I think social media has a very dark cloud hovering over it. There are many people who avoid creating an online account because they believe that side of the internet is for narcissists and the shallow. There are others who worry about privacy issues and dislike the idea of other users knowing the ins and outs of your life. There are those who criticize, without actually seeing how social media and the online world works. And then there are those who simply go with the flow, but aren’t the biggest fan.
Personally, I quite like social media. I’m not an “out-there” person, I like to keep things private, and I don’t offer up the opportunity to explore every phase of my life. But I do really like to concept.
Not only is social media a vital part of being a blogger, it’s also a great way to keep up to date with the world, which is something I think is important. No matter what your interests are, there is usually a social media account to follow and keep up with in that field. It’s not all glamorous celebrities with million-dollar mansions and influencer selfies. Sure, there’s that side of things, but when it comes to social media, you chose what you follow and what you see (minus the ads) and it’s easy to avoid a whole category if you want to.
Social media can have a very negative effect on mental health, The Independent wrote a very detailed article on this. And there certainly are points I agree with, but I also don’t think social media is to blame for poor self-esteem or mental health. And it’s still a choice whether or not to use each app. I started to focus on the positive side of social media at the beginning of 2018 and it has been tremendously advantageous, despite what many may believe.
It’s common knowledge that people have a tendency to compare each other. Whether it’s self-analysis or pitting one person against another, it happens on a daily basis and never has a positive outcome. Nowadays, when I find myself comparing myself to another Instagram account, or another bunch of tweets, I simply have to tell myself to stop. Just stop doing it. What’s the point in comparing myself to another person, when I’ll never be that person? Plus, there’s no one better at being me than… me. Sometimes it’s easier said than done, but the benefits of dodging that negative mind-set are invaluable.
I totally think social media is additive. I think we’re all are so nosy, we can’t help but have a little browse into the life of another person. That’s why vlogs are so popular. And there’s nothing wrong with that – it’s entertainment and joyful to see the highlight reel of another person’s life. But when it comes to keeping positive, I like to keep social media to a minimum. That doesn’t mean a specific amount of time a day, it just means repressing the feeling of checking my Instagram every five minutes, because not much will have changed, there’s no need to let it take over my life. I like to update my story and post photos every day, but that doesn’t mean I should spend two hours with my eyes glued to a screen.
As I said earlier, we can control what we see. The great thing about social media is that you can block if you really want to. On Twitter, you can even mute certain words from even showing up in your timeline. One way I use social media for the positive is following accounts that post uplifting content. That includes friends from all over the world, but also accounts that post a nice quote from time to time (I like my quotes), astonishing travel photography or hilarious videos. When it comes to being online, it’s really important to have that kind of control, and follow whatever we want to follow – whether it’s an account dedicated to the thoughts of a dog, or an feed that posts throwback Vines every day.
When it comes to inspiration, social media is usually my go-to. Pinterest (which is more of a search engine but has a social characteristic to it) is easily one of the best sites for finding creative inspo. Cooking, organising, photography, writing, styling, building, sewing and everything in between. There are Instagram and Twitter accounts dedicated to different interests too and I find them really entertaining to take a look at. And of course, we have bloggers – my favourite type of social media users who use their talent to create amazing and inspiring content. That’s a positive thing that I always look forward to seeing online. Seeing others succeed and achieve new things is just as engaging as watching it on TV, to me there isn’t much difference.
I know the social world will always be a rocky subject to touch on. But I don’t think it’s all negative, I don’t think it’s all detrimental and I don’t think it’s all nonsense – it’s one of the most powerful tools and the easiest way to keep up with the world.