I was idly flipping through Instagram stories this evening and one of the stories caught my eye. A person I follow had posted, ‘Not feeling too well. Totally forgot about updating stories. Don’t mind.’

That stopped me in my tracks.

What kind of a situation have we built for ourselves? That we can’t take a break for a day or a week or a month, without feeling like we need to apologise for it.

Ten years ago, there was no Instagram. There wasn’t! And yet, now it’s become so ingrained and part of our lives that, somehow, not being online is seen as some sort of flaw!

I get that we need to stay in touch with readers and followers, but at what cost? Certainly not that of health and wellness!

A lot of us work in the blog and social media space. And it makes sense to have a structured plan in place when it comes to these platforms. For many of us it’s a way to monetize our work.

But it’s important to draw the line somewhere.

The more we apologise for taking a break, the more we feed the culture of thought that it’s important to stay connected 24 hours a day.

And that is not just impractical, it’s unhealthy.

It takes us away from caring for ourselves. Instead it shifts the focus to what others think about us.

What sort of an existence is that? Where we live from story to story and a feed that tells us how people live their lives and how we ought to be living ours?

Earlier this evening, I watched as my daughter meticulously sorted items to be gifted for Navaratri this year. It’s a methodical, assembly-line process where one sorts items into gift bags.

Just watching it gave me peace.

I didn’t record it or capture it on film but my mind has all these images of the concentration on her face, the smile as she ensured that all the bags were ready and her satisfaction at the end.

Not everything has to be captured on Instagram. Not everything should.

The next time you feel compelled to apologise for taking time off from social media, please take a second. And refrain from doing so.

You owe it to yourself to take breaks, every day, every week and every month.

You don’t need to apologise for living life offline. Ever.

12 thoughts on “You should take a social media break

  1. I stopped finally apologizing for not blogging much more when I realized what you mentioned above. And I stopped trying to be on top of all my social accounts where I follow almos the same persons. I know focus only Twitter and I post only updates on FB. This is much more peaceful!

  2. It’s interesting Shy; I reckon I am addicted to Insta but at the same time, I have learnt this year to not have to post daily. Last year, I was posting almost every day. This year, I have done so many things, have had so many ups and downs in life but I haven’t actually posted it all. And while some days it feels strange, other days, it is quite freeing.

  3. I have to admit I enjoy social media – specially Facebook despite the fact that everyone vilifies it so. I strongly recommend a set of twins to anyone in danger of getting addicted :-). They have so many demands to be fulfilled all the darned time there’s no chance of any addiction, except of course the two of them.

  4. Fully agree. I feel sad when I see people stress themselves over being “visible” 24 x 7. Social media should be fun, whether for work or pleasure. Letting it rule our schedule is just bad for health. And keeping track of fans and followers… sigh.

    Happy Navratri to you! I love the visual of Gy sorting through and arranging the gift bags!

  5. So agree, infact I hardly update anything personal on SM or anywhere. Plus I have my time slot, when I put it up and then back away. Things are going fine for me rather I am just happy with it. Readers I guess will always come and go. But then feeding them with info 24 hrs surely is not required.

  6. You hit the nail on the head. Couldn’t agree more. Things have become crazy now but scheduling and other things keep me feeling okay. I am okay to go offline and I try to be offline too. That’s where life is. Isn’t it?

  7. You’re right, Shailaja.

    And how do I tell you that I think the same way when I see other bloggers & influencers posting every bit of their day’s minutes either in their stories or posts?!

    SM is promoting such an insane FoMo these days & people ARE apologizing for not being online every hour. It’s like surrendering to your followers & telling them that you belong to them (& not your family BTW!) & that they own every second of your life. It’s sick.

    Just like you mentioned about cherishing the enjoyment of seeing a particular activity your kid is indulging in, I never feel compelled to posting all of such happy & admirable moments & I believe, I’d never do that in future either.

    Well, since I’m still exploring social media through the lens of a blogger, I do believe I suck at managing time here. But, I try hard to always keep it as a second priority. Because initially, I’ve experienced my family’s disappointment at my overindulgence in social media.

  8. I don’t think many people realise it! And then there’s the ‘Hey I visited your blog! Why didn’t you visit mine?’ refrain. Honestly, it’s not a priority for me on most days. I now read when and if I make time for it. There’s so much more to life than being online.

  9. I know, right? Even I used to log in once a fortnight, when I wasn’t blogging. Now it’s all frenzy and craze! Everything is a trending topic!

    Do you know what I do? I schedule most of my content and pop in personally only to answer tags and messages twice a day. Keeps me sane and off the grid as much as possible. Plus, learning something off social media is a great way to cut back on the stress 🙂

  10. I can’t believe that there was a time when I logged into FB once a week or fortnight. And yes, it is so easy to get sucked into posting incessantly on these SM platforms. I can’t stress enough how important it is to take a break on a regular basis and more importantly to go do our own thing offline without documenting it.

  11. I completely agree. It’s ridiculous to put that kind of pressure on oneself. And yet I am sure most people fall into this trap quite unknowingly.

    Which is why its important to create a system of checks and balances of sorts, to ensure we still have our priorities in place and that we are moving ahead in the direction we intend to.

  12. I miss those days when people used to login to social media and check the updates once a day or week or for some once in a couple of months. There was no obligation to comment or like the updates as soon as it went live. Now everything changed. New posts are appearing every nano second. Honestly, I’m doing a poor job keeping up with social media. I keep wondering how people are producing so much content online – capturing pictures, posting, sharing, reading, liking, commenting and live their life off the screen too. It’s okay to take it easy. It should be okay to take it easy.

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