“Taking a break, can lead to breakthroughs…” Russell Eric Dobda
Thank you ever so much for clicking on this post. Thank you for taking the time out of your day, to read this update on Simple Yet Stylish. Thank you for being patient and thank you for your ongoing support. If you are new here, let me take this opportunity to welcome you to my little corner on the internet and to briefly introduce myself, before I go into the topic of this post.
I am Barbara Adarkwa. A mother, daughter, sister, Aunt and friend. I run a blog called Simple Yet Stylish where I occasionally post content based on my personal style, travel and sometimes food and beauty. I started blogging in 2013 and as time has evolved, I’ve slowly branched into creating visual content on my YouTube channel and other social media platforms.
I often keep my content very simple and minimal, mainly focusing on my personal outfits, the latest fashion must haves and how to maintain your signature style.
WHAT HAPPENED TO SIMPLE YET STYLISH?
This year, my level of consistency, has been at an all time low. For various reasons, I just lost the sense to blog and rather than focusing on tackling those issues, I found it easier to blame my absence on other life commitments such as motherhood and working. The truth is, life is never at a standstill, things are constantly changing and/or rotating. Families expand, children grow up, work life reforms etc; and trying to find the balance between all of that and everything else, can be difficult.
To top it all off, my vision for what I really wanted for Simple yet Stylish was extremely blurred and near enough blinded by unnecessary distractions. And because of this, I was on hiatus for a few months.
In the early summer months, I found myself drained in social media. I would spend a majority of my time on my phone, clicking on instagram and social media apps only to absorb myself in information that was nowhere near beneficial to me.
I have always been very steady and on point with managing my day to day life however, when I found myself stuck in a social media frenzy, I slowly became very sluggish, barely motivated and almost lazy to get up and complete the mere necessities. I constantly found myself reaching for my phone at any given opportunity just to sit there and browse through pointless content. At first, I felt like it was okay to do this, but as things slowly began to change, I couldn’t help but notice the negative toll all of this was having on me.
THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA…
For years now, we’ve all been first hand witnesses to the fast growth and evolution of social media. Giant apps such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter have soared through the roof with its popularity for users aiming to start/ expand their business, socialise and to create and share content. It has been said from quite a number of mouths that in today’s world, you need social media in order for your business or brand to thrive. That statement holds a lot of weight as we’ve seen a lot of brands/ businesses tower up with the help of social media however, I can confidently say that there are others out there who have taken unimmaginable or even old school routes to reach another level of success. Social media not only encourages your business/brand to succeed, but it can also be used as a safe haven for individuals who are in need of regaining strength, encouragement or an occasional uplift. There are a number of positive reasons to join the social media clan but in the same breath, there is also a dark side to it all.
I have always maintained self discipline and awareness of what social media can do to you in the negative aspect. And because of this, I’ve always kept my engagement and interaction quiet straight forward and minimal. Although when I got to that place where I had lost inspiration, I experienced how emotionally draining all of this can be. Trying to keep up with the latest news/information on irrelevant topics was becoming unbearable. And because I had sunk into this place of almost no return, I was literally ignoring everything else that was going on around me, in the real world. Little things that needed my time and focus was slowly falling apart because I had abandoned it for instagram. I found myself becoming a regular commentator on The Shade Room as opposed to other significant life changing events and because of this, I suffered the consequences of my careless actions. To top it all off, I couldn’t even tell you what it what that I was looking for on social media. I found myself opening apps, just for the sake of opening apps, even if it meant I had to scroll through content I had already seen. I was tapping on ‘suggested’ pages even if I had no common interests or similarities, just to pass time…very valuable time. And I had become way too invested in the lives of celebrities through their images which screamed ‘I HAVE THE PERFECT LIFE!’
I saw others thriving in their careers and reaching their goals (which of course I am always happy to see) whilst I just sat there, refreshing the explore page every few minutes only to read through non-related comments.
DEALING WITH THE ISSUE
When I slowly realised this, I attempted to start afresh by giving myself a few hours in the day to browse through social media. But that idea didn’t work. It was almost as if I had become immune to it. So I decided to delete the apps (except WHATSAPP and YOUTUBE). Fortunately for me this worked however, the first week or so felt slightly abnormal. Every morning after my alarm went off, I would reach for my phone to see if there were any updates on social media. But swiping through my phone only to find the built in apps and other useful day to day tools, meant that I had to put the phone down, get out of bed and start my day. And as the days went by, it became much easier to come to terms with. After about ten days, I felt so refreshed and in a totally different head space. I found myself engaging in more activities and focusing on things I hardly even knew existed in the world. I gave myself space to breath, to think and to come up with new projects which I’m looking forward to sharing with you all in the near future and the best thing of all was being able to converse with the people I know and love, the old school way.
After one month of being absent, I received a few lovely messages from people. Some of those messages were from people I would never interact with outside of social media. For a brief minute I considered never returning to social media again, because I was enjoying what life had to offer in the real world. And the pressure to keep up an appearance had totally worn off and I felt free. If this method hadn’t have worked, the next step would have been to deactivate all my accounts. Thankfully, I didn’t have to go through that and I’m so happy that I decided to take the step towards this direction and break free from the person I was slowly becoming.
I have always known that social media isn’t the be all and end all of me. I have always known that these apps/websites gives you the opportunity to present your life in anyway you want and that not everything you see on Instagram is a reality. I have always known that people can become so focused on the world wide web that they forget about the important things going on in the real world…its just that I never thought that I would personally go through that experience.
In the first month of my hiatus, I had a conversation with my best friend who at the time, also happened to be on a break from social media. And one of the questions she asked me was “what are you going to do about Simple Yet Stylish in the meantime?” My response was “That was actually the first thing I thought about when I made this decision. And if anything, that’s what’s stopped me from taking this break a long time ago. But as I thought about it and prayed about it, God said to me ‘what is for you is for you. Don’t stress yourself out about ‘opportunities’ you MAY miss out on.’ The career blessings that God has in store for me were specifically designed and made for ME.Therefore, they will all fall in place at the right time and the opportunities await as I take this much needed break from social media.’
It was also very important for me to take as much time off as I needed, without having to put a time frame on it. I didn’t want to pressurise myself into making a grand return when internally, I still needed to be thoroughly cleansed. Therefore, I said to myself, ‘when I am fully ready to come back, I will come back. I am not going to do this half heartedly.’
To conclude, I just want to say that this experience has taught me a lot. First of all, it has got me back into the importance of prioritising and ensuring that the most important things are being dealt with first. It has also strengthened my focus and time management again. It has also been a harsh yet positive reminder that the power to control my life is all mine and the choices we all make in this life is entirely down to us. No one is forced to walk into the social media world. No one is forced to sign up to the latest app. And under no circumstances should you feel pressurised to introduce something into your life which you will later on struggle to handle.
With all that I have mentioned above, It is very important for me to emphasise on the fact that this post was not made to change your perception of the social media world and to now look at it in a negative light. It was purely made to share my recent personal experience on how I SINGLEHANDEDLY wasted my valuable time looking for absolutely nothing or clarification from irrelevant accounts on social media. It was made to raise awareness on how draining and time consuming it can be, only if you allow yourself to get to that place. This experience has also allowed me to recuperate, remodel and remember why I showed interest in the social media world to begin with. It has now been almost three months of absence and I’m excited to return and share fashion and lifestyle content with you all and most of all, to never lose sight on what I aim to achieve and where my passion and interest’s lie.
Thank you once again for taking the time out to read this post,