Articles

Taking a break from social media

At the end of November I decided to take a break from social media effective December 3rd 2021. This may sound oh-so-edgy but before I talk about my thoughts, what’s the background?

  • Fatigue – I was just tired of the relentless, endless scroll, not wanting to “miss out” on any content. Gradually this was just occupying too much of my time and I realised it was doing this. I was also experiencing seasonal end-of-year fatigue with my workload in my day job which while not totally overwhelming was an additional, significant mental toll.
  • Keeping up with online communities – I’m part of several wonderful online communities across social media, but I found I was becoming aggravated about not being able to be as active I’d have wanted to be (or perhaps that I felt I needed to be?) and that “fear of missing out” on discussions with interesting people on my wavelength was bothering me too.

Plus, I’m currently in a between-projects stage and I needed to make sure that time was spent more productively while also giving myself a welcome break that is pretty much a requirement at this time of year as things wrap up.

I decided to solution for this was to take an extended break from social media, in particular the three demons: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

This period of abstinence from those platforms didn’t count toward communications apps such as Messenger, WhatsApp and Discord, though I no longer allowed myself access to Instagram DMs as this function was baked into the main app.

Realising that I would be battling against habitual norms I took steps to implement my plan:

  • As I’d been quite active in the Bookstagram and Authorgram community – surprisingly so – I posted a message that I would be taking a break.
  • I deleted the apps for the respective services from my phone
  • I installed a Chrome plugin called StayFocusd with the intention of limiting my time on those social platforms.

This has been largely successful. I initially had planned to limit my access to the apps through the use of Screen Time on my Apple iPhone, while hiding the apps on a separate home screen but decided that this was needlessly-complicated so just removed the apps, and I’ve not been bothered to re-install them.

However, the quarantine from social media hasn’t quite been absolute as I omitted to remove Facebook, Twitter and Instagram from my iPad so I’ve had a few quick peeks on there. However I’ve not spent a lot of time on there, knowing this goes against the spirit of the challenge to myself, and while I may have had the odd little browse I have not interacted at all.

I’m really pleased I’ve tried this experiment as I’ve found I don’t miss the instant-access to social media that was proving a bit too magnetic. While I will be coming back to social media I will be coming back with these principles to preserve my wellness:

  • Notifications will be disabled. If I’m needed, I’m contactable by my website or email, or close contacts have my personal contact details.
  • I will limit my screen time to no more than an hour a day using the facilities on my phone and from StayFocused. I was particularly impressed StayFocusd; I set it to allow the least amount of time possible on the three social media websites (one minute across all restricted sites per day) and it has a comprehensive system in place to dissuade and stymie the urge to disable or reconfigure the extension which I found helpful.

I do hope this reflection is helpful to someone who might be in a similar position to me! Disconnecting is surprisingly hard – especially with online status notifications everywhere, which were a false alarm to those who knew I wasn’t actually active – but a worthwhile endeavour.

Articles

Nightmare Tenant 6-month anniversary Kindle Giveaway

I’m really thrilled to announce that Nightmare Tenant is 6 months old!

To celebrate this, you can get the book for free on Kindle from September 27th to October 21st 2021!

If you’re in the market for a High Rise inspired, Dr Who-esque horror tale, this may well be the story for you! Loads of characters, amazing concept and some pretty Final Destination style goings-on, Nightmare Tenant is nothing if not a fun, quirky spin on the haunted house trope you think you know so well. Hannah R. Palmer

Set in an old tower block, I found the visuals and descriptions were perfect in setting the scene in a place that’s been quickly tarted up! The author did a great job of having a variety of characters from all walks of life, alongside a sprinkle of humour throughout this thrilling horror story!

An excellent read and I can’t wait to see more from this author! Though I’m now put off from ever living in a tower block…Dan Hook

From the moment I read a short preview of this novel a few weeks back via the author’s Newsletter, I knew I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this and devour it as fast as I could. Needless to say, I finished this book in one sitting, it was such a page turner and I was desperate to find out what happened and the pages kept getting turned and that is a credit to the writing of Richard, who has excelled with creating suspense, tension and genuine horror in this wonderfully crafted novella.

I cannot wait for more of Richard’s works to come and will be eagerly awaiting the next book! Fully recommend this to anyone looking for a crisp, engaging and well written horror!Chris Kenny

Richard created an action-packed, spooky tale, a haunted house story but instead of a rambling building, it all takes place in a giant London tower block. He’s created a great, fully fleshed-out cast of characters. Richard does a great job of pulling you into the story using the main family in the story, so we really get a feel for their plight, and the adventure pulls you along to a rapid, scary finale! I will never be able to drive past a tower block again without remembering this story.Victoria Wren

The foreboding cover draws you in – so immediately you know you don’t want to live there. Atmospheric storytelling with everyday people. I’m used to reading about gothic houses, creepy Victorian settings but a tower block with a lift is a whole new experience.Cheryl Bennet

To claim your free copy please click HERE. While you’re here, if you subscribe to my monthly newsletter you’ll get these deals sent straight to your inbox! How exciting! You’ll also get exclusive access to the official precursor to Nightmare Tenant, Foundations!

Once you’ve read Nightmare Tenant, you can review it on Amazon or Goodreads – I’d love to know what you thought of it! I can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

Articles

Review: One Road In

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review*

One Road In is a stylish and pacy thriller from an author who has a true affinity for her genre. The cast of characters is intimate and close-knit, as is the setting – the anonymous seaside town of Rose Bay which, in the 1990s, hides a dark secret. We follow Sadie as she returns to Rose Bay to confront the past that she’d tried to escape from when an unexpected figure comes home.

The setting is unashamedly the 1990s, and Hannah seeds the time period effectively throughout the very DNA of this story. The alternating viewpoint – split the “present” in 1995 where Sadie confronts the past, and 1990, where the events that Sadie dreads to recollect are set in motion – and this is effective as the story unfolds. There’s a ominous mood throughout the book which I found gripping and had me reading to the last page to find out the true nature of the mystery.

The characters are tight and every one we meet has a meaning. Sadie and her friends Callie and Vedat are forced to confront the past through the events of the book with a growing sense of unease, with a twist at the end that is seeded earlier but the payoff is very satisfying, and the creepy, decrepit vibe through Rose Bay and the history is thick and enveloping. The story oozes tension and dread.

Hannah has an absolute verve and affinity for the thriller genre and One Road In shows she knows the conventions well, producing a taut and gripping thriller story that I thoroughly enjoyed. This is one of the greats and is a high-quality, suspenseful and impactful book I can’t recommend highly enough, from an author whose future work I’m sure to devour.

Rating: Highly Recommended

One Road In is available from Amazon as a Kindle eBook and paperback.

Discover Hannah Palmer and visit her website to learn more about her and subscribe to her newsletter!