I hope you’re enjoying your Holidays with your loved ones! The Holiday season is all about fun, joy and spending time with the people you love. However, the Holidays also mean time for a little self-reflection (at least for me). I’d usually like to sit back and reflect on what I’ve done this year.
For those who have been reading my blog for a while, may know that 2016 was a year filled with madness, surprises, happiness and emotional moments for Wai and me. As we approach the end of the year, I’d like take this opportunity to talk about something I’d never do in the first place: 4 (life) lessons I learned from my social media detox.
What my thoughts were before the detox
No free lunch
I hate numbers. I really do. Numbers are just numbers, but why did I care so much about those freaking numbers? The answer was quite simple. The more followers you have, the more popular you will become, plus the more opportunities you’ll get. I posted every single day on Insta – though some were completely irrelevant to what I have said. Photo here, photo there, photo everywhere. It’s better than nothing, I thought. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. So whenever I got time, I took a lot of photos so I could post at least one photo a day. I wanted to keep my followers and I also wanted to attract new ones. I spent at least 1,5-2 hours a day on engaging with followers on Instagram. whether I was in a restaurant, waiting on friends, in a wedding meeting, at the gym, standing at the traffic lights, at a party, or when my family talked to me (hey are you listening to me??), IG was always, always running on the background. Because… an account with at least 10K followers looks more interesting than one with less than 3K, right? How silly I was!
The more positive feedback I got the higher the standards I set. I wanted to take our photos to the next level. Low resolution or blurry images were definitely a no-no. Wai and I spent every weekend to take pictures for the blog and it drove him crazy sometimes. I know I’ve always been a perfectionist, but when it came to photography, I was really strict, like really strongly critical. So every time when Wai took an outfit photo of me, I was like no no no, this could be waaaayy better. Can we retake these, please? It took us hours in order to get the ‘perfect’ shot sometimes. Can you imagine what Wai was thinking at that time?
Sometimes you can’t get what you want and that was freaking me out. I was disappointed when I found out some people unfollowed me while I put so much time and effort into engaging with them. I kept asking myself: am I not good enough? Are my posts not interesting enough? Or is it because I don’t belong to the great bloggers? Should I work harder? I kept comparing myself to others and I even considered stopping blogging because I felt so disappointed.
What I’ve learned after my detox
We all know we don’t live in a fairy tale world. If you’re not updating your social media accounts frequently, readers will leave you, which mean there was a huge drop in followers when I got back in the blogosphere. I believe I’ve lost almost half of it. But, oddly enough, I wasn’t disappointed at all. In fact, I accepted it– even Wai was surprised that I would react like this. This time I finally understood that managing your expectations is the key to happiness. You won’t get disappointed if your expectations are low.
Put down your phone
Taking a social media break definitely helped me to spend time with my loved ones. By spending time, I mean not only sitting across from each other, half-listening, eyes focused on your phone. For me, spending time means taking the time to put down your phone, turning off your notifications (if possible) or put your phone on silent mode and pay attention to the person(s) you are with.
I didn’t know me-time was so important until now. Being alone helped me to clear my mind and find some new inspiration for myself. I focused on my pregnancy, health, I booked facial treatments, I started to learn cooking (yes, I’m a bad cook), I picked up the books I didn’t finish in the first place, and I also completed many things on my bucket list. Hurray!
Taking a social media break completely changed my view towards blogging and everything in between. My priorities have changed. I spend more time with my family and friends, I’m (still) learning how to become a good wife and I’m preparing myself for motherhood. Also, I’ve decided to take things slowly, which means I only want to post something when I really want to say something. I think it’s also important to take a few steps back in order to move forward. For me, it helps to ask myself why I wanted to blog in the first place. I blog because I love sharing my ideas and thoughts with others, not because I want to belong to the great bloggers. I know my posts may not satisfy everyone, but that’s totally fine as long as I’m feeling happy and satisfied with the decisions I make.
As for the followers, numbers are just numbers. They can say a lot, but they don’t show everything. I do no longer want to pay attention to these. 1k or 10k, does it really matter? We all know that I’m just a small potato blogger, but it doesn’t mean I’m less than anyone, right? One of my favourite bloggers, Sara Che, once told me that we should never compare ourselves to others (thank you for reminding me of that, Sara!). It doesn’t make you happy at all. In fact, it can break you. And let’s be honest: this is definitely not what you want. Being different/yourself isn’t a bad thing as we’re all unique in our own way.
Have you taken a social media detox before? What did you learn during your detox? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I’ll see you in 2017!