Social media is great, you can't go without checking your Instagram or Facebook. However, Sorcha O'Connor has begun to think about the dark side of social media in 2016...
I’m a fan of Instagram and I use Facebook constantly, messaging my friends and checking up on what is going on in the world. They’re both great ways of sharing what you’re up to in your life. However, recently I started to think about how my use of social media makes me feel.
* Happy to be chatting to my nearest and dearest? Check.
* Worried when I read articles about terrorism? Check.
* Angry when I see a status that is unjust or uncalled for? Check.
* Jealous of other peoples’ holidays? Most definitely.
* Not good enough? Maybe just a bit.
Yes, a wide spectrum of emotions can be linked to social media and not all of them positive. As my little check list shows, not feeling great after using social media can sometimes be the case – and I don’t think I’m alone (right?)
It might happen that someone you know has gone on a cool trip abroad or seems to be having a really fun time in the pub while you’re sitting at home in your pyjamas.
It might happen you see everyone else your age looking like they are having the time of their life in college, passing all exams without a hiccough and socialising to no end as well.
Or it might happen that everyone on your feed seems to know what direction their life is going and can afford to spend more money than you.
And to put it bluntly, it can make you feel pretty shit.
However, a wise man, namely Teddy Roosevelt once said that comparison is the thief of joy – and I hasten to agree with him. I might look at other peoples’ content online and think they have things way better than I do – but why should I compare myself to them? Because when I reflect on it and look at my own content on social media, I’ve realised I don’t exactly share the days my hair is greasy and I’m sitting at home in the aforementioned pyjamas… So why would those I follow do so?
Even on the blog I keep, where I tried a two week challenge of eating well and exercising more, I had aspirations of posting photos of all the smoothie bowls I would be knocking back, like the fitness gurus of Instagram – and me only munching on apples! But there I was comparing myself to those who are almost impossibly dedicated to healthy eating when I don’t even like fruit to begin with.
I have come to believe that social media is the highlight reel of our lives. We are all guilty of sharing our best bits and then forget that we all have down days too. The power we have given social media is quite something.
Ultimately we need to remember that living in the moment and listening to comments and praise given to us in real life to our faces instead of a Facebook like is so much more important.
And if your friend is publishing every second of that night in the pub, are they really having a good time at all?