Sometimes life takes a turn for the unexpected. But in moments of confusion and fear, we are often reminded of what matters most. For anyone else who works in the social media space, you probably understand the time and energy that goes into curating our lives online. Creating an online presence that is authentically “us” requires you to almost dissociate from everything else around you, and nearly create a dual reality between your Internet persona and physical life. That is until this illusion is shattered.
I abruptly took a digital detox when a family member needed my emotional support. Unlike my digital life, there was no careful planning or calculated approach involved. I didn’t think twice and quickly ran to their side during these difficult moments. However, little did I know that I would be walking away from my social media for so long. My digital detox experience came with a wave of realizations, both about myself and my career, that have completely reshaped my approach to life online.
First and foremost, I’d like to say thank you to those who respected my decision. Thank you to the wonderful brands and creatives I’ve had the pleasure of working with, and whose support made it easier to dedicate this time to myself. Furthermore, thank you for allowing me to dedicate this time to my family. As I previously mentioned, difficult times can refocus our priorities. But taking a moment to offer support and cope with difficult family situations equally benefited both my relatives and me. As a result, I was able to touch base with loved ones, humble myself, clear my thoughts, and recharge my batteries.
As time went on, my attachment to my online life faded and I was able to refocus my attention elsewhere. For example, I felt like I finally had the time and attention span to build my business outside of social media. Instead of being consumed with producing enough content for my feed, I was able to think big picture. How do I scale my business? How can I improve my strategy? These are questions that I often tucked away because I was so overwhelmed with the fast-paced nature of content creation. For the first time in forever, I felt like I was 100% invested in every aspect of my business because I possessed the necessary mental clarity.
The health benefits of my digital detox were even more surprising. I was able to get a much higher quality of sleep. My stress levels significantly dropped. But more importantly, I was undeniably more “present”. For those wondering, I am referring to being an active participant in my life. I was suddenly more self-aware of my emotions and the little things in life that made me happy. I had a newfound appreciation for small gestures of kindness, good weather, a nice home-cooked meal, and a warm embrace. I find it interesting that I, along with countless other content creators, strive to be our full authentic selves online, but it’s in these moments of peace that we are reminded of what makes us truly human.
Taking a break from social media came with its growing pains too. The realization of who is a true friend and who is not was one of the more painful takeaways from this experience. However, I am a firm believer that life is short, and that there is no point in surrounding yourself with people who don’t have your best wishes at heart. To my friends who stood by my side throughout this entire process, I see you and I appreciate you. Thank you.
As I transition back into the digital world, I have a few points that I would like to share with my followers. Do not fall victim to FOMO. Live in your present and own it. Remember that social media is a curated image and not an honest depiction of reality. Celebrate what YOU have going on in your day-to-day and remind yourself you’ve earned it. Privacy is a luxury that is severely underrated. And lastly, detox often because you might need it more than you think. I, for one, will do it again. I wish everyone a peaceful, healthy, and safe 2021. Remember to love yourself, place value on what truly matters, and always protect your peace of mind. Cheers x