Rethinking Your Relationship With Social Media

I know I may sound ready to collect a SASSA grant here, but there’s no denying the fact that social media has become the breeding ground for toxicity. While we could go on and on about issues such as cancel culture and online trolling, I want to talk about how social media influences us even when our phones are locked. What started off as a fun way to share little parts of our lives with people has become an unhealthy fixation to curate a version of ourselves we want others to see. 

(Disclaimer: I know this doesn’t apply to everyone and some people are actually really good with their social media consumption. Keep doing your thing!)

 

 

Image by Meme

 

It seems as though social media has gotten to the point where a lot of how we live our lives is influenced by how it will look when documented on our 9:16 Instagram stories. Considering the fact that “Instagrammable” has basically become an adjective and “Instagrammable locations” are a thing, it’s no wonder there are actual human beings who leave their houses for the sole purpose of getting good pictures.

It feels like we have become more calculated in the things that we do. The problem here is that being concerned with capturing a moment makes it really difficult to be fully present in it. What do we actually gain from our experiences if that is the case?  I often find myself thinking about how much any of it really matters and how little people really care. I mean, think about how many posts you see across your social media platforms daily. How many of those do you actually remember? So while you frustratingly snap away until you get the perfect and seemingly effortless shot, there’s someone waiting to mindlessly tap past it minutes later. 

It’s not that we feel the need to document things that’s the real problem, I mean, that’s kind of the idea of social media. It’s fun to share things that you love or when you’re feeling cute and having a good time. It’s the quest for perfection and caring a little too much about how things look from an outsider perspective that’s the issue. It’s a big part of the reason social media has become so damaging to our mental health.

 

Image by Mind Yourself Shop

 

I think the best way to not let this control how you go about your life is by learning how to navigate your online spaces more consciously and to not fixate too much on trying to make things seem perfect. Distinguish between the positives and negatives. For example, positives: posting something funny, inspiring or meaningful to you. Negatives: checking to see if that specific person you wanted to watch your story has viewed it yet only to not see their name, sending you into a bottomless pit of despair. Haha, what?

In all seriousness, it’s about rebuilding a healthy relationship where you and doing things for YOURSELF and because it makes you feel good. Where you are living your life and choosing to share parts of it, not building your life around what you want to share online. I know a healthy relationship with social media isn’t always the easiest thing to build but if it’s for the benefit of your mental health and well-being, then it’s definitely worth a try.