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What I learned from taking a break from social media recently

Den anden dag hørte jeg på TV2 news, at negativitet online har været stigende siden pandemien udbrød sidste år. At flere og flere mennesker faktisk sletter, blokerer eller muter venner (eller bekendte), fordi de synes tonen online er blevet for hård. Og det kan jeg kun sige mig enig i. Jeg synes generelt tonen blandt mit community er fantastisk. Der er den lejlighedsvise, ukonstruktive kritik bevares, men den har jeg ligesom lært at leve med. Mennesker der får et kick ud af at nedgøre andre blot for at få en reaktion vil altid være her, og de skal ikke få min gode energi det er stensikkert. Heldigvis er der ifølge denne artikel dog stigende fokus på problemet, og flere og flere forsøger aktivt at gøre en indsats for, at det bliver rart for alle at færdes på nettet. Jeg selv – især som forholdvis offentlig person – inklusiv. 

For ca. 6 år siden startede det her online eventyr, som jeg i dag kalder mit job. Noget der får alvor blev min fuldtidsbeskæftigelse, for nu 2 år siden, og noget jeg altid har sat en stor ære i. Jeg har længe set det som et kæmpe privilegie, at jeg sådan har kunnet gøre min hobby til min levevej. Det startede som en interesse i minimalisme, som udviklede sig til en kæmpe passion for bæredygtighed, godt design og en holdbar garderobe. Undervejs har jeg uddannet mig yderligere, og jeg er så stolt af at kunne kalde mig selv certificeret stylecoach i dag, så jeg ikke længere blot kan inspirere og dele ud af mine egne, personlige præferencer og erfaringer; men faktisk kan tilbyde faglig hjælp til garderobeopbygning til andre der ikke nødvendigvis har samme stil eller præferencer som mig.

Der er sket meget i mit liv det sidste års tid – jeg er blevet mor, hvilket i sig selv har været en ret stor (og fantastisk) omvæltning. Udover det har vi jo alle kunnet mærke konsekvenserne af den globale pandemi, og et sted det især har påvirket mig negativt har faktisk været gennem de sociale medier. Og det var derfor jeg besluttede mig for, at tage en pause for en stund. For dét sted der normalt inspirerer mig, gør mig glad og ikke mindst giver mig lyst til rent faktisk at gøre en forskel på lige netop mit område og mit job, det tog lige pludselig pusten fra mig og gjorde mig angst og stresset.

ENG.: the other day I heard on the news that online negativity has increased since the pandemic hit the world last year. That more and more people are actually deleting, blocking or muting friends (or acquaintances) on social media because they think the general tone online has become too harsh. And I can only agree with that. I generally think the tone among my community is amazing. There is the occasional, unconstructive criticism, but I have learned to live with that. People who get a kick out of demeaning others just to get a reaction will always be here and they’re not going to decide how I live my life, that’s for sure. Fortunately, according to this (Danish) article, there is an increasing focus on the problem, and more and more people are actively trying to make an effort to make it a better place for everyone to spend time online. Myself – especially as a relatively public person – inclusive.

About 6 years ago, this online adventure that I now call my job started. It became my full-time job 2 years ago, and it’s something I have always taken great pride in. I feel very privileged that I have been able to turn my hobby into my work. It started as an interest in minimalism, which developed into a huge passion for sustainability, good design and a lasting wardrobe. Along the way, I have educated myself further and I am so proud to be able to call myself a certified style coach today so that I can not only inspire and share my own, personal preferences and experiences; but actually also offer professional help to others who don’t necessarily have the same style or preferences as me.

A lot has happened in my life over the last year – I have become a mother, which in itself has turned my life completely upside down. Besides that, we have all felt the consequences of the global pandemic, and one place that this has particularly affected me negatively has actually been through social media. And that’s why I decided to take a break for a while. Because the place that usually inspires me, makes me happy and not least makes me want to actually make a difference in just my area and through my job, it suddenly made me anxious and stressed out.

Some snippets from THIS #hygge getaway that we recently took together, first time after Emilie came to the world <3
It’s a cottage that we rented via Airbnb on Sydals, Denmark.

Jeg tror de fleste mennesker har tilbragt mere tid online det sidste års tid, end de måske ellers ville have gjort. Den frustration vi alle har følt især i forbindelse med covid-19, har i dén grad også kunnet mærkes på de sociale medier. Jeg endte personligt et sted, hvor langt størstedelen af de opslag der dominerede mit startfeed på fx Instagram, var præget af negativitet, håbløshed og vrede. Og selvom jeg synes det er vigtigt, at holde sig selv opdateret, kræve ansvarlighed når man fx føler sig uretfærdigt behandlet, gå udenfor sin komfortzone for at se nogle realiteter i øjnene, blive klogere og rent faktisk gøre en forskel; så bliver det selvdestruktivt, hvis det primært bliver den her slags nyheder, man eksponeres for. 

Jeg ser Go’ Morgen Danmark og nyhederne hver morgen, når jeg spiser min morgenmad. Det er ligesom min måde, at opsøge viden og nyheder på. Jeg bruger bestemt også Instagram til, at blive klogere – men til sidst følte jeg, at jeg ikke kunne komme væk. Jeg kunne ikke få en pause til, at fordøje de her ting. Det efterlod mig langt størstedelen af tiden handlingslammet. Ingen er perfekte, men jeg er klar over, at især fordi min tilstedeværelse online er blevet mit job, min profession; så er det endnu vigtigere, at jeg tager ansvar for, hvem jeg fx indgår samarbejde med. Én ting er hvad jeg køber og viser frem som privat person og forbruger, en anden ting er, hvem jeg stiller mig som ambassadør for gennem mit arbejde. Det er bl.a. derfor jeg er meget kritisk omkring hvem jeg indgår sponsorater sammen med, og det er også derfor jeg ikke indgår ret mange samarbejder generelt. Jeg lærer hele tiden noget nyt – fx så har jeg gennem tiden både sat samarbejder på pause eller ganske enkelt indstillet dem helt, hvis der ligesom mangler substans eller belæg for, at de rent faktisk gør så stor en indsats i forhold til bæredygtighed, de som brand giver udtryk for. 

ENG.: I think most people have spent more time online this past year than they might otherwise have done. The frustration we have all felt, especially in connection with covid-19, is definitely something we’ve been able to feel on social media. I personally ended up in a place where the vast majority of the posts that dominated my feed on for example Instagram, were characterised by negativity, hopelessness and anger. And although I think it’s important to keep yourself updated, demand accountability when, for example, you feel unfairly treated, go outside your comfort zone to face some realities, become wiser and actually make a difference; it becomes self-destructive if it is primarily this kind of news that you’re exposed to.

I watch the news every morning when I eat my breakfast. It’s like my way of seeking out knowledge. I certainly also use Instagram to get smarter – but in the end I felt like I couldn’t get away. I couldn’t get a break to digest things. It left me feeling paralyzed. No one is perfect, but I am aware that especially because my presence online has become my job, my profession; it is even more important that I take responsibility for who I, for example, collaborate with professionally. One thing is what I buy and show off as a private person and consumer, another thing is who I position myself as an ambassador for through my work. That’s why I am very critical about who I enter into sponsorships with, and that is also why I don’t agree to many collaborations in general. I am constantly learning something new – for example, over time I have both paused collaborations or simply stopped them completely, if there is a lack of substance or evidence that a brand actually makes the effort in relation to sustainability, that they might express.

Da jeg holdt pause fra bl.a. Instagram valgte jeg, at bruge noget tid på at rydde op. Skære nogle profiler jeg før fulgte fra. Profiler, som gør mig angst og handlingslammet, mere end de inspirerer mig til aktivt at gøre en forskel. Jeg følger stadig nogle ret kritiske profiler, som skubber til mine grænser og gør mig klogere. Igen, gør at jeg bliver inspireret til, for alvor at gøre en forskel bl.a. indenfor modebranchen. For jeg er udemærket klar over, at når grænser skal skubbes så er det ikke behageligt. Men nu er nyhedsstrømmen på et niveau, hvor jeg ikke føler jeg drukner men derimod kan holde foden på speederen, så at sige. Nogle af profilerne har jeg valgt blot at “mute”, så jeg (ligesom når jeg ser nyhederne om morgenen) lidt bedre selv kan styre hvornår jeg har overskud til, at holde mig selv opdateret og igen skubbe til mine grænser, blive klogere, gøre en forskel på mit fagområde – fremfor, at jeg bliver eksponeret af det ene angstprovokerende opslag efter det andet i mit startfeed. Jeg har brugt noget tid på at minde mig selv om, hvorfor jeg også elsker instagram; for selvom det er et fantastisk sted af starte hashtag-bevægelser der gør en forskel globalt, så er det altså også et sted vi kan ånde ud og være “sammen”. Et sted hvor man kan tage en pause. Et sted hvor jeg kan blive inspireret stilmæssigt, følge med i (og relatere til) livet som mor set igennem andre menneskers øjne, smile af en åndssvag meme eller glo på nuttede billeder og film af babyer og hunde. Jeg følger ikke (synes jeg selv) ret mange profiler, men dem der får et “follow” er jeg egentlig ret trofast over for, vil jeg sige. Men som sagt, så tror jeg det sidste års tid med så meget tid herhjemme har gjort, at det var kørt lidt af sporet. Jeg troede pludselig jeg skulle redde hele verden på én og samme tid. Og lur mig ikke, om der sidder nogle af jer derude, som har det lidt på samme måde. Hvis ikke professionelt, så i hvertfald blot som almindelig bruger.

Uanset om man tager en pause et par dage eller måske endda et par måneder, så har min pause helt klart hjulpet mig til, at komme på rette kurs igen og ligesom finde ud af hvordan jeg selv vil bruge de sociale medier fremover og ikke mindst hvordan jeg selv ønsker at bidrage til dem. Jeg vil gerne back to basics; tilbage til det stadie hvor det gør mig glad, at bruge tid på. Nemlig, at dele (samt opsøge) indhold om minimalisme, hygge, bæredygtig livsstil, capsules wardrobes og alt det andet jeg nu deler. Nogle af jer har måske ikke engang kunnet mærke en forskel, men bag kulisserne har det altså været svært at holde gejsten og modet oppe til tider. Én person kan ikke redde hele verden, men vi kan alle gøre lidt og hele tiden blive klogere. Og dén sætning er især rettet kærligt mod mig selv. Igen, jeg har for længst lært, at leve med dislikes og grumme kommentarer for de vil altid være der; der vil altid være nogen som har en mening om dig og den måde du lever dit liv på, så hvorfor ikke bare leve det, right? Men den her følelse af, at skulle præstere fuldstændig fejlfrit er noget, jeg skal blive ved med at arbejde på, for den skal ikke bremse mig i at lave noget, som jeg ved giver mening og betyder noget for rigtig mange mennesker, og bestemt også mig selv. OGSÅ selvom jeg udemærket godt ved, at jeg ikke er perfekt. 

ENG.: When I took a break from Instagram, I chose to spend some time decluttering. I cut out some profiles I followed. Profiles that make me anxious and paralyzed, more than they inspire me to actively make a difference. I do still follow some quite critical profiles that push me out of my comfort zone and make me smarter though. Again, makes me inspired to really make a difference within the fashion industry. Because I am well aware that when boundaries have to be broken, it’s not comfortable. But now the news flow is at a level where I don’t feel I am drowning but instead can keep my foot on the gas, so to speak. Some profiles I have chosen to simply “mute”, so I (like when I watch the news in the morning) have a little more control in terms of keeping myself updated, get wiser, make a difference – rather than being exposed by one anxiety-provoking post after another in my feed. I have spent some time reminding myself why I love instagram; because even though it is a great place to start hashtag movements that make a difference globally, it is also a place we can simply breathe and be “together”. A place to take a break. A place where I can be inspired in style, follow (and relate to) mum-life seen through other people’s eyes, giggle at a stupid meme or look at cute pictures of babies and dogs. I don’t follow a lot of profiles, but those who get a “follow” I am actually quite faithful to, I would say. But as I said, I think the last year with so much time spend at home, has really made us all loose track. I suddenly thought I had to save the whole world. And I bet some of you out there feel the same way. If not professionally, then at least just as a social media user.

Whether you take a break for a few days or maybe even a few months, my break has definitely helped me to get back on track and just figuring out how I myself wish to contribute to and use social media in the future. I want to go back to basics; back to the stage where it makes me happy to spend time online. To share (as well as seek out) content about minimalism, hygge, sustainable lifestyle, capsules wardrobes and everything in between. Some of you may not even have been able to feel a difference, but behind the scenes it has been difficult to keep my courage up at times. One person can’t save the whole world, but we can all do a little bit and become wiser all the time. And that sentence is especially lovingly directed at myself. Again, I have learned to live with dislikes and nasty comments because they will always be there; there will always be someone who has an opinion about you and the way you live your life, so why not just live it, right? But this feeling of having to perform completely flawlessly is something I have to keep working on, because I’m not going to allow it to stop me from doing something that I know makes sense and means something to a lot of people, and certainly also myself. ALSO even though I know very well that I’m not perfect.

Hvad har du så brugt tiden på mens du var væk, tænker du måske – jo, jeg har langt om længe skrevet DETTE indlæg færdigt, jeg har gået en masse lange ture, fået trænet og så har jeg brugt tid på et lille (well, ikke så lille faktisk) krea-projekt. Jeg har nemlig lavet en lille makeover på et legekøkken til E, meget inspireret af dette billede. Det er blevet SÅ fint og jeg deler nogle billeder af det snart på vores hjemme konto ovre på instagram.

Jeg har også fået læst i en bog jeg længe har haft liggende på vores kaffebord, nemlig “det hele handler ikke om dig” af Niels Overgaard. Det er en bog der handler om den stoiske tankegang og måde at leve på. Kort sagt, at man slutter fred med de ting man ikke kan kontrollere, og i stedet bruger sin energi på de ting man kan. Meget apropros alt det jeg har skrevet ovenfor, egentlig. Den er sindssygt spændende, og jeg kan allerede mærke den har skubbet til min måde at tænke på i det daglige. Det kan være jeg giver den et fuldt review når jeg er færdig med den. Ihvertfald er det skønt at være tilbage, og at restriktionerne i Danmark så småt begynder at løsne lidt. Jeg har fornyet håb for dette år af mange årsager, jeg har sat en ny kurs og det føles skønt! 

ENG.: What did you spend your time on while you were away, you might be thinking – well, I have finally written THIS post, I have gone for a lot of long walks, been working out and then I have been getting creative too. I have made a makeover of an IKEA play kitchen for E, very inspired by this picture. It looks SO nice and I will share some pictures of it soon on our home account on instagram.

I have also started reading a book I have had on our coffee table for a long time. It’s called “it’s not all about you” by Niels Overgaard (I’m afraid it’s not available in English though). It is a book about the stoic life philosophy. In short, stoicism is about making peace with the things you can’t control, and instead spend your energy on the things you can. Very aligned with what I have written above, really. It’s very interesting and I can already feel myself implementing some of these ways of looking at life. In any case it’s great to be back, and restrictions in Denmark are slowly starting to loosen a little too. I have gained renewed faith for this year for many reasons, I’ve reset my sails and it feels great!

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The Comments

  • Shannon
    25. March 2021

    Thank you for your post. I’m glad you’re better after your break. You had a lot of changes in your life in a short time including what was going on in your body. That’s alot without a pandemic. I think that makes you a winner! Yea! 🏆 I didn’t do social media until COVID. I get my news from newspapers where I can take my time and pick and chose avoiding an assault to my senses. My posts are public, beautiful, and uplifting. I mute those who are not or if I’m up to it I challenge them in my sweet way but avoid entangling myself. “I’m sorry you feel that way” is always appropriate. I love your channel and have learned a lot. My new obsession are “Life is good” tee shirts. Bless you, your work, your family. 👍

  • Barbara
    25. March 2021

    Hej Signe!
    Du er ikke den eneste, som føler sig på den måde! Jeg har haft det samme de sidste par måneder og jeg har også lavet en lille pause fra Instagram. Og jeg synes, at det er det, vi alle har brug for af of til. Det er så let at forglemme sig selv på nettet, når vi springer fra FB til Instagram hver 3 minutter. Og det er meget let om at glemme om den reale verden og at fokusere sig på virtuelle mennesker og ikke dem, som sidder ved siden af os på sofaen.
    Jeg forstår, at du har haft brug for en pause og jeg har stor respekt over for dig, men jeg har savnet dig lidt 😉
    Held og lykke!!!

  • Sue
    26. March 2021

    Iam glad you feel better and iam happy to see your posts again. You did good to take time for yourself, it’s been and still is quite a period with everything that is going with the pandemic and it’s just normal to have that need, we all need some time out, time to reset our feelings, our thoughts and emotions. Wish you all the best.

  • rustfrit_stål_blandingsbatteri
    30. March 2021

    dette er en informativ artikel, tak

  • Melissa Vierra
    31. March 2021

    I stumbled across your posts and Youtube videos and am really inspired by your choice to use less and make the most of life. I love your sense of style. You have had a positive effect on how I now choose to shop. Thanks for your beautiful take on life, it really is refreshing.

    I am 54, live in U.S. Oregon. I work in marketing, my passion is art, I love the outdoors, and 80’s rock music.

  • LisaSmith
    24. April 2021

    Dear Signe, I’ve been wanting to write for some time now to say how much I love your content. You are such a sincere, caring, a loving young woman. Your little E, is beautiful and I’m sure you are a wonderful mom, and you and your husband seem to have a wonderful relationship…..life is a huge classroom for all of us, we are always learning, glad you took a bread from social media, keep taking care of yourself and thank you for sharing such wonderful info. You are the reason I have stopped buying fast fashion for more than a year. I live in a very rural place, am a serious gardener, and don’t have much opportunity for shopping, never have been much of a shopper anyway. I’ve always enjoyed second hand shopping, but now have invested, or will be soon in high quality pieces. Can’t wait to order t shirts from organic basics, thanks to you. Stay safe, enjoy life, and please know that you do make a difference….love lisa