Well, well, well. Here I am again: attempting to pick up the laptop and write after a very stagnant month or two on the blog. I could (partially) lie and say that I’ve been so busy that I’ve simply not had time to be a blogger, but instead I’m going to offer you an honest chat right here on a silver platter.
The truth is, I’ve been neglecting my corner of the internet here. I’ve not been making the time for it and when I do, I choose to fill that designated time with something else. Before I knew it, a full-on couple of weeks turned into over a month of no blogging which I did nothing to stop from happening. So I’ve spent some time doing a bit soul searching about why I’m not blogging and why I’m mentally blocking myself. If blogging is something that I really want to do, then why am I finding it so difficult to actually do it?
You could say I just need to get my shit together and write. Quit with the pity party and get on with it. And I completely 150% agree with you, really I do! If I want to blog, I should just do it and stop making lame excuses or making it difficult. On paper, blogging really isn’t difficult, but there’s a game we all play these days that makes life and happiness oh so tricky. It’s called the comparison game. It’s like snakes and ladders but with much more snakes and a lot fewer ladders. You move along a couple of squares, i.e. your outfit’s on point, you’re in a good mood, you feel on top of your shit, and then OH.. a perfectly curated food pic of avocado on toast and the might-as-well-be-a-supermodel eating it with makeup to die for and a Gucci bag under her arm. Down the snake you go. (the real tragedy here is that I don’t even fucking like avocado and I still feel a pang of discontent when I see one on the gram alongside a seemingly perfect lifestyle). You pick yourself back up, move another couple of squares and oh Christ that grid is PERFECT, look at this blogger sashaying by the ocean in the Maldives as I lie here in my pyjamas, unwashed, eating crap and watching friends for the 93834392th time. You get my drift.
I didn’t even realize I was one of these people that get so affected by self-comparison and is pretty much addicted to the ‘gram. But when it comes to taking photos or writing my next blog post, I do pretty much anything else. Not because I don’t want to or because I don’t like it, but because rather than enjoying the process of blogging and taking photos and creating fashion looks that I love, I am thinking “I’ll never write as beautifully as her? I never get a perfect outfit shot like her? What if my content isn’t good enough? What if it doesn’t turn out how I want it? What if it’s a waste of time?”. I’ve made something I love a huge source of stress and demoralization and when I’m faced with any uncomfortable feelings like this, I instinctively cope by avoiding. I numb myself with Netflix and snacks before these thoughts even bubble up to the surface for me to be aware of and deal with. I curl up and stay with what seems safe and comfortable to me, sacrificing a life that I would love, doing what really makes me happy.
By dissecting what the F my problem is, it’s becoming more clear to me that I waste a lot of precious time on Instagram. A little 30-second scroll here, 10 minutes there, 2 minutes over here, 20 minutes there again, is adding up to a hell of a lot of time looking at the carefully curated versions of other people’s lives, rather than living and creating my own. This is something I talked about with my sister, Cat, and best friend, Sam, and it opened up a whole discussion about the pressures of being on Instagram. Concerns over what content matches our grid, creating the general ‘gram aesthetic, getting the perfect shot, not getting enough likes and so on. We’ve realized that, actually, Instagram doesn’t really lift our spirits as we may think it does, despite us all spending a lot of time in this online world, claiming that we enjoy it when actually it’s sucking the happiness out of us. We maybe don’t come away from a scroll session feeling worse in that moment, but is there ever a time where we really feel so much better? And doesn’t it come back to bite us in moments of low self-esteem?
After becoming more conscious of how much time I’m consuming content rather than creating it, I’ve made a resolution. I thought about doing a digital detox but the problem with that is that I want to create more content, not ban myself from doing so even more than I have been already. Instead, I am going to try, maybe for a week or so, to limit myself to one Instagram session every day. Rather than mindless scroll sessions here and there, I’ll allow myself 45 minutes in the evening to upload content, add to my story and scroll to my heart’s content through the feeds of those who inspire me (as much as I’ve just bitched about Instagram and how much it intimidates me into avoidance, my favourite bloggers on there are still a huge source of inspiration for me which is why I keep going back to it). I really don’t know how hard this will be or whether it will actually help or not, but I’m hoping that a gentle ban will stop me comparing myself to others so often and give me time doing creative things that reignites the blogging spark.
Have you ever done a digital detox or feel like you need to ban yourself from Instagram a little bit?