Hello my lovely readers. Happy New Week! I hope this blog post finds you well?! It’s been a busy old Monday here in Liverpool, but I just had to take the time to put finger to keyboard this morning.
So, I personally have been using social media since the Myspace days of 2005 back at Uni and do believe it’s here to stay. I also had a Facebook stint between circa 2008 – 2015 before joining the Instagram platform (where I’ve always had a public account) back in 2014.
Despite our love and dare I say slight addiction to these online platforms/sites, being able to cope with the negatives they bring is just crucial to our mental wellbeing! So, without further a do – go grab yourself a cuppa and let’s get to it!
Here are my 5 top tips of how to survive online!
Remember that ‘comparison is the thief of joy’. ‘Jenny’ might just have just landed her dream job as an air hostess or ‘Dave’ may have just had his dream kitchen fitted. We’re sat passively scrolling and feel that sudden ping of the green eyed monster or think to ourselves ‘she/he’s so lucky’. But chances are they worked really hard for those things. Perhaps Jenny had multiple career changes before this opportunity landed, perhaps she suffered numerous rejections and had a gazillion obstacles to face. Perhaps Dave has been working extra shifts at work, has sacrificed a holiday for the last 5 years, perhaps it was an insurance pay-out from a tragedy and the kitchen is a distraction. We didn’t see that whole behind the scenes stuff, we just saw the end result.
Allow me to quote one of my favourite Philosophers: ‘ Jealousy is both reasonable and belongs to reasonable men, while envy is base and belongs to the base, for the one makes himself get good things by jealousy, while the other does not allow his neighbour to have them through envy’ – Aristotle.
Let’s use what we see, tap into the skills we have – or perhaps look at where we could learn something new – and work hard to achieve our own goals and aspirations. Let’s reflect on what it is about people’s online posts that make us feel this way? Write the answers to these questions in a journal. Transform those answers into goals and shift that mindset. There will always be people who seem better off than you, but it’s all too easy to see it at face value and take everything you have in life for granted!
Limit your time on social media – I cannot stress this enough! A time and a place! Live in the real world a little, ignite the senses, enjoy the moment. I use iPhone analytics and have reminders pop up that basically tell me my time on social media is up today, don’t get me wrong I sometimes have to disregard that reminder (say I need to do my ‘My House this month’ share or I HAVE to recommend a Netflix series) but it’s a handy tool/reminder to have in place.
Having the internet at our finger tips is both a blessing and a curse. Maybe scrolling Instagram isn’t what we should be doing in the hospital waiting room anxiously awaiting news, or a busy supermarket queue or train commute on a Monday morning (before you’ve even had your first coffee of the day). Why not instead listen to some music, enjoy an inspiring podcast, or even read a book! I stopped posting/scrolling as much as I used to & I fell in love with social media all over again. People often assume because it’s kind of my job now I’m on there all day, every day! Simply not the case! Dare I say I’m on it less now than I used to be working full time in finance with a young baby (although I am still forever grateful it kept me company/reduced the loneliness during those long breastfeeding stints).
Protect yourself – Unfollow/mute anyone that doesn’t inspire you, empower you, you can’t relate to or makes you feel a bit rubbish! Even if you’ve followed each other for 5 years. As we get older, we grow and circumstances do change and people drift apart. If it was ‘real life’ and you wanted to take a step back from spending so much time with that person, you simply wouldn’t initiate meeting up/talking as often would you? You don’t need to see their every move online. Luckily we can exercise some control over how much or little we see of it on Instagram. It’s called looking after your mental health….
Also – block any accounts you simply don’t like the look of. Instagram account name ‘HDHUHD7BV’, no profile picture, no posts, followers 4 (likely bots) and following 9 accounts including little old me?! Doesn’t exactly scream genuine does it?!
Use social media for good – let’s talk about those unspoken issues, let’s fundraise and raise awareness for charities and causes we believe in – let’s have real talk. I could not share Author Matt Haig enough! I’m guilty of sharing *a few* empowering/mental wellbeing posts for myself as well as anyone else really, but turns out they were really bringing comfort to my own mum! 😊
You do you online – there really is no manual here on what to photograph, vlog talk about, tweet! Everyone shares snippets of their lifestyle/journey in a way they feel comfortable with. There are so many parts of my life I don’t share online, as they are for me! Don’t feel pressured what to share/what not to share because someone else is/isn’t. It’s your space after all! And wouldn’t life be boring if we were all the same?! You don’t owe it to anyone to share every aspect of your life. Don’t feel pressured to post every day either. I genuinely don’t believe it’s necessary and instead puts undue pressure on you!
If you are struggling a little online, and want to find that balance, I hope this brings you a little comfort. Please remember that social media is NOT a metric for happiness!
Can you relate?
As always, thanks for reading.
Until next time,