At New Year 2017 I felt exhausted by my relationship with the internet and Social Media. Like any relationship gone bad I wanted out.
I run an online business – this was a disaster!
Social Media and the internet have revolutionized the way we live, work and, key here, communicate. In a world now saturated with information and communication how do we stop ourselves being overwhelmed by the need to respond, not to mention the endless scrolling, shoe shopping, and comment reading?
This is so important because The noise we make and absorb is important to how we feel.
Honestly I have struggled to keep up. All the current sales and marketing advice says you must be on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and possibly Pinterest. You need to run a blog, write for magazines and bigger blogs, join and contribute to other groups on Facebook in particular. Then do your day job actually working with people, planning, booking rooms, updating your website etc; and continue to learn your craft with personal training, reading and researching.
On top of this I use the internet and social media for in my personal life.
How on earth could we do all of this and stay sane? Here is the thing. Up until I became a mother I happily did do most of this (Instagram wasn’t about then, it was still Twitter). Over this last 3 years it’s became clear I face two problems.
- The game has changed considerably in that time and it requires a lot more posting and paid for promotions to get noticed. It’s more time consuming = more tiring.
- My life is so different, my drive to be part of this noise is diminished by my need for rest and quiet when I receive the opportunity. I use the word receive because these opportunities do feel like gifts these days. I can’t complain about being tired and burnt out if I’m not taking the chances I’m given to rest and play and step away from my computer and phone, however small.
Like many people my love affair with the internet and social media has had to evolve into something with more awareness. Taking it from passionate all-consuming love affair into long term relationship with healthy boundaries, mutual respect and balance.
There is just so much noise! Is it healthy to be in the middle, contributing for contributing sake? For SEO sake? Prompted by the need to promote-promote-promote? Personally I think the answer to these questions is “no”.
It has taken the last 10 or so months having a semi hiatus to get to a place I feel more comfortable with. I don’t post, blog, or photograph my life so much. I leave my phone in the kitchen for much of the day, it’s on ‘airplane’ setting every night and whenever I am busy or out and about in the day. The internet gets turned off at the wall every night. If I find myself just scrolling on my computer it goes off and the crocheting project comes out!
I only buy two magazines – the wonderful Happinez and Womankind. Both progressive alternatives to the main stream yoga and lifestyle mags. I only read newspapers and follow new links when I feel called to.
Workwise I am blogging when I feel I have something to say with some links worth sharing (rather than on a schedule). Infusing some more old-fashioned promotional methods too. The All Women’s On-Line Book Group ‘needs’ an injection of energy, which it will get when I can and not when I ‘should do’. Because I love the concept and want it to work and be a joy rather than a social media chore.
In short – I limit the noise I make and the noise I absorb. Giving up on Social Media and TV and news and magazines doesn’t feel right for me.
At first, I felt I was resisting giving up totally because I thought I needed it for my business. Then I realised I actually enjoy connecting with people in this way and, for me, it’s about achieving a balance that allows me to do this and not deplete my wellbeing.
Rather than try and keep up with the rat-race I am slowing right down. This feels more authentic and is much more pleasurable for sure.
Maybe THH is becoming a slow yoga and lifestyle movement?
Nothing much happens here. And that’s the point.
It struck me that in quiet meditation deep transformation is possible. Things dont need to be always in your face to be big.
Quiet, gentle contemplation. Expansion with self-nurture. Radiating with meaningful vibrations. I am now doing my best at being impeccable with my word, photos and links!
Are you feeling the same? Here are some bits which have helped me work through this overwhelm if you fancy taking a look…
Book – Don Miguel Ruiz – The Four Agreements
- Be Impeccable With Your Word
- Don’t Take Anything Personally
- Don’t Make Assumptions
- Always Do Your Best
This book could almost be an internet rule book huh! It’s a short read that packs a positive punch, defo worth a read.
Magazines – Womankind and Happinez
Womankind – Advertising free magazine. Interesting and often thought -provoking reporting, storytelling, photography, design, interviews…. a broader read than other women’s mags I have come across. Happinez – “Positive, Wise & Loving Life”. Inspiration, arts and crafts, interviews, travel, eco-inspired-sustainable-unique shopping, living, relationships, wellness, spirituality…
Article from The Guardian website exploring the impact of the “race for human attention” in silicon valley. It talks to the workers who helped make Twitter, Google and Facebook so addictive and are now disconnecting from the internet themselves.
And here is a nice photo from our Welsh Wonderland to sooth your nerves if it helps.
Nothing happening in this photo at all.
Except nature and the universe and everything….
With lots of love – see you soon Charlotte x
P.S Feel free to comment or email me with your thoughts and feedback. I really do want to engage with you in good old fashioned conversation, it just might take me a day or two to reply!
P.P.S Fancy joining us in the book group? It’s super chilled out – just click here.