This is a blog post idea I’ve been toying with for a while now. The topic of social media in everyday life hits us on a daily basis, with social media platforms getting scrutinised, bloggers getting judged left, right and centre, and the ongoing mental health crisis. I really wanted to write my thoughts down and get my feelings out there, in the hope that it inspires someone or sparks a healthy debate. So let’s go.
Social media has made it incredibly easy to connect with friends, stay up to date with current events, politics and celebrities and meet new people. It has become an easy way for us to express ourselves. But how much is too much? I’ve come to realise that I’m in a complicated relationship with social media. Complicated in the sense that there are days when I don’t know what I would do without it, and then there are the days I wish it never existed.
For me, social media is an inescapable outlet. I’ve been glued to my phone and social media platforms ever since I learnt my first abbreviation – “wuu2” ring any bells? I love the fact that not only is it a hobby of mine, but it has turned into a creative outlet and is beginning to pave a way for career opportunities and experiences I never even thought possible. I love being given the chance to work with amazing brands, communicate with incredible people and share my style and life with thousands of other people. However, this can spark all sorts of negativity. Of course, when it comes to a social media platform such as Instagram, I went in with eyes wide open – meaning I knew the love and appreciation I could receive from people, but I was also well aware of the scrutiny and horrible comments you can receive. I don’t know why these “trolls” think it’s acceptable to call people names and put people down because you never really know the impact you have on a person’s life, but that’s a conversation for another day.
It is also something I have now built a career out of, and I wouldn’t change a thing! Working for a number of different brands and companies over the last few years, I have been given the opportunity to do some amazing things with social media. But I must admit, going home after an 8 hour day only to sit on my phone and laptop to do the same thing all over again for my blog, has started to take its toll. I have been engrossed in this spider trap that is the world wide web. My eyes are blurry, time disappear before me and I am sucked into hours of endless scrolling and unavoidable comparison.
It’s come to a point where I’ve realised that it’s okay to take a break. After dealing with anxiety and depression for the last two years, it has become incredibly important for me to know when to take time out. Although sometimes I feel almost guilty for not posting on social media for long periods of time – here we go again with the vicious cycle of social media. It really does have an effect on mental health and work-life balance. But that’s just it. Finding the right amount of balance to suit you and your life. It’s okay to allow yourself a little bit of ‘me’ time. Turn off your phone, put away your laptop, enjoy a relaxing bath with a book or spend some time with your loved ones. Every day I am learning to love myself a bit more, and social media a little bit less. It’s never going away and will always be there so we need to learn to spend more time focusing on ourselves and less on everyone else.