Social media has transformed how society functions in our every day lives. So from this day on, I’ll be using social media more intentionally.
There are plenty of articles and scientific data and conversations regarding how social media is affecting humans all around the world. But I’d like to share my own personal story with you regarding the ups and downs of social media in my 26 years of life.
Ok, I wasn’t online for the first half of my time on earth so we can talk about the second half, post MySpace that is.
I don’t even know where to start. Maybe the good things about it?
The internet has given us unbelievably easy access to so much information in like .2 seconds. And just like that, you can go online right now and share what you’re eating for dinner or how cute your dog is or your perfectly-put-together outfit of the day. (or should I say #OOTD for those of you youngsters?)
But for almost every good thing in the world, there’s also a bad that comes along with it. And social media is no exception to this unfortunate truth.
The amount of toxicity online is unfathomable. It also depends on who you ask.
I’m sharing this because I’m one of the people who’s fallen victim to themselves.
Growing up, I don’t remember ever comparing myself to others, or wishing I looked like someone else, or envying another girl for any reason. I can’t pin point the time that that changed but it did. The societal pressures began brewing inside me so fast that I didn’t even get a chance to stop them.
I compare my life to others’ because of what I see online. I mean, how could I not? The celebrity profiles I follow, the influencers thriving in their fields and everyone’s highlight reels are just one click away from me. It became about how many likes I could get on a selfie or wondering if it would even be worth posting because what if no one “likes” it? The validation that is required has been hurting my self-esteem and overall confidence in myself.
I deactivated Facebook a long time ago because all my “friends” that I had on there barely talked to me. (Although I wasn’t really interacting with them either so…) I realized I was wasting my time scrolling and scrolling with no end in sight.
More recently, I’ve thought about deleting all my other accounts too, which really only include Instagram and Snapchat. (Twitter is huge for me since I run a Taylor Swift fan account so that’s not going anywhere!)
There are times I go online just to see if someone else is online. What kind of life is that? Waiting for someone who probably isn’t wondering about me? I’ve become victim to feeling like social media is everything and without it, I’m nothing. Like I don’t have value if I don’t get enough attention.
I’ve forgotten how to live freely because I’m a social media prisoner.
The most insane part about all of this is that I’ve let it affect my mental health. Anxiety has always been a part of me and unfortunately, social media can sometimes fuel it.
Anxious thoughts of not being pretty enough, not followed by enough people, and seeking attention in all the wrong ways just kept going.
It took me a long time but I finally realized I don’t have to let the internet imprison me the way I had let it. I could use it to my advantage instead, in a healthier, more positive manner.
So, I decided to use social media more intentionally from this moment forward.
I’ve already gone through most of the accounts I follow on Instagram and removed the ones don’t bring me joy. I’m using that KonMari method, but on social media! You can read about how I used the KonMari method and how it’s a lot more than just tidying up.
I plan on sharing more positive and motivating quotes to inspire others. I’d like to share my writing and be more personal with my followers. I’m a human on the other side of the screen and I want to be treated as such.
But this isn’t just about me. I also need to genuinely interact with my followers because isn’t that what social media means? It means to be social by commenting on their photos. It means making connections, asking each other questions, challenging ourselves and learn from our friends online.
But my other challenge is limiting my time online. If I need to set a scheduled time to socialize online, then that’s what I gotta do.
My time is too valuable to be spent watching everybody else use theirs.
I’ll also be working on being mindful of my anxiety when I’m online, not letting it drive my thoughts or feelings about myself. This transition won’t be easy but as Taylor once said “nothing safe is worth the drive”.
About 90% of the time, others will not care as much as I do about what I post. Most people today will judge you no matter how perfect your selfie is. So, why do I keep letting this get into my head and cause myself harm? All it takes is more positive energy and being kind to others online.
Thank you for reading and I hope you value your time and use social media to share your joys and accomplishments (and even those delicious food pics) with he world!