Until recently I’d never even considered getting rid of my social media notifications.
I’m not one of those people who tweets something and within minutes gets hundreds of likes, comments and retweets; in all honesty I’m lucky to get into double digits most days.
That was until this week when I ended up with two very popular tweets, one right after the other!
The first one was talking about hitting 10k views on my blog this year. This was my goal for the whole freaking year and the fact that I’ve hit it in 6 months is astonishing!
That in itself is something I was over the moon about, but then something else happened that still hasn’t quite sunk in yet; I’m going to be graduating university with a First Class Honours Degree!!
After all of the stress, anxiety and even having to take a blogging break for nearly two months, it was all going to be worth it and I’d got the grade I’d been hoping for!
Due to a very bad patch with my mental health, I thought I’d have no chance of getting a First, so I wanted to put these achievements onto social media to celebrate. I was genuinely expecting to just get a handful of likes and comments from my close friends like I usually do.
Boy was I wrong…
My phone was down to 10% battery after the first hour (got to love an iPhones non existent battery life) and I couldn’t get any work done at all. It was actually really overwhelming so I decided to turn off the sound and banner notifications until it all calmed down a bit; both for my battery and sanity’s sake!
Even though I’d originally only planned doing it for a few hours, I quickly realised that I actually liked having them switched off. I wasn’t putting pressure on myself to stop what I was doing and check my notifications the second they popped up; it was really peaceful and I was surprised to realise that it helped my productivity and motivation too.
So I decided that not only was I going to keep them off, I was going to also turn notifications off for Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook too.
While its only been a week, I’m already noticing a difference in my mental health; the anxiety, guilt and fear of missing out that I’ve been struggling with so much has almost disappeared!
Social media is something I’ve always struggled with, I’m an introverted and very private person by nature. I don’t have an “interesting” life so to speak, I like routine and being at home; two things that don’t generally make for interesting tweets.
The problem is I get anxious that I’m not tweeting enough and that I’ll never make it as a blogger because I don’t use social media like everyone else does. Then at the same time I also get anxious that what I write wont come across how I want it to or will inadvertently offend someone.
Or just be down right boring.
I still have the little notification bubble active, which helps me keep on top of things and reminds me to check the app whenever I unlock my phone. But since they aren’t popping up, it means I can check them when I want and when it’s a good time for me, rather than hearing a ping and instantly reaching for my phone.
I plan on keeping my notifications turned off for the foreseeable future, I find that its almost like a constant form of self care; that I’m giving myself permission to focus on what I need to do and not be at the beck and call of social media.
A twenty-four-year-old autistic writer and designer from Sheffield. Tattoo obsessed, animal lover, self confessed bookworm and eclectic witch.