For those of you who don’t know, I once had a blog called HelloDesignSugar, this blog ultimately led me to quit social media. It was a good blog, but it gave me the worst anxiety and depression I have ever experienced, and most of it came from social media.
Honestly, I totally get that social media serves it’s purpose for business, hell, even for life as a ~millennial~. I mean how else will my friends back home know what I’m up to?! But I hate social media, I think it’s a monster. I hate what it makes me feel and who I become when I am on it. This is why I took a break from Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
I’m guilty of being attached to my phone. I could be watching tv, out to dinner or even working, and I’m checking my phone every 10 minutes. It’s horrible. I don’t even know why I’m doing it half the time, it’s like a weird instinct. I’m constantly scrolling through Facebook seeing what my friends back home are up to, then I randomly stumble on a post by someone I used to know years ago and then spiral from there into the deep black hole that is social media… and that’s just with Facebook! There’s something about seeing all those posts about seemingly happy people on your feed that makes you a bit envious and instantly compare everything with your own life and experiences.
Why Blogging Lead Me to Quit Social Media
With my first blog I used to promote my posts through Instagram because that’s what all the ~cool bloggers~ did. Then I would obsessively be checking to see how many likes it had gotten and I would always be disappointed, no new followers either, how could it be?! That would continue on for weeks and I would feel defeated and horrible, I would get maybe 5 new followers and still feel unworthy. I would spend countless hours scrolling through other blogger’s profiles and see their 10k-150k followers, seemingly perfect lives and glossy pictures. I would pressure myself to have the same, extremely determined to “make it”.
I remember for months I would get these little panic attacks if I had not posted something on Instagram. How would I get likes or followers without posting?! Those panic attacks led to me create very fast pieces of lettering or very staged images of me being “happy”, then I would hate everything because it did not look like those amazingly high quality images from this blogger or that blogger. It became this weird vicious circle where I would start feeling that crippling panic, post something fast, feel anxiety about posting and sounding fake, obsess about likes, end up crying on the floor, repeat. It was not my proudest moment.
Someone Else’s Success Does Not Mean My Failure
Comparing yourself to strangers on the internet is horrible and I know a lot of us are guilty of it. You can’t help but see other people’s success, happy lives, artwork or travel and instantly feel envious, always wondering why that’s not you, why can’t you have that now?
Now I know better. Some of the bloggers I subscribe to have been coming out and telling the stories behind their social accounts, how everything is not as happy as it seems, how they too struggle. I am so grateful that they shared that because it was a huge turning point for me.
I finally quit social media 5 months ago, I was exhausted and I needed to figure out what I wanted to do. I even went as far as to delete all the apps on my phone. I just didn’t want to feel fake when I posted, I wanted to be myself and do it for me not for likes, not for anyone else and not to be anyone else. I needed that time to refocus my energy and find my voice.
Social Media Does Not Rule My Whole Life
I’ve been back and active on social media for about two weeks now and I don’t have that panic attack anymore. I have had to stop myself from posting for the sake of posting, but when I do post, I feel a lot better and more genuine. I’m slowly rebuilding my relationship with it and making sure it serves its purpose in growing my business but not controlling my life.
I want to use social media for myself, for my business and to inspire others. I won’t lie to you, it’s still hard every time I see someone else’s designs, posts, work, life, it’s just human nature. But I have learned to calmly talk myself out of spiraling, be proud of the work I do and to appreciate my life.
It’s unfair to yourself when you compare someone’s middle to your beginning. We just have to feel happy for others and their journey, good for them! They did it! Take that as inspiration that anyone can do it and love what you do. Just stick to your guns, do what feels right, follow your heart and never stop trying.
Enjoy this cool lettering that I made as a friendly reminder to be YOU, and to STOP comparing yourself with strangers on the internet! I seriously have this as my phone wallpaper 😉