I’ve been feeling a bit off Facebook and social media for a few months now. Every morning I would spend at least half an hour trolling through status updates, then keep going back intermittently during the day.
And while yes some gold was discovered in the form of publication opportunities and industry news, a lot of the time I felt a bit flat. If I was having a bad week and didn’t feel I had achieved my goals, seeing other positive status updates made me feel deflated and even worse.
While I realised that all of us present our shiny versions of ourselves through social media, I know I did it, this realisation doesn’t help when you’re in the grips of the grey cloud.
Then last week something changed. I did not want to be a masochist anymore and put myself in the path of more pain. And just like that I stopped. I stopped going to Facebook and Twitter.
I didn’t think I would last. I thought I would drift back to my wasteful ways, but then something interesting happened. I got more productive. In the time I would have wasted on Facebook I did all those things I’ve been putting off for months, like rearranging my office.
The more I achieved my goals, the more motivated I felt. Not reading other status updates about people’s achievements or word counts or news made me focus on just me. I wasn’t competing anymore with anyone. It was just about achieving my personal best.
So I’m going to stay off for awhile. I’m not going to set any goals or timelines. I’m just going to take a time out and enjoy the golden silence that I need at the moment. I need to go inside myself and focus on the important things, my writing, rather than getting caught up with my ‘media presence,’ checking my blog hits and status likes.
I’ll still be blogging intermittently, and I will be back on social media, just not yet.
Amra Pajalić is an award-winning author, an editor and teacher who draws on her Bosnian cultural heritage to write own voices stories for young people, who like her, are searching to mediate their identity and take pride in their diverse culture. She writes memoir, young adult and romance under the pen name Mae Archer.
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