If you’ve ever seen Harry Potter you’ll remember well the scene where Mr Dursley sits back smugly with a cup of tea, indulging in the fact that there’s no post on a Sunday. Obviously you’ll then remember that he does, in fact, recive some post. Quite a lot of it.
But without magic letters delivered by magical owls down quite ordinary chimneys, the rest of us are at the mercy of Royal Mail who do, in fact, not deliver any post on Sunday. No squeaky hinged letter box opening and slamming shut as hoards of junk mail and the occasional council tax bill flop to the floor of our tiled entryway. We just wait until Monday to recive that Chinese menu and local flyer.
Now obviously, being a book blog, this post is not about the postal system. Despite it’s opening it’s actually an emerging but not often noticed theme on my pocket of the internet: I never post on a Sunday.
I can’t remember when I made this rule so if you delve into the murky realms of my blog’s conception you may find the odd post thrown up on a late Sunday night or early Sunday morning, potentially back when I was stumbling into my student house after a late night trip to McDonalds for a share box of chicken nuggets and a handful of laughs with my friends. Regardless, certainly in the last few months I’ve been firm to not post on a Sunday.
It’s not just posting I don’t do. I don’t blog hop, I don’t reply to comments and I don’t, and this one is the hardest of all, check social media. No squeezed in scroll of Bookstagram while waiting for the pasta to boil, no far too long read of Twitter in bed, that was only meant to be five minutes but is now pushing an hour. Even, despite it not being anything to do with my blog, no peak at Facebook to see the people I only vaguely once knew on holiday with other people I don’t know at all, coupled with memes that stopped being funny the first time they appeared on everyone’s feed.
Not posting, or blogging, on Sunday doesn’t mean I don’t read. I still have an audiobook on while I mop the floor, stretch out in a warm bath clutching my latest loan from the library, squeezing the pages extra tight so the book doesn’t land in the soapy scented water. But it takes the pressure of it, not thinking about which reviews I need to write up next. I often stall over the app screen on my phone when I have some down time, landing on Duolingo or the Tetris app than my go to social medias and WordPress.
I enforce no social media Sundays to give me a guaranteed moment of quiet in the week. A day where there’s no work deadlines crammed in and no niggling pressure to compare my life with others through an unhealthy screen addiction. Blogging isn’t my day job and I do it for fun, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a lot of work.
I never had the luxury of balance at university: hitting drawn out long periods with no deadlines and suddenly the frenzy when they all come at once. Getting in late from the library only to set my alarm for 8am, laptop an arms reach from my bed to start ASAP the next morning. My friend and I would meet outside her house, sit together in the library crawling over our notes, tapping away at our assignments, allowing ourselves one quick soggy sandwich break outside before starting it all back up again. Then we’d have dinner as a group, some budget meal like curry or our speciality: chicken nugget pizza, before saying we’d do it all again tomorrow. I’d often start my laptop back up again that night, if we didn’t all take a late night trip for ice cream or chicken nuggets.
Leaving university I was craving the balance a 9-5 job gives you. Not squinting at a computer screen after dinner, trying to polish an assignment of before bed, and going on actual proper day trips with my boyfriend, rather than quick afternoon trips down to the beach where we’d skim stones and eat ice cream, finishing up with piping hot chips on the seaside and the promise to not think about work for those few hours.
Having no social media Sunday is not exactly easy. I find myself using it just a little bit more Saturday, before I go to sleep, knowing I’ll miss it Sunday morning. It is definitely, and strangely, addictive. I’ve heard the Instagram algorithm punishes you for such inactivity and I find myself behind on blog comments at the beginning of the week. I don’t allow myself to take photos for my Bookstagram on Sundays, because it’s a no blogging day, and that often means I’m behind and don’t have the light to take good ones midweek.
I wouldn’t say I feel incredibly relaxed for this detox and, only being one day, it’s not a massive deal. I’ve not given it up for good or for a few months, like some of my friends have. I also don’t think I’m massively addicted. I know it’s what everyone says but I do have quite a good balance generally: I’m not glued to my phone over dinner, I don’t login to my socials on my work laptop and my Saturdays are often spent in remote countryside castles where lack of signal reverts my smart phone to a slightly rubbish selfie camera.
However, I still am sucked into the murky realms of social media, time flying away from me too fast, all too often and I have felt the pressure to be more on top of my blogging to do lists. I think it’s important to spend a day away from a demanding hobby like blogging, to keep it fun and just to put it in perspective. Because, at the end of the day, nothing bad is going to happen if I don’t reply to the odd comment on a post or ignore a Twitter chat for a while. It helps me step back and I think I’m a better blogger, and more chill person, because of it.
What about you? Do you spend any days away from your social media, or do you have other way of balancing your life? What are your other hobbies, besides blogging? Would love to hear from you in the comments!