Social media is very much a blessing and a curse. It always has been.
I didn’t think it was possible to become even more reliant on social media, but now more than ever we are clinging to it as our safety net. For most of us, it’s our number 1 means of keeping in touch with our loved ones and the outside world.
Unfortunately though, more time spent on social media has not come without it’s downfalls…
Those viral posts doing the rounds
First there was the wave of “don’t waste your time” lockdown posts on social media. You know, the ones saying that this was the perfect opportunity to learn a new skill, educate our minds and ultimately better ourselves.
Then came the wave of “after this is all over, remember who checked in on you” posts, warning us that any friend who hasn’t messaged or phoned during lockdown is a rubbish friend you should probably ditch.
Now there is a wave of “post-lockdown body” posts encouraging us to work on ourselves physically and come out of lockdown in the best shape ever with the body we’ve always dreamed of.
When I look at these posts, I find myself feeling far from inspired, empowered or motivated.
Instead, I feel like I’m being taken on a guilt-trip.
No, I haven’t learnt a new language. No, I haven’t messaged every single friend of mine in the last few weeks. No, I haven’t been pumping weights at home. Does this make me an uneducated person, a bad person or a lazy person?
Well, I might be biased but I don’t really think I’m all that bad!
Have we really got more free time?
There seems to be a perceived notion that because of lockdown, we are now suddenly all sat at home twiddling our thumbs with unlimited free time and nothing to do.
To me, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Many people are still going out to work.
Many people are working but from home.
Many people have found their work has been severely affected but they are working on strategies to keep some money coming in.
Many people are currently out of work but are planning out how they can go back to work.
Many people are having to home school their children.
Many people are looking after family and friends.
Many people are not working right now but are trying to adapt to this and find a new daily routine.
Many of us are just trying to survive each day.
If you haven’t accomplished anything major in these last weeks, you’ve probably either not had the time or the energy to.
This is why we have to be so careful when we mindlessly scroll our way through tons of posts on social media. If you are guilty of sometimes checking a social media platform every 10 minutes in your downtime, you are not alone.
It’s a habit now so ingrained in our behaviour as we carry our phone from room to room round the house just in case we miss something.
Whilst I don’t think many of us really have any more free time than we did before, our social lives and down time has been replaced largely by just staying at home. This means we are pushed towards more time spent glued to our devices.
With this extra time on social media, it’s very easy to get sucked into comparing your situation and your life to someone else’s.
Oh, so and so has remodelled their garden. Oh, so and so has redecorated. Oh, so and so has built a home gym and is working out every day.
There’s nothing wrong with people sharing their achievements on social media. We all do it! We should be proud of our accomplishments and free to share these moments with family and friends.
But there is something wrong with spending so much of our time looking at the lives of others.
Sometimes social media has the ability to drain the life out of you. Let’s face it, there aren’t that many good news stories about at the moment and there’s a heck of a lot of negativity and bickering going on online.
Keeping social media social
I say let’s keep using social media for its original purpose – socialising from afar!
Not for comparison, or competition, or obsessive reading of speculative article after speculative article.
And if you’ve not even seen the bottom of your laundry basket throughout this whole period, then don’t worry about it – you and me both babe!