Since the internet was invented in 1983 we have become technologically savvy, more attuned to our neuropathic capabilities and reliant on technology to cope with planning, communication,keeping up to date with the news, trends and latest resources to use for our studies. No matter whether you consider yourself to be a digital native or a digital newcomer technology has influenced us all in some shape or form. Our neurological pathways have been infiltrated by the mass media which appears to control our every movements, thoughts and even our voices seem to have become mass produced. How do we know if the opinions we voice are really ours to voice? Are they not a product of mass produced living which in turn is controlled by the technology we use? Think about it, we use the internet to find locations, we use it to find information and even use the net to date. Whatever happened to using books to find information or meeting people in real life settings without constructing an ‘expectations’ vs ‘reality’ scenario.
Which is why I needed a digital detox. Before I started blogging I barely used social media and the only social platform I had was Facebook. I used to read more, write short stories and find time to watch the shows I loved. By Summer 2015 I had just started blogging but it was slowly taking over my life. I forced myself to work harder than ever before and cut back on sleep, time to socialize and put all my energy into running my blog. If you know me in person you would know that it is all or nothing with me because I am not one to rest on my laurels. At the same time checking my blog for comments and traffic became an obsessive habit of mine and I got frustrated when I was not reaching the unrealistic targets I had set for myself. I was failing to realize that it takes time to an establish a brand and a unique voice and would spend hours writing posts and editing photos. But I know why, blogging allowed me to forget that I was sick and I craved to escape my reality.
In December (2015) I amped up my workload to boost my web and social traffic because I was frustrated that my hard work was not translating into hits. I started posting social media and blog posts 5 times a week as well as juggling all my other working commitments outside of blogging. It worked at first, my traffic boosted dramatically and I began to build my brand with great success. But all good things come to an end and I was struggling with my workload because I never say ‘no’. When would I realize that bloggers needed a digital detox from time to time? It was a tough gig to handle and 2016 has become even more crucial with relationships being built with huge brands like Chi Chi London, Boohoo and Debenhams. My intense workload was pushing me to go beyond the limitations of my working sphere and I became physically and mentally exhausted. Some days I did not even want to speak or do anything because I was that tired.And that is why bloggers need a digital detox, we spend so much time focusing on our blog that we forget that people exist outside of our little bubble. I will be the first to admit that I have ignored text messages because I am too ‘busy’ writing blog posts. But we are never too busy, we can always make the time for the people we love even if they don’t understand what we do for a living. Blogging is a relatively new occupation in comparison to other jobs and we need to set working boundaries just as much as the next job.
I work an insane amount of hours because I am a perfectionist and have an intense workload to manage. Which means I will be working from 6.30 am right through to 1 or 2 AM (sometimes later) to get my work done. However it is not the posts or social media management that takes up the biggest portion of my time but the threads I manage and are part of that are time consuming. But I digress, the point I am trying to make is that digital media has made us forget how to switch off and not keep reaching towards our phones, laptops and tablets when we are meant to be sleeping. I don’t have a set bedtime but during my ‘accidental detox’ (more on that later) I found myself sleeping earlier than usual because I switched off quicker and was stuck as I had ‘nothing’ left to do. During my digital detox I became frustrated and at times even angry; I realized that I was looking at the markings of a social media addict. I was having to use my notepad to jot ideas down and write up posts without being able to use the internet and it was both liberating and terrifying. It was liberating because I remembered my 13 year old self and how I had regressed back to the state because I was coming up with my own ideas without resorting to check the internet for valid sources.
At the same time as a blogger it makes it very difficult to go without the internet and not be scared of the ‘unknown’. I didn’t know how many comments or views I was receiving that day and same goes for likes across my social media platforms. But more on my ‘accidental detox’, the internet has been down (on and off) in my area for two weeks which meant that I was unable to do as much work as I normally do. That being said I was also helping my friend with her Dissertation so I had to rely on my own sense of judgement to ensure that my proofread edits were correct. How else do you think classic writers managed to cope? They may not have had internet to give them information but what they did use is books and that is an attitude we can all learn more from.
Since my Internet has come back I have been on fire, no more constant checking of my emails and above all I feel more productive. I am able to organize my time more effectively and although I don’t feel rested my mind does feel refreshed. My neuro channels have been sharpened and I came back to a world which will no longer rule every aspect of my life. The thing is I needed this digital detox, not just for my physical wellbeing but my mental health. I have made it no secret that I have battled depression and anxiety which during March and April got quite severe because I was being bullied online which you can read about HERE and HERE and it made me question my self worth and believe that I was not good enough. Having time away from social media and blogging made me realize that this is who I am and not everyone is going to agree with what I have to say and that is ok. If people are nasty to me I always call them out but I should not let it affect me as much as I do.
Do You Believe That Bloggers Should Take A Digital Detox?
Photography- Jumanna Khanom Dress- Chi Chi London Heels- Zara Jacket- H&M Doughnut- Boots Bracelet- Coconut Lane Ring- Kaytie Wu