SOCIAL MEDIA MAKES ME FEEL (???)

This is going to be a really weird rant about social media that will likely be

a) ironic

b) contradictory and

c) all over the place

but it's been on my mind for a few weeks, making me feel all sorts of anxious. The whole idea of social media has made me feel anxious recently. There are so many things about it that make me feel gross and weird. I hate that my brain is addicted to it, I hate that my phone is the first thing I reach for when I wake up. I hate that we (myself majorly included) scroll through endless photos daily, subconsciously comparing our lives with the ones we see on screen.

We stress about what we post, about how others will perceive us based on the photo or video we choose to share. We market ourselves to the world, we are selling ourselves to strangers. We are slaves to these arbitrary numbers, finding validation through empty likes and followers. IDK the whole thing makes me kind of want to throw up???

This post is a) ironic and b) contradictory because a) if you're reading this it's probably because you found the link through some social media platform and b) i love sharing. I love sharing my photos, my videos, my thoughts. And social media allows me to do that so easily. I don't think it's inherently a negative thing, I just think a lot of this generation has allowed social media to consume them. There are so many people that I know that are living for social media. Everything they do is for their "story" or a cute/cool post. WHICH IS COOL. NOT JUDGING. I just think that a lot of people don't know how emotionally/mentally detrimental social media can be. I've written several articles/essays centered around social media and its link to depression, so I can usually catch myself pretty early on if I find myself feeling like shit while I'm using Instagram/Facebook/etc. But some people aren't aware of the effects that social media can have on their mental state/self-esteem. If you find yourself feeling really down/shitty/unworthy/unaccomplished while scrolling through Instagram, looking at all the fun things your friends/strangers you have never met are doing, consider trying these things out:

  1. remember that social media is often used as a person's "life highlight reel," meaning they post all the really fun/cool/exciting things and leave out the shitty/sad/not so pretty things. don't scroll through someone's feed and assume their life is all travels/cuddles/puppies/whatever. because it's not. i promise.
  2. practice control. when you wake up, instead of reaching for your phone immediately, force yourself out of bed and stretch/shower/eat/take 15 minutes to breathe before catching up on what you "missed" while you were sleeping.
  3. detox!!! delete your apps!!! it's a temporary solution that can allow your mind/body the break it needs from constantly looking at a screen. i do this often; delete the apps that take up most of your time. for me, it's instagram/twitter. don't delete your account, just the app, and take a few days off from checking them. it's a great restart, and it lets you focus and enjoy your own life a little more.

This blog post was a lot longer/a lot more melodramatic than I had originally intended it to be, but I felt like I needed to write down what was bothering me so much about social media. To recap, social media is not the enemy!!! I just feel like we as first world humans take it way too seriously, myself included. That being said, I love being inspired and sharing my inspiration through those mediums.

The way you use it is what makes the difference.

lifeasha bailey