Makelight

Social Media Pause and Recharge

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By Emily Quinton

in Social Media

I love social media and connecting with people all over the world. I love creating content and being inspired by the content that other people have created. I have made some really special real life friends thanks to social media and it's opened the doors to so many opportunities for me over the past decade.

However, sometimes I need a break. I think we all do! I have been reflecting on what triggers my need for a break and what I can do to feel more balanced with my social media use all year long. I thought i would be useful to share my thoughts and actions with you. We are all different, so please don't think these are the rules or the magic formula but there might be something here that inspires you to give it a go and see what happens!

I usually begin to get social media stress for three reasons. I am online too much, I haven't got the right content at the right time or I am comparing myself too much to other people.

I have decided to spend some time this month really planning out my social media content for the different platforms and accounts I have but to do this with paper and pens, so I am not even tempted to be online while I do this. It also means I am not comparing myself to anyone else while I do this. It's coming straight from my heart and my mind. This will make it more authentic and valuable to others but it will also mean I'm not suffering from comparison while I'm doing this! Plus I am always at my most creative when I'm away from my screens. I am aiming to plan for a good chunk of time, like the next 3 months. I will then mark my diary for

I will need to create the images with my phone or camera and edit them of course but I will batch this work once I have planned it all out. I will also go back through my archives and find old images to use or reuse. I will only do this once I have my paper plan in place, so I don't get sidetracked! This is especially important if you are wanting to say new, fresh things for 2020. I need to plan my messaging and then find or create the images to fit, rather than being led by the images I took last year. This may be the same for you!

My March diary is already quite full, so while I'm finding the time to do this work, I will not be putting any pressure on myself to post anything. If somethings inspires me and I want to share it, then I will but if not I'll just be a little quiet. This is easier on Instagram where we have Stories that we can pop a little something on even if we don't want to post on our main gallery.

Over the past few years I've got a lot better at not comparing myself to other people. But hey, I'm still human and of course it still happens! It usually happens when I'm tired or stressed. I shouldn't be on social media when I'm tired or stressed! So, that's my first message to myself. If I'm not tired or stressed, then I will be decided whether I should still be following that person. It won't be anything personal but I need my social media to inspire and support me, and not to make me feel bad. This year I'm determined to be stricter with myself on this.

Finally I want to learn how to really manage when I use social media and when I will be taking regular breaks. Here is my aim:

1. No social media before 9am (I am starting here but would ideally like to push this to 12pm by the end of 2020)

2. No social media on Sundays

3. One week completely social media free, twice a year

I hope this inspires you to take regular social media breaks too!

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How and why I'm taking a social media pause to recharge

I'm Emily Quinton, photographer, writer, teacher and mother of four. Along with my husband Stef I run Makelight – a membership community for creators, makers and doers.

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