“I withdraw from places (real or perceived) that are preoccupied with winning, losing and status. When one is trying to be oneself, competition will inevitably get in the way.”
Every couple of months I get what I like to call ‘social media fatigue’, which is when social media and all that comes with it, starts to drain my mind, body and soul. Sound extreme? Maybe, but keep reading and I promise by the end of this, you may be able to acknowledge that you are feeling the same way.
There are people who have social media accounts and check them once a week or a once a day, there are people who check their accounts every 5 minutes. I would like to believe I am somewhere in between the 3-5 times a day. Again, might sound extreme, but be honest with yourself; how many times do you open Instagram or Facebook per day?
I have my own personal account and my business account, which means I go between these two accounts. On my business account I feel the pressure to keep up our image – we have a large amount of followers, we often receive private messages that I need to respond to and often have people tagging us, all of which require regular responses to keep my business alive.
On my personal account, I love to share stories of my dog Hunter, of when I see the latest art exhibition, and some of my favourite quotes. I love that I get to see what my family and friends are doing even when I’m not with them, I love to see funny memes, but what I don’t like about social media is plentiful:
- How it’s often the first or second thing I do when I wake up and before I go to sleep
- The subconscious comparison that occurs, when you see everyone else’s ‘highlights reel’ but you are living your ‘behind the scenes’
- The horrible comments and posts you can come across when you are just randomly scrolling
- The overwhelming images of extremely fit and rich and always done-up and never sitting-on-the-couch-in-their-pjs photos – there is no balance
- How my phone has become another part of my body and tends to follow me everywhere I go; yes, even in the toilet (admit it, you do this too)
- How social media has now become an advertising platform and things you haven’t asked to see pop up into your news feed
- The pressure to take the perfect photo and then spend the next 15 minutes finding the right filter, editing it and then figuring out a witty caption – the thing is we ALL do this! I have seen people who have the prettiest Instagram feeds (you know the ones where you look at them and go ‘Wow their life looks amazing’), spend ages trying to choose the right photo and the right caption, I also know these people behind the scenes and see their struggles and ups and downs, but online you only see the good times!
- Going out to dinner with friends or family and everyone is on their phone! I thought one of the funniest and most sad thing I saw lately was some of the videos coming out of Melbourne Cup, people dancing and taking video and if you look around EVERYONE else in the entire marquee was doing the same thing. Everyone had their phones up in front of their faces taking video. Was anyone actually just dancing with each other and being in the moment?
Reading those dot points you might connect to all of them or maybe only a couple, and even if there is only one that you do connect to, isn’t that still enough for you to realise a change is needed?
I am a deep emotional human that lives life with my heart of my sleeve, which means I am more susceptible to being drained of my energy, either by my own doing and my actions or by other people and external factors. Social media is one of those external things that I find, drains me.
Social media I bid you farewell, for a couple of months or weeks or until I feel like I have created some balance in my life. I thank you for all the wonderful things you have made possible and say that you are not a beast; it’s how people use you that turns you into a beast.