You might not realise it, but we are no longer friends in the social media world and I am writing this to tell you that you have done nothing wrong.
In a world that is so chaotic and loud I needed to make a choice. A choice to quieten my mind. I am well practiced in the art of saying no. When things are feeling a little crazy or my plate is overflowing, I am ok with saying the hardest word in the English language. No to social gatherings, no to birthday parties or no to squeezing another photography session in when I already have a full work week.
Though I do not let it define me or dictate the way I live, losing my mother to suicide has taught me a valuable lesson in listening to those little voices and taking care of my mental health. So, what has this got to do with social media?
Waking up to check my emails, DM's, PM's, notifications and text messages had become the norm. Hopping in the car and waiting for the kids to get in I would find myself quickly checking in. Waiting for my coffee, I would check again. And again and again and again. To the point where I started taking notice of my screen time and it was scary. My youngest daughter was picking up anything shaped like a rectangle and pretending it was a phone.
I asked myself 'What do I want to be remembered for by my children?'
The mum who always had her phone in her hand... well that thought right there, that made my heart ache. I want them to remember that I was the mum who danced with them, played with them, looked them in the eye and really listened to their stories. So, I made a choice.
I started to unfriend and unfollow people. Not just friends. Family. Photographers too. And the weirdest emotion that came to the surface from doing this was guilt. Guilt that they may think I no longer like them. What a crazy world we live in that we have to worry about this stuff. When there is so much more out there! But, the more I did it, the easier it became. And now, I have removed these apps from my phone and log in on the computer and guess what? It's quieter. I post what I need to for my business and I am off again. It suits me. I have more time to do the things that make me smile and I am not drowning in photograph's from other artists - a rabbit hole that can easily lead to self doubt and comparison - the thief of joy.
You might ask why I don't just delete social media all together? Don't worry I have thought about it. But the fact is, in this day and age it is such a useful tool when running a business and without it, I would not be able to connect with you. And I really do love you all.
I don't pretend to have it all together. I am a constant work in progress. Always walking the tightrope. I may also be a little old fashioned or traditional, whatever you want to call it. I like to talk, to connect, to hear people's voices.
Love Renee x