Hey everyone and welcome back!
If you are a social media addict, there is no way you haven’t heard of Instagram. A platform that relies on photography to express the story behind every picture, that makes it one of the most interesting and resourceful spot even if you are there with a couple of minutes to run through and save the most relevant posts. With the added feature of short videos, storied and live streams, people find it more convenient than Youtube, when running short of time. Instagram is an addiction—a term I can now confidently relate to and being a normal human who has a lot of greed as part of his personality, which is sort of given, one can very easily be manipulated into reliving a fantasy through the vibrant and catchy photography and styling. Women lose their minds obsessing over stunning fashion bloggers and within a flick of the minute they want to emulate their favourite influencers in every way possible. This may sound strange coming from a blogger who uses social media as a resource and very humbly appreciates all her audience but there needs to be an intervention, even for professionals.
MOST part-time blog account owners and writers usually do all the blog related work themselves, from writing, taking pictures, marketing, publishing and trying to be available as much as they can for their followers, especially beauty bloggers, and, Instagram takes a lot of time(most of the masses turn to Instagram for beauty and fashion inspirations). Although, they don’t consider blogging as their sole career, it never means the effort and time applied is any less— they have to catch up with the updates, come up with blog content and respond to PR and queries within the limited time they are left with. I had to close my previous account because of recurring technical difficulties, account security and somewhere also because I felt I needed a change with my content(although that wasn’t the primary reason). I hadn’t planned on taking such a long break but Ramadan, the holy month of Islam was just around the corner and I wanted to value that as a priority over my blog. Two months without Instagram was a boon. Why? Find out below.
So, did I miss being on Instagram? At some level, yes. Was I finding it really hard to deal with being away from the rush that is Instagram? I would be lying if I blatantly said no. In fact, to be very honest with you, I did go through the initial withdrawal symptoms. The subconscious rechecking of the account’s latest updates, new and upcoming trends and what my friends and fellow bloggers are up to had become a part of my life, so much so that cutting myself off made me realise how dependent I had become, as if I have nothing else to do more with my time. I had deprived myself of all those things in my free time the moment I took on Instagram full time, and, it was a mistake.
WAS I ALWAYS A SOCIAL MEDIA HOARDER?
Talking about my take on social media, be it Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, people who know me closely are aware that these things never interested me previously. If it wasn’t for my blog, you wouldn’t find me creating an account myself, period. I am a person with living life in tranquillity type of an ideology, I do not enjoy talking about myself or my personal and family life publicly. I love relishing simple moments, cooking wholesome food, looking outside the window and taking deep calming breathes, adoring the nature(although I have lived most of my life in the urbans)—very much in contrast to true city lifestylers, I know. But, Instagram got to me, and it is embarrassing because my claims mean the opposite.
WHAT I LEARNT AND HOW I WILL NOT LET MYSELF GET COMPROMISED
”Follow your dreams and pursue what you love”, it’s a saying everyone should believe in. Being a certified esthetician was my second choice of career(more details in another post) but, it is something I truly relish. Sharing the knowledge in a simplified manner, giving out honest reviews without the use of “sciency” terms to reach broader audience globally and hoping to be helpful to them was the reason behind my blog. But, one can not just start a blog without knowing social media marketing strategies and expect everything to just work out. I found it even harder because I didn’t enjoy using social media at all. However, I have made my peace with it because I love talking about skincare and wellness and am grateful to meet some fabulous people.
While I was hooked on Instagram and constantly replying to queries, giving out elaborated skin consultations and preparing regimes, trying to search more for information on topics, I was simultaneously exhausted, mentally and physically. I am sure a lot of other bloggers feel the same way, especially the ones who do not hire a professional, like myself, and, there are also many who can happily stay glued to it 24/7 without the blink of an eye.
“INSTAGRAM IS LIKE SHOPPING IN A BIG MALL, YOU CAN EITHER GET LOST AND LIVE WITH THE GUILT OF CAUSING YOURSELF DARK CIRCLES AND PREMATURE NECK WRINKLES OR…”
Not being aware of the scheduling and analytic apps, changes with Instagram policies and algorithms was naive as well as silly. While I gave in a lot of time to prepare useful, original and relatable content, I was reaching only half way there because of lack of knowledge to market it efficiently. It often felt like taking “a shot in the dark” not knowing what to expect further. This lead to a feeling of anxiety mounting in my head, causing frustration and distress.
Instagram is like shopping in a big mall, you can either get lost and cause yourself dark circles and premature “neck wrinkles” or post your content, check the updates, take a brief look around and done. There is no need to search for every new trend, makeup look or newest skincare product just to tire yourself while being totally aware that you will not be actually applying all of that information altogether. This advice goes to all bloggers, aspiring influencers and consumers. You simply can not expect to stay ahead by checking your page or other’s posts every few hours because the content/media is not going to disappear and chances are your brain may not even be able to process everything promptly and actually remember it.
Turns out, this break felt refreshing. I was able to schedule my time for more things than usual and connect with family and myself. I learnt about some amazing holistic recipes, went for long walks, concentrated on my health both by nutrition upgrade and adequate rest. I had very few episodes of anxiety and could learn so much more about beauty and wellness as a whole. I don’t look into my device while keeping the television on or having a conversation with someone, anymore. I don’t rush home hoping to get my phone on wifi asap so I can watch all the content(especially videos) without buffering. Having swapped browsing with listening to relaxing music during the commute helps me in coaxing myself towards a peaceful evening. Throughout my break, I have been able to create better content and that’s because my mind is not constantly over exhausted.
If you are experiencing anything like I did or even a fraction of it then slow down and understand your priorities. Use that time to create good content and learn the basics of digital marketing or hire someone because you can’t learn it all within a day. Even if you are a full-time blogger, I would still suggest you to switch off notifications and leave your home, socialise, take small shopping trips to the farmers market, talk to your parents/other halfs/partners more often—basically, rewind and refresh. If you can do this by controlling the urge of checking on updates, you will soon start to notice “writers block” will not be a recurring obstacle anymore. Use the “no pain, no gain” philosophy with a lot more thoughtful approach, great knowledge so there are lesser chances of skepticism.
So, I am back with a proper conscience to not let Instagram overwhelm me or let myself get overwhelmed by the daily spicy happenings that get added up to this or any other social media mega empire. By taking gradual wise steps, I will utilise it to share and learn all within a required time frame. You will get to see more of discreet content in the context of what my account will be, instead of impulsive posts only because there has to be something going on constantly. Back to “drawing on the board”, it is.
Please follow my new account as a way to show your support. I hope to keep bringing helpful information to all my readers, both on my blog and Instagram. You can contact me for product advice, skincare concerns and recommendations, but it would be even more lovely if you followed my page as well.
Click here to follow my Instagram page or click the social media icon in the sidebar of my blog. Heres to new starts and better outcomes, CHEERS!