Nearly three months ago I decided to delete my social media apps for a bit of time away. People do this all the time, but it’s the first time that I’ve been one of those people, so I had no idea how it would go for me.
Surprising possibly no one other than myself, I survived perfectly okay. Here are my observations in dot points:
- I only missed scrolling for a few days until the impulse was lessened.
- Once I got used to not thinking about ‘checking’ the apps (as if it were a vital part of keeping my life in order) I found my brain was freer for other modes of thought.
- What I did miss was the casual, regular chat with friends who might reply to a story, or send you a post out of the blue, but once I was not on social media, I stopped hearing from them. It led me to feel removed and detached, which I wrestled with because of my complex self esteem issues. But rather than let that get me down, I leant into the fact that I was choosing this to focus on me a little more, and it kinda worked.
- I’ve been more productive in my writing, while also watching more films and TV than I usually would.
- I’ve felt less like there was ‘something else I should be doing’.
- I’ve been on heaps of trips away and just enjoyed them in the moment, rather than feeling like I had to document and broadcast them.
All in all, it’s been a good experiment. And even though I’m now coming back onto the apps, I hope my practices of not relying on them to fill my time and mind continue.
But if I find I get overwhelmed again, at least I know now that deleting the apps from my phone is an easy thing to do. It won’t feel so momentous next time.
So, What have I been doing in that time away? Quite a lot.
I saw Peaches perform.
I went to Chillout Festival for the first time.
I got a thigh tattoo that took a collective 11 hours to complete.
I saw a friend’s work in a gallery exhibition and win a prestigious residency.
I celebrated the fourth anniversary of my relationship.
I saw lots of films at the cinema because I found 16 vouchers that expired in May.
I had a weekend away in Kyabram.
I had a quiet Easter weekend at home and caught up with some wonderful people.
I had a weekend in Warrnambool where I presented a workshop for Q-Lit.
I had a long weekend in Horsham where we went to Dimboola steampunk festival and saw lots of nature and silo art.
I had a weekend in Tasmania, which was partially because I had to go there for work, but tacked on a weekend of nature and waterfalls.
I had a weekend away at a magical Airbnb in Leopold with one of my writer’s groups. I used this weekend to edit my first 15k words of my memoir taking into account the feedback from some beta readers. (I guess mentioning that I’d written 15k words of my draft somewhere in amongst all of that wouldn’t go astray?) It was incredibly helpful. I managed to come away with a new opening written and a much clearer picture of what it was I’m doing.
I’ve also been editing and keeping on top of the work involved with two anthologies that are in the pipeline.
The first of the which comes out at the end of September and is so excitingly close! I’ll be revealing the cover in my newsletter in June, so make sure you’re signed up for that!
The other is due out in June next year and so I’ve been reading first and second drafts of the stories and getting more and more excited for that, too!
Anywhichway, I hope to be a bit more regular with updates and things going forward.