I've recently realised I'm addicted to social media.
I mean really, who isn't these days? Practically everyone I know is on Facebook, uses Twitter to get up-to-date information, and shows off how wonderful their lives are on Instagram. And as for Snapchat, that dog filter has become iconic. Social media has become an integral part of life. We wake up and check our social medias. We go to bed and check them before we sleep. And we periodically and repetitively keep checking on them all day long, refreshing screens to show us the things we've missed in the last 5 minutes.
However, for every good thing social media has bought me, such as contact with family and loved ones, it also brings me abundance of negativity. Negativity is contagious on Facebook. There is always someone airing their dirty laundry, bitching and moaning, and creating a breeding ground of negative vibes. These negative vibes are infectious, and can be a serious downer on our moods, yet we subject ourselves to this on a daily basis.
It's not only negative vibes bringing us down on social media. FOMO is real. FOMO (the fear of missing out) proves that nothing makes you feel more miserable than seeing all your friends having fun without you. And even though this might not even be true, social media amplifies this feeling, and makes you feel forgotten. We are constantly reminded that our lives are not as good, or exciting, or successful as the next person who comes along, and it's such a terrible feeling. But we are all guilty of trying to make ourselves standout, and boast about how wonderful we are to try and gain a bit of approval from others. I post on Instagram and hope I get enough likes that the names turn to numbers. I hope my Facebook status' get more likes than anyone else's. I edit my photos so I look better, or to emphasise my surroundings. Am I doing these things because enjoy doing it, or is it much deeper than this? Could it be that I base my worth on the acceptance of my peers. If so, then how do I get away from this?
My love/hate relationship with social media is too ingrained to escape. I'll admit that I do enjoy posting photos and updates, but I'm always conscious of what other people think, and read into, what I post. And perhaps it's all too ironic that my chosen form of expressing these feelings is by blogging now. Maybe there is no escape, and no way to discern between posting things to boost my peer-assessed self-worth and the things I post because I gain pleasure from them and enjoy doing so. Maybe the line is too thin between these two conflicting narratives for why I use these websites, but one thing is certainly true; I use them too much.
I'm fed up of watching my life through a screen, so I'm turning mine off. Well, at least for a few hours a day. I debated deleting a few social medias (I all but said goodbye to Snapchat and Instagram), before I realised my problem lied predominantly in moderation. I'm not going to go cold-turkey and block out social media completely; it's almost become essential to our modern way of living. Instead, I'm going to adapt my way of living, so I'm not waking up every morning and staring with bleary eyes at my bright phone screen, only to learn more useless information about celebrities. And trust me, I feel like I know far too much about Taylor Swift, more than I will ever be proud of. I'm cutting down on my social media time, and will be spending more time looking at the world with my own eyes.
It's time to stop endlessly scrolling through newsfeeds, filling my brain with more unnecessary information, whilst constantly seeking approval and showing off to impress people on social media. I'm going to embrace the world and find my own happiness, somewhere other than endlessly looping between the same social media apps on my phone.
(And yes, I will be posting this to Facebook and Twitter. This is something which certainly falls into the pleasure and enjoyment category rather than the attention seeking one.)
Much love ♥