How a break from Facebook led to some unplanned creativity

I recently spent two weeks in Costa Rica, and whilst I was there I decided I was going to use it as an opportunity to take a break from Facebook and other Social Media.

Social media isn’t a problem. I love it. And since I live in a different country to at least 80% of my favourite people, it means that many of my relationships play out almost entirely online.

Towards the end of 2015 however I started to get a little concerned about my reliance upon social media. Once upon a time walking to the fridge was a mindless habit. I wouldn’t even notice I was doing it until I felt the cold air from the refridgerator hit my face. And then I would be jolted into reality unsure of how I had even got here.

Recently my mindless habit has been Facebook. I would find myself staring into the Facebook app on my phone at the weirdess and most inappropriate times…. 6am in the morning, half way through a run – or worse! – halfway through a conversation with a real human being.

My thumb somehow unlocking my phone and navigating through my ‘purposely complicated’ folder structure seemingly on its own.

It was time for a break. But boy, it was going to be a hard break.

I had thought that the best time for a break would be while I was holidaying in Costa Rica. Surely I would have so much to do and see that I wouldn’t miss logging into Facebook or Instagram.

That wasn’t quite the case. The very fact that I was in this amazing place, seeing and doing amazing things, only made me feel like I needed to jump online to share it.

If I haven’t instagrammed that sunset, did it really happen? If my rainforest run isn’t uploaded to strava, did I really do it? If I haven’t facebooked how happy I feel, am I really feeling happy at all?

For the first few days I floated around in a purposeless daze.

My brain developed elaborate narratives capturing and reporting on all the new things I was experiencing. But without even a travel partner to share my thoughts with, my stories just echoed around inside my own head.

On the fourth day, I started writing.
On the fifth day, I built a blog.

CatTownsend-blogging-in-dominical

I was shocked at the speed and enthusiasm that accompanied those activities. But starved of my usual creative outlet (aka social media) – and bunkered up in a beach side cafe for two days – I enjoyed every minute of it.

So that is how this blog came to be in all its self indulgent and technicolour glory came to exist.

What do you think? Should I try and sustain this blogging caper?

8 Comments

  1. Cathy O'Malley

    Go for it Cat. Loved the blog.

    Reply
  2. Marianne

    Absolutely! Continue!

    Reply
  3. Sundy

    Yes, do it!
    Love
    Xxx

    Reply
  4. Cat Townsend

    Thanks for the feedback guys. It means a lot!

    Reply
  5. Suz

    Absolutely!

    Reply
  6. Jessica

    Excellent on all counts Cat. Keep it up!

    Reply
  7. Katharine D'Arcy

    Hi Cat, yes please keep blogging, I love the way you write! The ‘Precision Nutrition’ blog really resonated with me, I started to feel better about my body about 10 years ago when I ‘fell’ into Pilates. Your running blogs are great and inspire me to run for the right reasons, for the way it makes you feel (when the chi is flowing anyway) and for the sheer joy of being able to, and just being outside!
    Keep ’em coming !!!

    Reply
    • Cat Townsend

      Thanks so much Katharine. I love that you describe your pilates as something you ‘fell’ into. Sometimes we know what we need to fall into. 🙂

      Reply

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