How are you? I mean how are you doing? Really, I am concerned. Last month after seeing #TheGramSham posts I realised I have delayed this post for way too long. Look up this hashtag on Instagram if you are unsure of what it is about. I thought about it in February when everyone including myself was extremely broke after trying to splurge through the festive season because everyone online was doing it right? The pressure to have what everyone has, to live how others live, to do what they do, to even pose like someone else you follow. Is it too much? Is it causing you anxiety or depression or just plain down dampening your spirits?
#TheGramSham started by Jo Lurie re-emphasized what I already knew to be true. Social media is just the curated version of life we want to share with others. The things that give us joy, pleasure and what we love. What goes on in the background, the blood, sweat and tears is barely shown. Yes, the title was click bait because I genuinely want as many people to read this as possible. I want to truly know how you feel and see if I can help or make a difference to what I post as well.
Years ago, when Facebook started and I got it, I was consumed by it. I spent so much time on it I started to ignore the people around me. I was always told I spent too much time on my phone and I think I slipped into a kind of depression (I cannot confirm as I was sixteen and it’s quite some time ago). There was a lot going on in my life that may have affected me but I would not ever let go off my phone. Thinking back it may have been the cause for my unhappiness. Feelings became statii and my thoughts were all shared online; things that got me into trouble too. LOL.
Fast forward(I am not going to reveal how many years) to the current day. I found myself being engrossed in social media, be it Instagram or Twitter or sometimes Facebook. I spent so much time online and I think it made me unproductive. I don’t know how the other bloggers do it but I have not yet learnt the art of time management. I also find myself wanting more and more things, I am not materialistic by nature but I see all these new releases and experiences and I yearn to have it. It’s not always but it is often enough to make me rethink, do I want to be apart of this medium that basically spreads lust?
Lust and greed for many things, be it beauty products or a flight to Bali or just a freaking massage. Yes, all these things would be great and one day I will have it. Ambition and goals are quite necessary but when we cannot have it now or in the near future, do we feel less adequate or undeserving? I have always practiced ceiling on desires, basically it means to desire less; to identify between what you want and what you need. Desires can be good in a sense, but the more you have the more you want, am I correct? Things will not fill the void or make you permanently happy, well they haven’t done that for me. (Wine and food does though, lol.)
But back to my main point, is social media really ruining our lives?
The next few questions are my own and I want you to answer it to yourself honestly.
- Do you feel good/bad when scrolling through Instagram?
- Do you feel bad when you see someone on holiday while you are working or studying?
- Do you feel bad when you see someone posting about their expensive products that you cannot afford?
- Do you feel bad when you see someone with perfect skin, hair and make up while you struggle with yours?
- Do you feel pressure to get as many things, go to as many places or look 100% perfect when you see people online do this?
- Do you feel the need to share what you do so that others think your life is great and not boring?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, social media may have more of an impact on you than you think; most people know this already. I am no psychologist, but if something does not make you feel better why would you use it? I take regular breaks from Instagram every now and then for my own sanity. It becomes too much so I try my best to take a week or so off. But is this enough? Time will tell I guess… If it weren’t for my blog I would spend way less time online(so I say).
I have unfollowed anyone who makes me feel like I am inferior or never does not post things that inspire me. Why would I follow anyone that doesn’t bring value to my life? Please stop following people you hate; it makes no sense. It is my platform; I choose to edit it how I want, so can you! Your mental health is so much more important. Negative comments is also so unnecessary, simply unfollow boo, stop spreading hate!
Last week the internet was down for 2 whole days; everyone was on edge. Everything we do is online, music, information, even my blog is online. However I enjoyed this break from everyone online and it helped me to refocus, sometimes I unintentionally get consumed in what others are doing. Do you even calculate how much time you spend on social media? I don’t but I know it was quite a bit, almost all the time to be honest.
Since I cut back on how much time I spend online: I have been reading, exercising and just doing more constructive things with my time. I feel much happier about my life and I feel much more connected to those around me. It annoys me when someone next to me is glued to their phone while I am having a conversation with them. Even at an event; I do my best to interact with people in the real world even though it is my job to document everything on social media.
I do my best to keep it real and honest with my followers all the time. I always speak about embracing your flaws, trusting your journey and hustling! But sometimes I forget and I apologize if anything I post makes it seem as though I am living the best life ever, because it’s not; but no one wants to be a negative nancy on social media. Social media is not a terrible place; that is not what I mean at all. It can be a positive place; I have found it to be very inspiring mostly and I have met wonderful people through it. I am aware of both sides of it; good and bad.
How do you feel about social media? How does it make you feel? I would love to know in the comments; even if you disagree with me, let me know.