I spent a couple of days last week balled up in a blanket with an overwhelming amount of self-pity. I do not cope well being unwell as you may have gathered. And as my mind seemed to have a layer of fog over it, I couldn’t even be slightly productive. However it allowed me time to pause and take a breath. Something I haven’t done in close to a year. And it was f’ing brilliant.
I took some time to sit, watch countless episodes of Homeland and The Killing whilst drinking squash, and I didn’t feel bad for a second. Taking myself out of my online life for a while was so refreshing, and got me thinking about how my online/offline equilibrium isn’t where it ought to be. So I’ve compiled some actions to try and restore the balance.
Don’t ‘do it for the gram’
We’ve all been there. Instagram and her devilish ways – we hate her so and yet want to impress her. She’s like that mean girl in school you simultaneously wanted to be bff’s with, and dreamed of throwing the basketball a lil too hard in her direction during PE. It’s a confusing time for all involved.
I can hold my hands up and say that I’ve worn a particular outfit, done my makeup a certain way and gone to a specific place just to take snaps to splash over Insta.
At this very moment it’s snowing and ‘the Beast from the East’ is threatening our public transport, and still I’ve seen so many gals missing their tights. Bare and v blue legs, all in the name of the ‘gram.
Gal you look glorious, but can we not all the time? If our explore pages aren’t filled with them, others won’t feel the pressure. It’s a vicious cycle I know, but sometimes having sensation in your legs takes priority over a delicious looking grid.
Savour moments instead of trying to capture every second
This is something that has only really dawned on me of late. I was telling a work colleague (lol), about how boyf took me to see ma main man Neyo in concert a few months back. I nearly cried and my inner 15 year old was peeing her pants. They asked how the evening was, and I replied ‘it was amazing’, but most of my memories were trying to record every song I absolutely loved on my phone.
Rather then being present, savouring and enjoying the moment I was watching the concert through my phone screen. Now all I have are semi memories and some v poor quality videos (mainly because all you can hear is me squawking ‘Sexy Love’ and getting ma sass on when ‘Miss Independent’ fired up).
Take time to take pleasure in whatever your experience is, remember a photo or video is only meant to act as a reminder – not your sole memory.
It’s okay to unfollow
I think this is true of every platform, but IG being the main culprit with the ‘follow/unfollow’ culture which surrounds it. It’s become a number game, and trying to make your account seem like a popular or influential has become a full time job.
I don’t agree with trying to step on whoever it takes to get where you want, however I’m not going to sit here and pretend I haven’t unfollowed someone who has unfollowed me. ‘If you don’t want to support me, then I don’t want to support you’ has bitterly run through my mind. And this has happened with some accounts I genuinely enjoy and take inspiration from. But, I haven’t thought deeper into it. What if it’s not about numbers and they just genuinely don’t enjoy my content anymore? Can I really hold that against them? It’s their choice, and I can no more control them as they control me.
If I’m not feeling a certain account, then I’m not going to hang onto it just in case they unfollow me as a consequence. I would rather my followers enjoy what I’m sharing then feel like they have to stay in order to keep my name on their ‘followers’ list, and I’m sure you would too.
What are your top tips to restore balance in your life online and offline?