The wonderfuI world of Social Media!!.
I recently reviewed my own relationship with social media by having a bit of a ‘detox’ for a few days. At first it was a little tricky , I would find myself with my phone in my hand looking at the first page of Instagram before I had even realised what I was doing. This soon went after a couple of days and whilst I did miss my daily dose of Donald Trumps tweets!!, I didn’t feel like I had lost an arm or was hugely missing out on anything!. A couple of years ago I successfully managed to come off Facebook with hardly blinking an eye, so I kind of knew it wasn’t going to be a huge problem for me.
When I thought about it, what it boiled down to was I was wasting a huge amount of time scrolling through the little squares, more from habit than gaining anything from the content I was looking at. Half the time I think I must have been glazed over, just going through the motions. I also noticed that I was using it as a distraction from what was going on in my own life, rather than think about my situation I would run to the little squares and lives of people I didn’t know or loose myself in the latest political scandal on Twitter.
Why did I decide to detox from Social Media?
Mainly it was over use. I recognised that I was over using Instagram, not only was it not very good for my spending habits!.. as I follow a lot of fashion bloggers, but it was also starting to invade everything I was doing. I found myself seeing everything through the camera lens on my phone and it was almost taking away from the moment itself. The self-imposed pressure of everything being a photo opportunity , then the decision of what filter to use!.. then the hashtags!. Sounds ridiculous but it did become consuming, especially for me as it had become my escape from what I was going through.
Another reason is , I was also finding it quite upsetting, seeing pictures of my friends that I didn’t get chance to say goodbye to, my gym that I could no longer go to, my favourite restaurants that were no longer accessible to me, my whole Instagram feed was representative of a life and experiences I had lived over the past 20 years that I no longer had access to and rather than it bring me comfort and a sense of familiarity, it was adding to my already increased anxiety created by the new situation, and reminding me of a life that was effectively taken from me overnight.
What did I learn from it?.
As short as my social media break was, I really enjoyed it, I enjoyed the anonymity. I enjoyed my privacy, I enjoyed that no one knew where I was or what I was doing, and I was also detached from knowing about them. My time was my own again and I was living in the moment. Only being a recent convert to Twitter and not really using it in any depth, I didn’t miss this at all really, I certainly didn’t miss the conflict. I struggle with conflict and aggression at the best of times and I have been shocked to see the way in which some people speak to others on Twitter, it’s definitely a no holes barred environment , and not for the faint hearted.
As a result of this I can honestly say I have never felt better about using social media than what I do now. I am fully in control of what I see and what don’t see and I am back in control of the amount of times I spend aimlessly scrolling through.
You are in control.
You are in control of what you see and don’t see on social media and how this makes you feel. One of the lovely fashion bloggers I follow had a little rant the other day , she had been getting quite a negative response from some people because of a handbag she had bought and how much she had paid for it, her response was, if what she is doing or buying was making you feel bad about yourself then unfollow her. Its that simple!.
We have all been there, and this is a small part of why I closed my Facebook account a couple of years ago, you end up in a position that half the people on your account annoy the hell out of you , but un-friending them is just too much hassle!, so instead you end up just getting wound up each time they post something , then you have the other half who comment on all of your pictures and act like your best friend then leave you hanging when you say hello to them in the street!!!. It just wasn’t for me anymore.
The people you follow on social media should be inspiring you, making you feel good, uplifting you, so with that being said … why are so many people looking at their partners ex , or their ex partner , or their ex partners new partner … the list goes on!.
I briefly touched on this in another post but shortly before Christmas there was a meeting of the minds on social media. Well I use that term very loosely. Two people who have never met before and who’s only common interest at the time was a complete disdain for me came together over social media. One of them was from my past , the other one was someone who I trusted deeply. Anyway, a beautiful friendship was born based on the bitter exchange of untruths about me. I was made privy to some of these heartfelt exchanges, and I was surprised to discover that the person from my past knew the ins and outs of my Instagram in more detail that I did, I wasn’t even aware that this person was on Instagram , let alone being my biggest fan!
This was a little unnerving at first, and my immediate thoughts were to try to look for the account and block them, however I actually didn’t, I didn’t give it more than five minutes of my time. Why should I do their work for them?, why should I do their moving on for them?, they obviously had issues they needed to come to terms with and resolve, and despite being given numerous opportunities to confront me about them over the telephone or in person over the years, they have chosen not to , so this is their deal. Not mine. With regards to the other person involved , I was just in complete shock and disbelief, the level of betrayal actually scared me and I realised that I could no longer maintain communication on any level for my own mental and emotional wellbeing.
I am sure that their social media friendship is flourishing on the solid foundations it was born. No, not the old-fashioned kind of friendship based on honesty and integrity , but the kind born out of virtual ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ and a mutual dislike for someone else!. I wish them all the best.
Its called ‘morbid’ curiosity for a reason.
We all know the people we should be avoiding on social media, its caring enough about ourselves and our own wellbeing that enables us to do it. You know social media is the passive aggressive’s dream. People who are of limited emotional intelligence and incapable of expressing themselves generally do so through grand statements on social media. How many times have you noticed that someone is no longer visible in your friend list and its only three weeks down the line when you find out through someone else that you did or said something to offend them?!!.
I realise that it can be quite tricky to completely avoid someone initially as you may have friends or family who ‘follow’ or ‘friend’ this person , if that’s the case just tell them you don’t want to know. Of course you cannot dictate , but just tell them not to tell you what they post, tell them the reasons why and if they love and care for you they will respect your wishes. If not then I am afraid that person need to go too! (I know I am getting pretty ruthless in my old age ;-))
I am focused on moving forward and looking after me. I am not interested in finding out about people’s lives who are not in mine or who I know don’t wish me well. Social media isn’t real life! and sometimes we need a reminder of that.
You need to take care of yourself and ensure that you are equipped to deal with ‘real life’, because believe me when I say this, you can be swimming in a sea of diamonds one minute and all of a sudden find yourself swimming in a sea of shit the next!, wondering how the hell you got there and how the hell your going to get out of it, the key is to be able to keep swimming!, and you can’t do that if you keep on being weighted down by your unhealthy social media habits.
You can choose to be happy or you can choose to keep hurting yourself.
Everything starts with you. You can choose to make the decision to put yourself first or last.
I gave up alcohol in January which has really helped to keep me focused. I am not saying I wont ever drink again, but I for now I recognise it’s the right thing to do.
I have been keeping a journal that my wonderful friend bought for me to help me to see some positive in each day and change my mindset and that is really helping to collate thoughts and look at things in a different way.
Another very dear friend of mine recommended I try a different style of yoga which I now try to do at least twice a week and this has helped me immensely, being around people who are focused on self-improvement and mindfulness, it has really heightened my awareness of people’s energy and the kind of energy I want to surround myself with.
All off these things six years ago I would have traded off for a bottle of wine and a snoop around social media…so coming from someone who has now lived both ….. WINE AND SOCIAL MEDIA ARE NOT THE ANSWER!!…definitely not , no no no, never ever ever. You are the gatekeeper to your own life and you choose who and what you let in and this includes virtually too!.
Here are my ten golden rules for ‘Sanity on Social Media!’.. and a few fun observations too!
- Only follow people who make you feel good about yourself – as well as personally this also goes for, fitness professionals, celebrities, if anyone is making you feel inadequate – UNFOLLOW.
- Dont use it as a revenge tool – be respectful, respect yourself and respectful of your relationships. Past and Future. There is a time and a place for declarations, and if your feeling like social media is the right place, it’s probably the wrong time.
- Likes are not a representation of your worth.
- Someone not liking your post dosen’t mean they don’t like you !!.. they may just be busy living ;-). Chill out.
- You don’t have to post it to prove it. Genuinely happy people don’t usually have to tell everyone how happy they are EVERY damn day!.
- Tidy your bedroom before taking that selfie.
- Find a better place than the toilet for that selfie.
- Make sure your partner is not cheating on you before declaring them the ‘best husband/boyfriend/wife/girlfriend … EVER…. 🙂
- Maybe Just to be safe ..don’t declare anyone the best/husband/boyfriend/ etc..etc. EVER! 🙂
- HAVE FUN!. Dont make social media a dark place for yourself. We are stuck with it and it is quite fun… ENJOY in a healthy way. xx