SOCIAL MEDIA

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Pulling the plug on social media



Social media is always put into question, especially when it comes to our mental health. Many say that it is detrimental to our mental wellbeing, but others say it's been a lifeline for them. I've been on both ends of the spectrum, and in July I decided that I have had enough of feeling shitty on social media. So, I pulled the plug, here is what happened.



On the 1st of August, I deleted all social media from my phone in a challenge to not use them throughout the month of August. I managed 3 weeks social media free in the end, but boy was it was eye-opening.


The first thing I noticed was how much time I had, there was so much of it! So instead of scrolling for hours on end, I started studying, I started exercising, I started reading and I had a sudden urge of creativity. So I made a second blog and along with an identity crisis was ready to delete this blog and all of its social media. (Honestly, thank goodness for my mum and a friend who were telling me not to delete it all!) So I'm still here, hello! However, suddenly doing so much more with my day aside from looking at the lives of others, I began to feel a lot more satisfied with my own life. It didn't take long for me to feel happier. 


The second thing I realised was that I really don't care about 90% of the people that I follow on social media. So the first thing I did when I returned was to unfollow anyone who I didn't care about on Instagram, goodbye the Kardashians and other celebrities. It wasn't just that I genuinely don't care about these peoples lives, they were actually making me feel rather unhappy about mine. It wasn't until I cut social media out of my life that I realised how much these images of airbrushed and photoshopped women were making me feel. Suddenly to not be bombarded daily with these images of the ideal "perfect" looking women, I actually started to like what I saw in the mirror. Yes, there were better days than others but I wasn't able to constantly compare myself to others, the only person I could compare myself to was the reflection I had seen the day before. I was really liking this no social media thing. 


I also noticed how I measured so much of my worth on likes, especially on twitter. I've realised that I've become super needy of wanting to be liked within the mental health blogging community, for what reason, honestly I don't know. But with a step back I think I am learning that actually, I should be grateful for those that already appreciate me. Likes aren't everything, so why do I let them get to me so much, why do I allow that to affect my mental health? (I told you this process was eye-opening.)


So I'm saying how much I have loved leaving social media, why exactly have I decided to return then? I enjoy writing and blogging, and with that, a bit part of it is social media. For a while, I didn't want my social media to just become me promoting my blog posts, but so what if that's what they become? I have also changed the way I use social media, I've created another secret Instagram account where I don't follow anyone I know and I only follow accounts that make me happy, like van life accounts and accounts that share funny memes. It has made Instagram an enjoyable place to scroll through. 


I don't want to go back to being on my phone all the time, I've enjoyed actually living life away from social media, and I plan to continue with that. However, it doesn't have to be black or white, there are shades of grey, and I am slowly learning to live in the grey. 




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