Interviews / Mental Health

Mary Skinner Quit TikTok to Preserve Her Inner Peace

With the pandemic In full effect, Mary Skinner turned to TikTok to remedy her boredom. Little did she know that a full career would emerge from that casual whim. “I started posting during COVID with no real intention behind it,” she admits. “I just wanted to pass the time and enjoy myself during the lockdowns and quarantines. I was honestly quite surprised when people started following along, but it was also so exciting to me. I grew up during a Youtube boom, so as a teen, I thought creators were so cool. I never expected to find myself creating content myself. It took a long time to build my platforms to what they are today. I was posting 3-5 times a day every single day before I made any money off of social media or was able to even consider pursuing it seriously. Eventually, there came a point in 2021 where I realized I was actually a content creator – maybe it sounds silly, but it snuck up on me! Over a year and a half after I started posting, I left my job as a writer and editor for the DoD in order to pursue social media. I’m so glad I did – it felt scary and like such a risk, but over the years, I feel I’ve been blessed with such a cool, interesting, unique, lively community of people that I get to hang out with every single day online.” Her feed is a reflection of the life she’s living – and apparently, so many others, too. “I didn’t come into content creation with a plan, and I definitely don’t think I’m wise enough to give advice on most things. However, I do share my journey and my authentic experiences, and that has morphed into my own blend of content. I mostly just share what’s immediately relevant to me and my life, and I’ve been so lucky to find that other people are going through similar things.”

This new trajectory was unexpectedly mired down by a psychological nose dive. Mary soon found herself at a difficult crossroads. She has plenty of insights on why she quit TikTok. “The short answer? Because it was bad for me. The long answer? It was ruining my attention span, making me irritable, robbing me of sleep, and constantly sucking me in. I had such a bad TikTok addiction that I was basically left with no choice than to seriously re-evaluate my relationship with the app. I imagine it’s different for different people, but TikTok became an app that I just couldn’t engage with in a healthy way. I’ve heard other people say similar things about Instagram, Pinterest, etc, so I think it’s highly individualistic. I had to make the hard choice to put my health first and step away for my own wellbeing. I don’t regret it at all! Social media addiction is such a real problem these days, and I hope that by leaving TikTok, I can help inspire other people to redefine their relationships with social media.” Her mental health recovered and her outlook was refreshed. Gone was the cacophony of her for you page. “All of my issues with it started reversing. I started sleeping better because I wasn’t spending hours every night mindlessly scrolling in bed. My attention span healed – I started pursuing slower hobbies like textile arts and reading. My mood and mindset improved, because I stopped doomscrolling.” She had to become innovative in order to compensate for the resulting gap. “There were also challenges. As a content creator, I had to seriously rethink my content and business and pivot into new strategies. Occasionally I feel out of the loop, because the trend cycle on TikTok is so fast that you have to be on the app a lot in order to keep up. But honestly, I think that’s good for me. I don’t want to live my life dependent on trends, or fall into ruts with my business. I think my creativity has improved a lot too.”

Mary is also thriving in different media formats like her podcast, Prologues, which lays her emotions bare. “Prologues is basically my digital journal. No topic is off-limits, and each episode is like a snapshot into what I’m feeling, going through, loving, struggling with, and experimenting with in any given week. It’s truly like peeking into my brain every week, or at least, the brain of a 25 year old woman just trying to figure things out. It’s a positive, yet raw place. It’s my favorite platform, because long-form content is such a good way to really get deep and honest.” The next year holds countless enticing promises. “I will definitely be expanding and growing Prologues and continuing to nurture it. I also want to continue to live my life with as much mindfulness as possible, say yes to opportunities that scare me, and lay the groundwork for future projects and passions. I’m also moving to Scotland this year, so settling into my new home and exploring will be a beautiful challenge. I think my biggest priority is just balancing growth with self care, and entering the last half of my 20s as smoothly as possible!” What better way to tackle change than with literal new horizons?

Read more Celebrity Interviews on
Mary Skinner Quit TikTok to Preserve Her Inner Peace. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Mary Skinner.

Digital Online Fashion Magazine | Free Fashion Magazine | Best Lifestyle Blog