Today I'm talking about the big ole world of 'Social Media' and how I feel about it. But before I rant on I just wanted to include a brief disclaimer; of course there are so many positives to social media and aspects that I and others really enjoy about it, this blog being one of them! Whether you're using it to draw inspiration or to communicate with a loved one that lives on the other side of the world it most definitely has massive upsides, however, if like me sometimes you need a bit of a reality check, reassurance or guidance on it's use the following tips may be of some to use to you...
As a blogger that mainly focuses on female beauty it's only natural that I keep up with the latest trends and influences so therefore a lot of my work involves regular use of social media for research, inspiration and promotional purposes, not to mention the occasional snoop and entertaining myself with funny dogs (I'm only human). This evening, like any other, I found my self getting lost in social media; constant scrolling, updating and refreshing and for the first time in quite a while I took a step back and fully reflected upon how this made me feel; the outcome wasn't at all positive...
'I wish my hair looked like that', 'I could never pull off that outfit', 'her skin is SO clear', 'dear lord that handbag probably cost a year's salary', 'I should probably go to the gym more', 'I uploaded that same photo and didn't get as many likes as that', these are just a choice selection of some of the statements/thoughts that occur during/following a standard social media 'scrolling mission'.
Now these may just sound like the ramblings of an insecure twenty-something and I can't apply this effect to everyone that uses social media, however after conversations with various friends I realised I'm not alone. Not only have I had these feelings first hand, I've noticed this daily from other social media users; just one example is the comments found on my own and other YouTube channels from subscribers who are disgruntled at their lack of a 'perfect body, face or life'. It seems social media has pushed us into a world where we're all comparing ourselves to everyone else a lot of the time rather than just focusing on ourselves and our own lives.
There's so many further questions I started to ask myself once I acknowledged the effect that it had had on me, I first looked to myself; why does this happen? Why do I feel like this? Have I always been like this? Am I jealous? Can I not be happy for others? Am I missing something? Am I taking social media too seriously? The list could and does go on.
I found myself searching for a mechanism to deal with these feelings when they arise so I've come up with a brief self help guide on how to prevent/combat these feelings when I encounter them; a 'Social Media Defence Guide' if you will. I've had this post written for so long and sometimes when I feel down I like to come back and read it...
Remember. Remember what actually makes you happy, remember that no one is perfect, remember that everyone has something they like about their self, remember that the majority of people work hard for what they have, remember you don't know what someone is going through, remember that you don't know exactly what someone's daily life involves and remember that everyone is not a threat.
Positive Outlook. Following on from my previous strategy and as a general rule in daily life, a good way of combating social media negativity is to view social media activity with a positive or neutral attitude, so, if Jane Bloggs with 400K Instagram followers is jetting off to the Bahamas with her designer bag and toned derriere try and keep negative thought processes at bay by remembering that she has probably worked hard to get there and that this should in no way what so ever make you feel inferior. Look toward the positives you have in your life. STOP THE COMPARISON. You are you and therefore will never be the same as anyone else. This counterproductive rut of thinking will only prevent you from being the best version of you you can be!
Turn off. This is quite an obvious one but let's be honest we don't NEED to be attached to our phones, laptops, tablets etc. 24/7 and it's certainly not imperative to surf, browse, scroll or click for hours. For me this is before going to sleep, a time usually when my mind tends to run wild and triggers me to feel bad about myself. As a result I've decided to focus my attention on other activities; reading, watching a good film, running a bath, going for a walk, maybe even talking to another human being (wild concept I know). I actually just posted a 'Beauty Sleep Aids' blog post on products that help me sleep too!
Sometimes getting lost in social media can obscure our priorities and what is ACTUALLY important. It's vital that we don't warp our perception, view or angle of social media; it's a bit like staring at a word for too long eventually it starts to look incorrect or different, take social media for face value and don't over think or process.
I think in a nut shell it all needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. Hopefully I'm not the only person to feel this way! What're your thoughts on it? I would really love to know how you feel in the comments over on