When Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat felt like they had started to rule my life. I hit the wall. I knew I needed to get off the 'gram and stop watching endless stories about people I don't even know, and lives I honestly DO NOT need to be involved in.
I wasn't necessarily comparing myself to anyone...but more just endlessly scrolling, and not being present AT ALL in my own life.
It was easier to scroll and look at everything else, than deal with the relationships, work, house work, friendships, responsibilities that were ACTUALLY in front of me.
Some people say they compare themselves to others on social media...but I wasn’t doing that as surely by now we all know that sh*t ain’t real. (yes?, no? maybe?…P.S It' ain’t real)
No one is perfect, with a perfect house, or a perfect body - or if you think they are living the dream, I can ensure you that there is something else in their life that is lacking (what even is perfect anyway?)
I guess I was suffering more from this horrible pit in my stomach. I struggle to name the emotion, as it wasn’t jealousy, or FOMO, or excitement, anxiety or anything I ca easily touch, it was more of a self-hatred BECAUSE I knew I needed to get off and be more present, but I just wanted one more dopamine hit!
Seeing scenes like this DRIVES ME NUTS!…BUT…I know what it is like when it draws you in…like a drug.
I wasn’t even spending much time on it! However, after my concussion I actually struggle to be on screens for very long anyway - so am much more aware of the physical response to screen time that I used to be, so my sense of it is all very heightened, and I start to loathe the fact that I am scrolling, rather quickly!
So - I did it. I shut things down. I spent 3 days completely OFF any social media. It was HEAVEN. I was so present and happy in my own life, and realising that was all I needed.
Whether its a month or just an afternoon that you need to take a break from - go - do it! Be strong, be disciplined, the invite to the event will still be there when you go back…and if it’s really worth it, you will find out through actually talking to your friends anyway.
So here are some tips and tricks, some reminders about the ‘love hate’ relationship we have with social media:
Don’t believe the hype on social media, remember that we celebrate our wins on these platforms.
Hardly ever do we share the down times!
Life is a roller coaster, there are good days and not so good days. There are highs and there are lows and social media has taken the role of letting us share the awesome moments with our friends, family and ‘followers’. However, it doesn’t offer that space for us to share our lows.
Scrolling through social media actually gives our brains little dopamine hits, that perk us up, this is why we constantly scroll, mindlessly and endlessly sometimes! Searching for the next hit and the next.
Businesses share their successes, as do athletes, parents, employees etc, but you can rest assured they are all dealing with the same struggles of running a business, being a parent, training sessions, work being work and the rest of it! They just don’t share these ‘standard’ parts, because they are seen as boring.
Social media is a tool used to excite us.
It is very important to take a step back and be aware of your screen time on social media platforms. Put the phone or computer down and practice some mindfulness. Be present with yourself, with those around you and enjoy your life that is playing out right in front of your very eyes.
Don’t believe everything you see on social media either. It is a marketing tool used to grow businesses and platforms for people. Look around you, have conversations with the real people at your work, in your house, on your bus, at the sports field and be reminded of the true realities of life.
If you feel your mood darkening, or feelings of envy and bitterness. Put the screen down and walk away. It is vital for your mental health to practice enjoying the moments you are in, without having to compare yourself to anyone else. Take control of the situation, and remember it is not a hidden camera into the lives of others. People have selected what they wish to share, and no doubt taken many photos to get there, and adjusted their status updates many times, to look good!
‘You do you’! Practice gratitude each day by finding 3 things you are grateful for, and writing them down, instead of searching for the next hit of dopamine on your social media list.
I think, as a person with a following it is our responsibility to stay real and true, be genuine and honest. As well as be responsible for our own mental health and follow those that make us feel good, inspire us, uplift us and put a smile on our dial.
I could type for days on this subject - but I wont. Because you know it all, already.
Just promise me one thing…
Go hang with the family, hang with the pet, hang with your friends, or give them a call. Connect properly.
EYES UP. PHONE DOWN.
FACE THE REALITY THAT YOU HAVE IN FRONT OF YOU.
All of it, the good, the bad, the ugly. LIVE peeps!