Taking a Social Media Break | Moving To Durham

October 09, 2017

You may have noticed my social media and blog have been more than a little quiet over the past week or so... I decided to follow the advice of many twitter pages and blogs who said its okay to take a break at times, and found that being inactive on twitter wasn't the worst thing in the world.

I think everyone has that fear that when they're inactive, they'll suddenly have 0 followers and no one to interact with. Obviously this fear has only a tiny fraction of truth - while I may have lost c. 5 followers on twitter, my Instagram still remained strong, and I'm in no rush to become a daily poster again. I actually quite enjoyed not having to worry about whether tweets were scheduled, if I had pictures to share on Instagram or if I had a blog post ready to go. You see, this last week I've been dealing with a lot of changes to my life - and while I'd like to spend my days on social media, its just not possible.

Over the last few months I've been posting more and more about the big change coming up in my life - the move to Durham. From finishing my undergraduate degree, to my graduation and then preparing for this big step, I've tried to keep my blog updated with my thoughts and feelings amidst this scary (but exciting) time. The week before I moved away I sat down and decided on a blog schedule, drafted posts and planned away. The week of the move, I couldn't think about clicking that publish button. Because its not only writing a post and clicking publish, like many would think. There's the promotion of it over all the social media channels, to ensure people are actually seeing the post that you've taken the time to write. And as well as that, its important to regularly post on social media about things other than your blog, to keep your audience engaged in the time between new posts. Then there's interacting with other blogs and pages to build up relationships and help support others.

In reality, the only thing I was wanting to do over the last week was Instagram - and by that I mean commenting and liking other people's photos. I just wasn't in the mood to keep everything else going.

While some people might call me a 'bad blogger', I've come to learn that everyone needs a break at times. And while Instagram engagement is at an all time low, and many bloggers are starting to feel disillusioned while bots are making it easy for people to build up a fake following, taking a break is becoming more and more common.

And its not the end of the world.

While we all strive to be omnipresent on all of our platforms, sometimes that's just not realistic. So what was it that was keeping my fingers away from my key board?

Last weekend, I made the big and scary move to Durham. While everyone kept telling me I'd be fine, with reassurances of 'you've gone to Italy by yourself before', its only natural to feel apprehensive and worried about the unknown. Not only had I never visited Durham, I was also moving away from friends, family and a department in Edinburgh that I had grown to love.

Clicking 'accept' to the offer and prospect of Durham was a lot easier than the actual move itself. And yes - I did shed a tear as I crossed the border and left the Scottish flag behind.

A week in, and I'm feeling a lot more positive about things - no more tears have escaped. Induction week is complete, and the courses all seem interesting. I've met some of my lecturers - all of whom are highly respected in their fields, so saying hello was a little nerve wracking - and I'm keen to stay on top of my readings and hopefully impress them this year.

I'm a 'liver in' with Ustinov college - meaning that I stay in the college accommodation. While I was expecting an atmosphere similar to the halls I experienced in Edinburgh, here there's a bigger community feel, with weekly pub quizzes and movie nights organised in the bar which is a convenient 2 minute walk away. My flat mates are all lovely, with a similar outlook for this year. While nights out might not be a frequent event, library trips may become a regular feature of our weeks.

Learning from the previous 4 years of moving my belongings back and forth, I scaled back this year, not even filling the whole car with my junk necessities. The first day here, it was my priority to decorate my room, filling it with photos and memories. I also have the luxury of having an ensuite. Gone are the days of running to the shared toilet with sudocrem slathered over my face, as are the regular battles over who's turn it is to buy the toilet paper. It's starting to become a wee home, and with the heating that's on regularly throughout the day and night (no more hats and gloves on in bed!), I can imagine coming back here to relax after a day at the library, even in the dead of winter. That's as long as I don't keep falling out of the single bed.

Durham itself is a beautiful city - with history everywhere, just my cup of tea. We had a matriculation ceremony within the cathedral, the courtyard of which you may recognise from the Harry Potter films. I'm yet to explore it fully - a visit from my sister next weekend will surely rectify this - but I already get the feeling that I'll enjoy living here. By the end of the year I'm expecting to be in tip top shape with the 30 minute walk into town, just to get my weekly shop.

So can you expect to see me back on social media again? Yes you can. I'll be posting and commenting away on Twitter,  Instagram and Facebook (so go follow me there!). All the while I'll be actually sticking to my new blog schedule so you can expect to see posts from me on:

Mondays - Lifestyle posts
Wednesdays - Fashion posts
Fridays - Student posts

Would I recommend a social media break? Of course - sometimes its important to get your head out of your phone and focus on the real world, especially when there's something big happening in the real world that requires more of your attention. I haven't noticed a huge difference in my following, other than the expected small loss of followers. But now that I'm back to the blogging world, it's made me determined to gain them back again.

Have you ever taken a social media break? What are your thoughts and experiences of it?


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  1. Wishing you the best of luck in your new home at Durham!