How famous do you have to be to take a social media break?

Turns out…not that famous.

Never would I have imagined that I would be someone who would need a social media break. I had no idea I was this famous. (Throws head back laughing).

The last six to eight months have been a whirlwind between achieving my dream of becoming a published Author, and then doing that through a pandemic. I went from someone who didn’t know or understand what an Insta story was, to then turning my entire day into an Insta story. Work, gym, school lunches, kids, wine, wine, wine. It was all on there. I started blogging more, posting more, taking more pictures and sharing my publishing journey with whoever would care to read or watch. My publishing journey became virtual, and so did I.

Then came the book launch. The big beautiful virtual book launch celebrated by close friends and family, via Zoom. Corks were popping, bubbles were being sculled, party boxes were being consumed and months of work had come to fruition.

The morning after, I was done. I couldn’t pick up my phone. I couldn’t stand the thought of doing another Insta story. I was burned out completely. I had been living with my phone in my hand for months. My weekly screen time hours kept building and building and I was looking forward to the launch being over so that I could take a breather. In hindsight, probably not a great time to have a social media breakdown when I’ve just published my first book and should be trying to maintain the promoting and marketing and social media presence. But I had nothing left in the tank. I just wanted to curl up in a ball with my family and stare at them, through my eyes, not through the camera on my phone.

In the early days of this social media break, I was enjoying the timeout, but as time went on I stated to feel anxious that I wasn’t putting out content to my readers and followers. I wasn’t keeping up my end of the social media bargain. That alone started to give me a different type of stress. That stress soon turned into embarrassment. I couldn’t understand why I was feeling anxious about not doing an Insta story about my pancake breakfast on a Saturday morning, because, who cares?. I started to think about all the Insta stories I’d done in the past and was asking myself why anybody would even care about my Martha Stewart moment of wining and baking. I became embarrassed that I had ever thought anything I was doing would be interesting to anyone else.

Then I became pregnant and was so overwhelmed with illness that I had no room for any type of creativity. I was like, “what is words?”

My social media break definitely became an extended unwanted break, and I won’t say it gave me clarity or rejuvenated me. Sure, I’m no longer feeling shame and I’ll probably be back to posting random stuff like I was before. I’m no longer picking up my phone with disgust in myself. And I think my dopamine levels have evened out. But it was about recognising when something was no longer serving me, but rather, taking from me and from my family.

My social media break has done nothing for my book sales. But I know that SHE is out there with so many wonderful souls reading her. I gained time with my family and I’ve been able to reevaluate my relationship with social media.

I’m a writer. I want the people in this world to feel less alone and so I write and some people read it and social media is the platform that allows me to do this; that allows so many writers to feel the joy of being read.

As I continue to say: do what is right for you. Take the break. Eat the cake. Sip the wine. Write the words. Read the world.

T x

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