Sorry I’ve been a bit vacant lately. To be honest I’ve just been feeling a bit under the weather and a little bit sorry for myself, I keep seeing everyone doing these amazing things that I want to do and I just sit here very aware of the fact I myself am not doing them and probably won’t be for the foreseeable future, it’s making me feel ultra shitty !! Anyway, not the point of today’s post – here is a little social media rant for you .xx
It’s scary how much I know myself now. I was thinking about it and got that weird feeling in my stomach like when you’re on a rollercoaster and it drops.
I always felt really lost growing up, I knew who I wanted to be but could never quite get there, and I understood and misunderstood myself at the same time. Sometimes I knew how I wanted to be and others I was completely confused, or I’d do things or say things and afterwards think…why did I do that? I had no idea about anything, like I said I knew how I wanted to be, I just couldn’t quite get there. I knew the things I was into and the people I looked up to, but I couldn’t quite implement those characteristics into myself because I didn’t really know how. Different situations and different people made me act in different ways and at the end of it I never really knew who the true me was until I became free from the influence of others. Leaving school and social media behind made me realise that now was the time I could really get to know myself and figure out who I was, without judgement. Being in a school environment for all of your young and teenage life, aka the most crucial part of growing in my opinion, really damages you because you’re never yourself – you’re not allowed to be. You have to change who you are in order to fit in and you have to be quiet and try not to stand out to much and make yourself a target, and if you’re not skinny and good looking? Don’t even bother. Like I said, the whole thing is so damaging because I feel like these are the most crucial years for growing and learning, yet you’re forced to stay within the thin borders of societal constructs. Attractiveness, personality, how many people you’ve slept with…the list goes on. You not only have to deal with this in real life, but online too where everything is 10x worse. You don’t only see the people in real life eliciting this shitty behaviour, but everyone else in the world too. Who can get the most likes? Who can get the most followers? Who can post the most racy and revealing selfies? Who got the most expensive Christmas presents this year? There’s no escaping it, because it’s everywhere. Your mind is growing and developing throughout these important years yet all it’s being filled with is shitty constructs and the constant feeling that you’re not good enough. You can’t compete because at the end of the day, it’s all one big competition, and you’re clearly losing.
So what happens once you leave that environment?
Social media gave me extreme anxiety, it still does in parts. I haven’t posted a Facebook status since 2015 and even then it was only because I had to, because I had to address something – before that it hadn’t been since at least 2012. I hadn’t changed my profile picture since 2014.
I hadn’t used Instagram since 2014. After that it became too much and I’d post twice a year, if that.
I used to religiously use Twitter every day until around 2015 when I’d had enough, I had a combined total of over 150k tweets and suddenly I rarely posted more than once every six months.
I went through a couple of years of not using it because the anxiety it gave me made me feel sick, so I left it all behind. My goal was to still be able to have it in my life or use it every now and then without my hands shaking or feeling like I was going to throw up the contents of my stomach. Ignoring something does not solve the problem, so yes I stopped using it, but all of my feelings surrounding it were still there, I was just simply blocking it out for as long as I could get away with, which I knew wouldn’t be very long.
So what did I do? I turned to Youtube, I turned to documentaries, I turned to Goodreads, I turned to throwing myself into reading and writing, I turned to The Messy Heads, I turned to feminism, I turned to body positivity, I turned to filling my mind with content that was going to lift me up, rather than tear me down.
I turned to creating a blog.
The social movements that have happened over the last couple of years on social media, have been amazing. Feminism, body positivity, human rights, black lives matter, police brutality, LGBTQ, the whole thing has flipped social media on its head and now I can finally use it to educate myself and spread the word about things that actually matter. I don’t care if your bikini photo got 10,000 likes or if you got £1000 worth of presents for your birthday, you know why? Because it means nothing. Does it educate me, does it spread the word about things that are important, does it make me feel better about myself? No. I use social media now as a way to become a part of the movement and educate myself on things that I would have been otherwise ignorant about. I’m not saying that you can’t post selfies or show off your material items, I’m just saying that it no longer bothers me.
I don’t feel like I’m competing anymore, because social media isn’t real. People only show you what they want you to see and make it look like they have these perfect lives, perfect bodies, perfect relationships, when that’s not the case at all. Photos are edited, airbrushed, people pose in ways that make their bodies look different, people only show the best parts of their lives, because of course, who would be interested if they didn’t?
Nowadays, I only follow people on social media that I know are going to benefit me, I used to get so much anxiety opening up Instagram and scrolling down my feed, praying I wouldn’t see photos from certain people because I knew it was going to make me feel bad about myself. Let’s take Alexis Ren for example – we all know who she is. I want to follow her on Instagram, I like her, she’s not a bad person and I find her interesting, but I won’t follow her. Why? Because when I see her photos I feel like shit about myself and want to starve myself for a week straight. That’s not her fault, it’s got nothing to do with her personally, it’s my own problem that I need to deal with but I can’t be filling my mind up with things like that and therefore I keep it off my newsfeed. Instead I follow feminism accounts, activist accounts, body positivity accounts, art accounts, people who inspire me and make me want to do better. There’s a quote that says “Fill your mind up with thoughts you wouldn’t mind putting in a vase” and I always, always remember that. You need to be careful with what you expose yourself to and therefore in an attempt to heal my mind and body, I have tried to do the best I can to expose myself to only good things, beneficial things, real things, and more importantly, I’ve then tried to spread that message myself.
That’s the whole reason I created this blog, so I could inspire and be inspired, and most importantly figure out who I was and what I wanted to be. I can honestly say that having this little corner of the internet has really helped me to do that and as I’m getting older, I’m realising that a lot of the things I worried and cared too much about when I was 16, I don’t have to anymore.
Here are some other blog posts I’ve written that may help you with this…
All my love,