Social Media & Me
Social media is basically one of those special magic mirrors in a funfair. You look into it and see a skewed, distorted vision of reality. It’s funny to do once every few months when the funfair comes into town, you laugh and then move on to buy some beer and cotton candy at extortionate prices. But, doing it for an hour every day, every single day can have its effects. You’ll start to believe that’s what life looks like, and if it doesn’t, that’s what life should look like. But you’re wrong.
Everyone’s life is full of ups and downs. Every single person. That person sitting next to you on the tube? They’ve experienced that feeling of warmth that comes with meeting up with old friends. They’ve experienced mind-blowing orgasms, hearing someone say ‘I love you’ to them. They’ve experienced feeling proud and accomplished in themselves, they’ve felt love to and from family and friends. They’ve also experienced grief. Someone they know has died. They’ve had heartache, they’ve cried over someone. They’ve probably struggled for money (we all have, it’s nothing to be ashamed of). They’ve been tired, stressed, anxious, nervous. They’ve been kind, generous, loving, happy, elated, turned on, hell, just alive.
But, social media doesn’t reflect this at all. Social media only shows us the highs. It only shows us what we want other people to see. We don’t want other people to see us crying over our bank balance, getting a ‘word’ from our manager at work, or experiencing heartbreak over the latest ex. Social media will show you a nice lunch they went to with friends (who were probably trying to show off the most behind the scenes). It’ll show you a family gathering of long lost relatives who are so happy to see each other (even though there’s probably a reason they haven’t spoken to each other in two years). It’ll show you pictures of the other half (who they caught texting someone else the other day). It’ll show you a Sunshine filled skyline (when it was raining buckets shortly after for 8 hours solid- Thanks, London).
None of these bar the last one are real life examples of mine, but I do admit to feeding into this toxic cycle once upon a time. I was desperate to be liked, to seem cool and edgy and popular at uni. But, emerging from my last (to this day) bout with depression kind of taught me to be authentic. It taught me that whoever is going to follow me, will do so because they want to see me for who I am. My smiles, my frowns. And whoever else, well, I don’t really care.
Take this picture, for example. It’s me, yes me. But let’s analyse this.
It’s a nice day, granted. I’m wearing a brand new fancy dress I’d seen on Fearne Cotton (a hero of mine) and my trusty Birkenstocks and a cute Kate Spade bag.
In reality, buying that dress almost broke the bank and I’ve been living off only sweet potatoes for the rest of the week. My Birkenstocks are so worn out, my soles are almost on the ground and I desperately need a new pair. That Kate Spade bag? Second hand.
Sure, the smile is real, I was enjoying the day and quite often laugh at myself whenever I take pictures like these.
But the worst thing of all? The person who took this picture and I broke up about two hours after it was taken.
I’m not turning this into a heartbreak post. Yes, it was sad for both of us but it was a mutual decision filled with love and respect for one another and our mental health. We will continue to stay in each-others’ lives, stay friends, because we enjoy our company.
What I’m trying to get at is, not everything is as it seems. And I actively try to post and only follow people who post honest things.
Posts about the highs and the lows. About happiness and sadness. About hugs and kisses but also depression and anxiety. Because that’s what life is, and I want my social media and blog to reflect my life. Honestly.
The worst thing is body image and confidence.
Way too often do I see people photo-shopping or editing their pictures, sucking in their stomachs or posing a certain way to try and look skinnier. You shouldn’t need to do that- you are all beautiful. Who honestly gives a fuck about a thigh gap if you can make someone laugh?
If you have one, good for you. If not, also good for you. It doesn’t matter.
You should curate your social media into a positive space, like I’ve (tried) to do.
It helps. Waking up in the morning and seeing honest, funny people and lots of people rocking style my own size has helped me realise that a. my body is normal and sexy and awesome and b. it’s okay to have these ups and downs. It’s okay to have the highs and also, more importantly, the lows. There is no need to hide them. Everyone has them.