Over the last month, my relationship with social media has changed. Whereas once upon a time, heading on to Twitter to express my concerns over something, finding comfort in scrolling aimlessly through hundreds of tweets and just generally, zoning out of real life was my solace but now, I find myself… resenting that very thing. And it’s not only Twitter, don’t worry Twitter bby, I’m not singling u out. Some days, I can’t bare to look at Instagram and the thought of going on Facebook? Oh, hell no. My relationship with social media has changed. But why?
It’s no secret that I struggle massively with self esteem and self doubt problems. I wrote a pretty long and extensive post about that here. And on my bad days, being on social media can make it worse but of course, that’s not uncommon. But I only really noticed, I mean noticed how much of a negative impact social media was having on me last month. When you’re faced with beautiful people, gorgeous blogs, immaculate photography every single day it can be hard not to feel a little shite about yourself. Add crippling self doubt, rock-bottom self esteem and ripping yourself and every aspect of your being apart at every chance you get on top of that, well… that’s just a recipe for disaster really, isn’t it?
I know, I know, you shouldn’t compare someone’s “highlight reel” to your “every day” or however the saying goes but you can compare your selfies to someone else’s selfies. You can compare your blog to someone else’s blog. You can compare your photography to someone else’s photography. You can compare your success to someone’s else’s success. It may seem such a stupid, futile thing to some people but the longer I’ve been on social media and blogging, the more I’ve noticed now negatively affected I am by the stupidest little things that we rely on to gain self-worth. Like likes on a selfie or comments on a blog post. I’m focusing more and more on these insignificant little things and it’s not making me happy.
On a particular bad day a few weeks ago, I can’t remember what triggered it but it resulted in me having a huge rant on Twitter then abandoning social media for the rest of the day. It also resulted in me crying in the bathroom whilst I was trying to have a nice day with my boyfriend on his rare day off. It resulted in me mentally ticking off everything I hated about myself, everything that I wasn’t compared to other people. Everything I wish I was better at, everything I’ve done wrong, every way in which I am failing. To someone who has a pretty good grasp on their self worth, this may seem silly. And man, I am glad that you find that silly because that means you probably have never experienced these debilitating thoughts. Thoughts which, sadly, have often led to me wondering what the point is.
I don’t really know what the aim of this post was; just a general ramble that I needed to get off of my chest. I also understand how valuable and brilliant social media can be. If it wasn’t for social media, I wouldn’t be running my own business. I wouldn’t have had a lifeline when my anxiety was so bad I thought I’d never escape from that black hole. It’s been a lifeline for many, many people. It’s given people careers, inspiration, motivation, help, guidance, a platform to tell their story and a way to discuss important issues and educate people. It’s brilliant. There’s no denying that. And I’m grateful to have my platform and I’m grateful to be a part of it all. This is my issue and something that isn’t new. It’s something that I’ve just noticed hasn’t improved with the use of social media.
It’s so easy to compare yourselves to others these days. It’s easier than it ever has been before. A perfect life is right there on the screen in front of you for the world to see. The flawless selfies, the beautiful holidays, the big house and the dream car and the groups of laughing friends, the perfect relationship. We all have our inner demons that we have to contend with on a daily basis. And those with the seemingly perfect life has their too. We have to remember that the next time we’re tearing ourselves apart. But anyway, I’m not writing this to give some worldly advice on how to deal with this. Because if I knew, I wouldn’t be in this state I am now.
I’d love to hear about your relationship with social media. Love it or hate it? Has it changed since you started blogging? or over the past year? Let’s chat.
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The Lilac Linnet