Family, Lifestyle, Society

Running the social media gauntlet

Gone are the days where we post a takeaway coffee or a meal from the beefeater on our instagram feed with #dinner or #caffeine, simply snapping away a nice view on our commute, our breakfast/lunch/dinner, or maybe a random pigeon. Social media was casual, it was laid back, we didn’t really have an aesthetic and our feed certainly wasn’t colour or theme coordinated, well mine definitely wasn’t. In my instagram infancy I posted baby pictures of my second born with raging cradle cap, cupcakes and christmas decor. What we have now is a showreel of unnattainable life, beauty and home standards that regular people such as you or I simply cannot compete with. Our feed a magazine of attempts at perfection, whilst we hide our eye bags and unbrushed hair in our stories if we have the courage to. And we are slowly being realistic about our social media and how it doesn’t resemble our day to day, although we are still a while away from popping our stack of dirty dishes on the grid with #cannotbearsed.

We live in a world where social media is brand new and with new shiny things come learning curves, and so far in the decade or so since the birth of today’s social media we have gone from posting what we fancy, to insta-worthy selfies, full glam with designer brands, snaps of immaculate homes and beautifully turned out children right through to the realisation that this curation of images we contribute to, scroll through and aspire to, could actually be incredibly harmful to our mental health, and our bank balances. A well known influencer once said that she uses her instagram feed as a morning newspaper, one in which she controls the content, and includes only content that contributes positively to her lifestyle and mental health. I think we could all benefit from a social media feed cleanse with this in mind, viewing only content that makes us happy rather that starting our day with a coffee and a knock to the self worth.

I’ve started my day today with a social media cleanse, unfollowing accounts that I don’t find relatable and attempting to curate a feed that brings me joy. There was a time that I felt the need to follow every popular influencer, blogger or youtuber but it’s not healthy and encourages us to compare lifestyles and feel inadequate.

My own personal experience is that I found myself a couple of years ago trying to maintain an image on social media that simply wasn’t realistic. I was posting pictures of the children on beach trips and although I’ve never been a regular or consistent poster/uploader I was getting divorced in my real life and attempting to parent 4 children in a global pandemic when the world was shut and posting on Instagram like I didn’t have a care in the world. It’s not good for mental health and who are we doing it for? 113 likes from random people on the internet? When looking at my social media presence, I hadn’t uploaded here on this blog for over 2 years, I hadn’t posted onto my Instagram grid in over a year, and you know what? It’s actually been lovely not worrying about having to post something so I was uploading consistently. I certainly feel better with a healthier usage and consumption of social media, don’t get me wrong I didn’t delete the app, I’ve still watched all of Mrs Hinch’s adventures and kept up with creators by watching their stories just without feeling obligated to share when I didn’t feel I had anything positive to share.

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