Thoughts | A More Mindful Approach To Social Media

I recently went for coffee with one of my closest friends and remembered to ask her about the sudden disappearance of her Instagram account. Her response? She had deleted it because she wasn't enjoying having it anymore; it wasn't healthy for her. Hearing this has made me consider the impact social media usage has on my life, and the ways I can change this for the better.

The most significant effect I believe social media has on us as a population is in terms of comparison; comparing yourself and your life to those which you see on your feeds. One click onto a social media site and your eyes are greeted by the highlight reels of peoples lives. Instagram in particular can lead you to believe that each morning girls are jumping out of fairy-light adorned beds wearing satin pj's and heading downstairs to eat avocado on toast against a white marble background. The reality? They're practically rolling out of bed wearing an over-sized tee with toothpaste stains and are going to eat coco-pops in a messy kitchen. But of course we don't see that aspect of peoples lives, we only see the perfect 'Instagram lifestyle'. 

We also strive for unattainable perfection. There is such a pressure for our lives to be 'Instagram worthy' in order to impress people who are, let's be honest, a bunch of strangers. If I'm completely honest, there have been a number of blog photo sessions which have left me in tears because I've been unable to attain the perfection that we see across social media. Youtube is at a significant level of fault for continuing this idea of perfection, in my mind. It's full to the brim of 'What I Eat In A Day' or 'My Morning Routine' videos where the lifestyles being shown are so primed and polished, in order to make them worthy of social media, they barely resemble the persons actual life. 

So what am I going to do to change the way social media ideals consume my life? 

As harsh at it sounds, I have unfollowed those who have feeds which - no matter how gorgeous - bring me down and followed those who build me up mentally. I'm a fan of instagram feeds that may not follow a theme; the more higglidy piggldy the better for me. I like instagram feeds that show personality, those that don't just show polished flatlays and perfect selfies. As a
blogger, unfollowing people is not something I enjoy doing at all but it's important to identify when you need to put yourself first even if it does seem 'rude'. Twitter is a much easier one to tackle thanks to the mute button. 

I'm also striving to continue to make my own social media accounts, and my blog,  realistic and honest. There's a lot of pressure for bloggers to put on the perfection charade in order to be 'successful'. After all, the vast majority of hugely influential content creators are those who share their 'perfect' lives on social media. It's become the done thing to have flat lays coming out of your ears and to have every photo as brightened as Simon Cowell's teeth. But blogging is about sharing personal experiences, views and reflections based on our actual lifestyles, not our lifestyles when you look through rose-tinted glasses. 

In the past few days, when accessing social media sites, I've made an effort to be more mindful of my usage of social media. My new mantra for when I'm scrolling through my phone is "these are merely appearances, nothing more". 

What is your view on the impact social media can have on us?

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I totally agree. I had to delete Twitter for a while because pictures of beautiful women kept coming up on my feed and I felt insanely jealous (and I was hardly eating and working out a lot to try to obtain that 'slim thick' ideal). It is great to check in with yourself and see if social media is still something positive in your life