Blogging and Writing

Contracting My Online World from Pre-COVID

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WordPress was always my priority, but I used to be at least a little bit active on social media and various other writing platforms. Over the last year, though, my online world has really shrunk, which I’m pretty content with.

The start of COVID was a big shift for me. Before that, I was pretty active both reading and posting on Medium, but I cut way back on that when COVID got crazy. I also cut back on social media, not that I was ever on it all that much to begin with. Social media was never really my thing, but I felt like having some presence was a good way to share my blog with the world. It mostly felt like work, though, and my tolerance for that kind of thing has really dropped.

When I got approved for disability benefits earlier this year, I decided I needed to cut back on potential sources of earnings to cut down the possibility of them deciding I’m employable when I’m not. I had been logging onto Medium maybe once a month to post something at that point, and I decided to step away from it entirely and remove all my articles from behind their paywall.

Around the same time, I decided I didn’t want to be on Twitter at all. I don’t feel the need to delete my account, but I don’t open the app or look at the site and I stopped auto-sharing my WordPress posts. Twitter never actually brought anything more than a trickle of traffic to my site, so it really wasn’t accomplishing much.

My head is definitely a lot less capable of making room for things than it used to be. It’s kind of weird to think back at the things I was able to juggle before that are just totally off the table now. How on earth did I manage to write in multiple places? I am glad I’ve let go of the idea that it was good to spend some time on social media for the sake of promoting the blog. I’m still on Pinterest, but it’s the only social platform that I’ve always liked, perhaps because it’s really not that social at all. I still have my Insta and LinkedIn accounts, but I’m not doing anything with them.

WordPress is and always will be my place. Monetizing was never a major focus for me, but now that I’ve deliberately scaled way back on that, it’s nice not to think about it at all. Simplicity is a good thing. Getting neurons to connect is hard, and simplicity makes it easier.

It seems like COVID has led to higher than usual fluctuations in the blogging population. There will always be people who stop blogging in a given year, but it seems like there have been a lot more people who’ve disappeared in the past year. I guess some of us deal with stressful times by blogging more while others step away.

Has your online world, or your blogging habits specifically, changed since pre-COVID times?

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55 thoughts on “Contracting My Online World from Pre-COVID”

  1. It seems like the pandemic has caused people to have either the reaction you and I have had toward social media or to go all in on it like there’s no tomorrow. I noticed pretty quickly that I didn’t like the person I became on social media so I stopped using most of it last year. I still used Discord a lot until recently when it became impossible for me to ignore how childish and … for lack of a better term (and it’s probably true) alcoholic all the other users behaved. Even in Discord servers dedicated to art, they were just full of memes, poor-taste jokes, and political “arguments”. Nobody even posted artwork. So a couple days ago I accidentally reset my password and didn’t save it, and then somehow accidentally assigned my phone number to a non existent account (no clue how I did that). So I can’t log in to my Discord account and I’m actually okay with just leaving it at that. Lol

      1. No, the chatrooms of old were more personal and you could actually make friends on them. There were of course the cringey pedo ones but that’s pretty much all of Discord lol. I haven’t talked to a single person there that I’d ever want to meet in person. And people come and go so fast you never get to know anyone anyway. It’s such a waste of time.

  2. WordPress is my jam! I am so pleased with my site since my refresh. All my images and tags are consistent and I’m focusing on writing what pleases ME rather than mindlessly replying to prompts (still do some, but only when they grab me). Before Covid, I was still operating under the assumption that if I only did social media “the right way” it would help my book sales. Now, I’m just accepting of the fact that nothing will help and I either put more books on KDP for MY OWN enjoyment and feeling of accomplishment, or stop. It’s so freeing.

    Last April, I felt lonely during lockdown and returned to Facebook, but I don’t care for it much. Way too many annoying ads and people constantly posting about politics. It’s a giant bore. All these self-important types insisting that THEIR opinion is the only one that counts, and they can’t even be bothered writing an essay about it… instead they reposts memes. If you disagree with a meme, don’t bother commenting because you’ll be attacked.

    I barely do Twitter now. I used to focus on the poets and poetry, but eh. I don’t get interest in return for my poetry and it’s like staring into the abyss. Other than poetry, it’s just all politics and arguing, blech. I have a LinkedIn account, but I don’t consider that the appropriate place to be “social.” Politics have infiltrated that site too, so I don’t want to look at it. I made a Pinterest, but I don’t really get the point of “collecting” things I like. Why waste the time? Same with Tumblr ~ my account is stagnant. I don’t have Insta or any of the other platforms that are mainly photos. I’m online to WRITE!

    Like you, I quit autoposting my WP posts to other media. Pointless.

  3. Huh. I don’t think my internet usage has been affected! Hmm…. for me, the whole coronavirus experience has been watching as society at large has to make all these adjustments about the social distancing, losses of income, health crises, and so forth. I’ve discovered YouTube videos, though, but not due to the coronavirus. So, that’s been fun. I still don’t understand what instagram is all about, or pinterest, or how to use them. Slightly off the subject, but I’m glad I left the writing forum. I was afraid I’d miss it or feel left out, but it turns out that I don’t need people like that! (Who knew?) I’m so glad to be gone.

  4. I’ve always had a tolerate/hate relationship with social media. I started an IG during covid and kept it until last month when I. Logged out for the summer. Then I enjoyed being away so much that I deleted the whole thing last week. Medium brings in pennies but I don’t plan to renew once my annual membership is up… funny enough, I got a refund for my medium membership but they never booted me off, so I get to read for free through February 🤣

  5. I’ve scaled back on social media as well. I have a Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram that I post things to a few times a week, but I no longer spend hours engaging with people trying to bring awareness to my account. I want people to come to my site, and social media isn’t really designed to help with that. For the amount of work you have to put in, it’s not worth it.

    I’ve found much more success with Pinterest, WordPress, and more recently, search engines. These are all things that require minimal effort to bring in traffic once you’ve established yourself.

  6. I actually cut down on posting on WordPress and perhaps completely stopped on others like Medium and Twitter after I started working from home due to lock downs during COVID19. Working from home seems to be more taxing and takes more time to complete (perhaps because one don’t have to rush to finish).

  7. I would say I got out a lot of my political views in social media during covid’s height. That was not necessarily good, but that’s what I did. I don’t post on politics anymore now, and barely post at all.

  8. I cut out my social media before covid because I felt it impacted negatively on my anxiety and depression. I have been blogging for about 18 mths, less posting and more commenting towards the end, and the past couple of months I didn’t check in at all. It wasn’t a conscious decision, it just kind of happens and then it gets harder to pick it up again.

    I have come back on. Just reading and commenting for now. Maybe I’ll write soon but I don’t always feel confident in writing. I’m glad to see a few friends are still here though 😁😁

  9. I’ve decided that the only thing worth reading on Facebook now are the cat pics/stories/videos. Everything else is trash. Every time I log on, I watch a cute cat video, and then see some other post and instantly regret having logged on. I should really just delete my account.

  10. My blogging habit hasnt changed at all, in fact, I am probably blogging more than I used to, but I did notice some bloggers going silent or disappearing, which is hard and I miss their posts. I am on twitter too but not active, same on instagram, I only got them because most people I knew had them. I’m a bit more active on facebook, but that is because my family and neighbours and friends who are in ireland are all on my facebook page. XXx

  11. It’s just the people for us. We like the WP people we’ve met. So maybe we don’t feel a lacking so why go looking somewhere? We don’t have the energy either. We hardly post here as it is lol

  12. I do not have a Facebook account.
    I created a new Twitter account thinking it might bring some traffic my way. I do not spend much time on the medium.
    My blogging hasn’t really changed since Covid. I am thankful for WordPress because it allowed to walk examine my feelings during the stress leading up to the hip surgery.
    I love the people I have met here in this forum.
    I have no thoughts about using any other blogging platform.

  13. I agree Ashley, I find wordpress preferable. I, too, have accounts on other sites but generally spend most of my writing and connecting time here on WP. (I’m very glad it exist. I started my blog a few years ago, but didnt do much with it until March of 2020. With more time and much more to consider, I found it helpful to share and connect. I still do and cant imagine not continuing. )

  14. As you know when I used to blog on WordPress before moving it to Blogger, my blog comes first and it still does. So nothing changed there.
    Twitter is the only other yhing I have, but I have had to pull myself away from it to avoid my triggers, (the things thar are mostly close to my heart and effect me still.)
    I have popped in yesterday to leave messages of thanks, but when I am next in, I don’t know. Maybe in a few weeks or maybe when I am back in blogging, July.
    But when I am next in, I know I will need to be aware how long I am on it. Maybe limit my days more.
    I won’t be quiet what effects me. But I do need to observe how long I need to be on it and how I feel while on it.

  15. I can agree with you that when my heart isn’t in something I simply don’t put the effort in. I spent the year prior to the pandemic gathering a group of women I connect with deeply and this past year deepening those connections. I had met all the women online, on Instagram yet now I engage differently with the site, preferring more private chats or video meetings. I keep a presentation all forums except Facebook, I deleted my account in early 2020 and never looked back. I like to keep my face away from a screen and in nature as much as possible. I have reconnected with reading, painting and my other holistic practices and well-being routines. I feel more content this way as you fo Ashleyleia. Here’s to us enjoying life as it’s meant to be lived, in balance and harmony ❤😊

  16. I’m not sure how Covid has changed things for me. For a while, it made it easier for me to be an Introvert, since meetings were now taking place on Zoom. But now many of those meetings are taking place in public settings off the Internet, it’s about as difficult to be an Introvert as it used to be. In a couple cases, I’ve stopped attending.

    Although I isolated more during Covid, in a way I isolated less. I used to feel that I was very much different than the rest. Covid made me wake up and feel more a part of humanity, since we were all enduring a common struggle. So my outlook was affected in a general sense. This can’t help but affect my Internet relationships as well.

    1. I think there’s probably a fair bit of common struggle that we don’t normally see, but COVID has certainly provided a more open example.

  17. Hmm, I believe that’s why I like Pinterest so much as well. No social pressures there. I used to be on FB all the time but I just don’t have the patience much anymore plus I feel like the blogging crowd on WordPress is a lot more genuine. I feel like I can just be myself, flaws and all. As I always say FB is only for happy sh*t. Lol 😆

  18. As you know, I’m trying to find my balance and I think I getting there. As far as social media, I stopped FB all together awhile ago. The politics were just out of control and super annoying. Twitter I’m never on, but my blog does go there, I think. I’m not sure why because I don’t get new followers from there. I actually am not a fan of Twitter or FB. I do have Instagram. I want my blog to go there and I have an account for fabricthatmademe, but I don’t think I have my blog and Instagram connected.
    As for COVID, I started writing a few series when that all started. There are “The way my Grandma remembers it”. and “Let me tell you a story”. I haven’t published any of them yet but I need too. I think since we moved during COVID, twice it has put a damper on me getting m series published. My priorities changed and my schedule got really messed up.
    I have noticed since lockdown that some people that I once loved to follow, have stopped posting at all, or are recycling old post…which I have done myself before… New writers have came and went but something I really have noticed it they don’t really interact the same way as when I first started blogging in 2017. The connection has changed so much.

    1. WordPress won’t auto-share to Instagram. I’m sure there’s a plug-in for that, but I’ve never tried looking.

      It seemed like back in 2017 there were a lot of people that started around the same time that were very interactive, but not many of those people are still around, or at least not around very much.

  19. I don’t think covid has changed my Internet use significantly. I still have the same habits and app or website preferences. What differs from week to week is how much time doing a particular thing.

    I have always tended to keep my social media accounts separate from my blog, but the underlying reason I use them for is the same: connection with people. Just different spheres, which I don’t want to cross, especially after a long ago “we first met on twitter” friend stalked me. We were connected on multiple platforms, so there was a lot of blocking I needed to do.

    My Facebook is for offline friends, mostly because that’s where we have asynchronous conversations, and share (virtual) event invites, or some interesting article. I’m however in a lot of Facebook groups for hobbies, to learn, including support groups which I know my parents and siblings are unlikely to find. Although I rarely write in most of those groups.

    Instagram is for a particular sphere of online friends who prefer photos with captions and emojis. I use it as a micro-blog especially when my energy levels are low. It’s a private account and I disconnected it from Facebook recently.

    I wander on Pinterest every once in a while, use it to collect and organise Dungeons and Dragons art.

    WordPress is def the app I check every day and try to read 3 blog articles at a time if I can. I genuinely enjoy reading blogs. Snce I’ve been so tired/depressed, I spend my limited energy on writing comments. I get cranky about how I aren’t sure how I’d write my next post hahaha. Maybe after this current major depressive episode lifts. I tend to dislike writing posts through the WordPress app and prefer to use my laptop to write. But then, I don’t like booting up my laptop when I’m depressed lol.

    I don’t use Twitter, don’t use Snapchat.

    where I write longer stuff.

  20. I have been facing different situations that might didn’t happened with me. 2020 was bad but when 2021 came ahead in my life it was a break from pandemic and i had a lot of fun by adventuring and the time came to know a little about myself. I moved on from a relationship and then go into a good life and yeah a enjoyable one.

    I am grateful to god so yeah. Here I go!!

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