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.