Taking social media with a pinch of salt

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Subconscious social media

I’m sure you’ve found yourself in a similar position to me on most Sunday evenings. Cosy in bed, with Netflix playing on your laptop (binge watching episodes of Queer Eye and blinking back the tears if you’re me) and your phone in hand scrolling through Instagram and Twitter and feeling a pang of jealousy over everyone else’s totally awesome, and non-stop exciting lifestyles.

Working at a social media-focused magazine means I follow a lot of aspirational and inspirational accounts, and it can be all to easy to find myself comparing my matching Primark pyjama set and charcoal face mask to some else’s French Riviera sunset in a gorgeous ballroom gown.

Picking up my phone and scrolling through Twitter or Instagram is second nature to me now, whenever I have a spare pocket of time, I instinctively find myself opening my favourite apps and having a look, but the more time I’ve spent away from my phone (or with the Do Not Disturb setting on) the more I’ve noticed the way subconsciously looking through Social Media and taking what people share at face value isn’t great for my mental health.

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A pinch of salt

Behind every outfit shoot is someone (most likely) freezing their ass off or feeling incredibly self-conscious as passers by stare while they try to quickly get the shot they need for their blog post or Instagram feed. Behind every delicious flatlay of an extravagant brunch is a friend/family member/boyfriend/girlfriend desperate to tuck into their avo on toast and silently resenting having to eat it cold. And, more importantly, behind every beaming smile there’s probably the way they feel self-conscious about their left eyebrow, the argument they had with their bestie last night or the unshakeable feeling that something is just wrong.

Of course, sometimes what you see really is a reflection of the truth on social media, but when everything we see seems to be perfect and positive, it’s worth remembering that everyone has their struggles (big and small) behind that image and the care-free, fun, effortless life we imagine them to be living is most likely just a figment of our own imagination.

When I find myself getting into a cycle of comparing my own life to what I see online I take it as my cue to take a break. I’ll leave my phone at home and go for a walk, or make a trip to the cinema. I find giving myself real, concrete breaks from social media really helps and if I do find myself bingeing on aspirational content I’ll check out some of the more ‘realistic’ accounts I follow and read through their candid anecdotes to reset the balance.

My advice for when you feel like you’re not good enough in the blogosphere would be to take a break from it, to remind yourself that there’s far more to life than perfectly shot images, and Instagram likes. And don’t feel ashamed to admit how you’re feeling, sometimes sharing your insecurities can help you to realise that others really do feel the same and you’re not alone.

If you’re looking for some candid bloggers to follow on social media I cannot recommend Steph’s twitter and Vix’s Instagram enough, they’re both amazing content creators who never fail to make me chuckle as I’m scrolling through my feeds.

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