitment, just when it feels right and authentic. Teniki 🌿