What I’ve learned from my social media detox


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?

High expectations
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

Low expectations
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 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!

Happy 2017 everyone!
May the new year bring you lots of love, joy, peace and happiness to you and your loved ones!

Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I’ll see you in 2017!


  1. Abla December 30, 2016 / 11:25 pm

    Vivian, this is a mature person talking. As a good friend I never read your blogs, simply because I have nothing with fashion. But just did read, maybe for the first time, this blog if yours. It made me really happy to see how you have become best friend, best wife and soon best mother. I am really happy to have you as a friend and I am really proud of you.

    • Vivian Tse
      January 11, 2017 / 4:10 pm

      Hi abla, thank you once again! I feel so honoured to receive a comment from you :) I’m feeling emotional again..

  2. THE WɅNDΞRLISTE💫 (@thewanderliste) December 31, 2016 / 6:44 am

    This is so inspirational Vivian! I truly agree with you that blogging allows me to share my thoughts and ideas with readers. In this era where blogging is so much about those picture perfect moments, I sometimes feel let down that people don’t read what I have to say and solely comment on the pictures. Thus I’m so glad to read your blog post because you are real – you share the struggles of blogging that many people are not even aware of. I agree I took a big chunk of 2016 off from blogging because I am a perfectionist — I was so tired from work that I couldn’t gather my thoughts well at night. And I didn’t want to write mediocre; I want to convey my ideas in a thoughtful, coherent manner. But the struggle is real, especially with social media too and building engagement. It can be too overwhelming sometimes with a full time job at stake. So thanks for inspiring me to do so in the near future, so I can gather my thoughts and be more realistic with my expectations. I think Gigi Hadid is doing that too haha~. Anyhow, happy near year to you and Wai!! Much love :) xo~ Lena

    • Vivian Tse
      January 11, 2017 / 4:22 pm

      Hi Lena, first of all: happy new year to you too! May the new year bring you and your loved ones lots of love, joy, happiness, prosperity and success! Thank you so much for your kind words! I have to say it took me some time and courage in order to write something so personal and share it with others. Being a blogger can be hard since you will face a lot of ‘struggles’. Having a social media detox from time to time can really help me to clear my mind :) Thank you once again for your lovely support, Lena. Love you, always! xo

  3. Hui December 31, 2016 / 9:20 am

    What I have learned over the years. Don’t let other people’s opinions matter too much. Do what makes you happy. Love reading your blogs. 😊

    • Vivian Tse
      January 11, 2017 / 4:23 pm

      Awww that’s so sweet of you! Thank you so much for leaving a comment here, Hui! Truly appreciate it :) xo

  4. Subomi Salami December 31, 2016 / 5:19 pm

    I definitely agree with you. i have decided this year to take some time off, especially instagram and have some well deserved me time. Great post Viv!

    Subomi|My Fashion Musings

    • Vivian Tse
      January 11, 2017 / 4:24 pm

      Thank you so much Subomi! Go for it! Having a social media detox definitely can help you to clear your mind :) Enjoy it babe! xo

  5. Eva January 1, 2017 / 11:19 pm

    Hi darling..thank you for sharing your experience wholeheartedly. I can totally relate to you when it comes to taking the perfect picture. I had to drop some posts from posting because the photos did not turn out great (or at least to a level I considered eligible for sharing). You know..it’s quite frustrating when you have invested so much time/resource in putting the outfit, going to a location for shooting, editing & then it turns out to be a little short of your liking, & you decide to scrap it. Oh, it’s such a tough job. I always end up with very few posts each month but I would rather do so than posting a mediocre post just to keep up the numbers. Well regarding social media detox, I don’t need one now as I am the kind of person who don’t hold her phone half of the day. Anyways, belated happy birthday to Wai & wishing you, Wai & the boy (Hello…!!) a very prosperous and glorious 2017 :)

    xoxo Eva | http://www.evakindles.com

    • Vivian Tse
      January 11, 2017 / 4:26 pm

      Hi Eva, thank you so so much for leaving a comment and sharing your experience with me! So glad we are on the same page :) Happy New Year to you too babe! xo

  6. WhatWouldVWear January 2, 2017 / 9:40 pm

    V, I just LOVED reading this post! I’ve done a social media detox myself from time to time because frankly…it’s so exhausting! No one’s world is perfect, as you have said, and I don’t like that it’s all about #s too. I want to LIVE life because I think we forget about it since we are all SO connected to our devices. Cell phones are so annoying sometimes. Great post, and I hope you’re doing well. Love ya!

    Happy New Year, babe!
    xoxo, Vanessa

    • Vivian Tse
      January 11, 2017 / 4:46 pm

      Happy New Year to you too V! And thanks so much for your kind words! It took me some time and courage to write about this..Glad we are on the same page. I think it’s good to have a social media detox from time to time, it can really help me to clear my mind :) xo

  7. busyandfab January 3, 2017 / 12:40 pm

    I love your message here, numbers are just numbers. Thanks for the inspo, I’m wishing you a blessed and happy 2017. I’m following you in Instagram to see your photo updates.


    • Vivian Tse
      January 11, 2017 / 4:54 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words and support, babe! Truly appreciate it :) Happy New Year to you too! xo

  8. Mitzie Mee January 3, 2017 / 5:57 pm

    That’s some really wise words Viv! Your photos still looks awesome though:) I take a social media break now and then, and I’m considering just shutting down some of my channels. I used to love Instagram, but not-so-much nowadays. You have a new haircut too, don’t you? And highlights? Looks really great:)
    Wish you a wonderful 2017.

    • Vivian Tse
      January 11, 2017 / 5:03 pm

      Happy New Year to you too, Mitz! I’ve really missed you and I hope you and Poul are doing well :) Thank you for your kind words, it really took me some time and courage to write about this detox. I was afraid of sharing something personal on the Internet..but I have to say, I felt absolutely great after posting it :) Shutting down one of the social media channels is actually not a bad idea! I used to love Instagram too, but I really hate updating my account every day just because I wanted to stay connected with the ‘numbers’…So stupid of me…I will only post when I actually have something to post :) Yes, I cut off my hair short right after I got married hahaha! I was so tired ot having long hair, but now I’m growing it out again (you know, girls/hair issues)…And no, I don’t have highlights, I think my hair is just a shade lighter because of the sun :)

  9. Doreen's Style Diary January 5, 2017 / 5:23 am

    Thank you for sharing your experience candidly. I can relate to everything you said here. I took a break from social media for a few months after I had my son and it felt really good. Congratulations on your pregnancy. You’re glowing!

    • Vivian Tse
      January 11, 2017 / 5:58 pm

      Hi Doreen! Thank you so much for your kind words! Glad we’re on the same page :) Yes, I think it’s good to take a social media detox from time to time. It can really help to clear your mind :) Happy 2017! Xo

  10. Sara January 9, 2017 / 4:31 pm

    Such a beautiful post and insightful tips! Thank you Vivian, I was so happy to read this. Hope you’re off to a great start on this new year. Sending lots of love your way!

    • Vivian Tse
      January 11, 2017 / 6:10 pm

      Happy new year to you too, Sara! And thank you for leaving a comment here, truly appreciate it! Wise words have always affected me in a positive way. And yours really help me to stay true to myself! Thank you for that :) Hope you’re having an amazing week so far! Xo

  11. larateshola January 16, 2017 / 7:18 pm

    This is truly awesome… The key to true happiness is doing you and not comparing oneself to anyone. I hope have a social media detox myself. How long was your detox? would like to know.

    • Vivian Tse
      February 6, 2017 / 4:53 pm

      Hi Omolara, I’m terribly sorry for my late reply! First of all, thank you so much for leaving a comment here! I truly appreciate it :) I took a 4-month social media detox and I’m now planning to take one from time to time :) Hope a social media detox can help you to clear your mind too :) Good luck! xo

  12. stylewich January 17, 2017 / 5:35 am

    Oh Vivian, I wish we could meet in person and chat about these topics over a cup of coffee. I’ve been blogging for over 2 years now and I’ve learned a lot too. If it makes you feel any better, the bloggers that unfollowed you did it because of the Insta algorithm and not because of the quality of your work. It’s not good for your account to follow accounts that don’t actively engage with you and some girls are very proactive about that b/c they run their blogs/Instagram like a business. It sounds like you are in a good place and I’m happy to see that. Your perspective will change again when you become a mom. :)

    Love, Liz

    • Vivian Tse
      February 6, 2017 / 4:56 pm

      Hi Liz, I’m sorry for my late reply…I think I’ve overlooked your comment! Sorry! But thanks for sharing your story with me! So glad I’ve met you through blogging :) I’m planning to take a social media detox from time to time..and yes, I also think my perspective will change again after giving birth to our baby boy :) Hope all is well with you! xo

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