Okay I’ll admit it – YES I am extremely quick to criticise/judge the ”I am so positive”, “my life is so full of wonder”, “I eat so healthily”, “I have an opinion on everything” constant stream of social media status updates and comments.
I saws those rolled eyes and heard that “oh here we go again” thought. No this is not some mirrored rant about social media. Take a moment to read what I have to say…it could surprise you!
I don’t need to know what you ate for breakfast, I don’t need to know how many times you went to the gym today, I don’t need to know how “full” your life feels or see how many cliche quotes you’ve collected and decided to clog my newsfeed with. I certainly do not need to see endless selfies and “I am at…with….” check-ins.
I also don’t need to sign in and spend a huge majority of the free moments I have scrolling through what you have all shared/vented/created/done. But I do. I make that choice knowing full well all of the above and more will feature in the next half hour of viewing, knowing full well I will add to my ever increasing frown lines reading through it all, and knowing full well I could log out at any point. Yet I don’t.
This is certainly not a new or untouched subject. I do not plan on going into the whys, hows and whats of it all. I simply had an interesting internal dialogue this morning whilst sitting in bed, my laptop resting on my folded legs, my eyes scanning the aforementioned pages. I noted my instinctual frustration and at times repulsion towards the status updates I was glancing at. I instantly saw it all from a single point of view – social media has become the current forum of self-promotion for the everyday person.
And this is where I realised I was creating my own toxic thought pattern and mood.
Whilst ever I continued to A) choose to check in on these sites, namely Facebook and B) choose to negatively judge the information I was viewing, I would produce negative thoughts, feelings and energy in my life for that day. Last thing I need!
I also knew that I was just as bad as everyone else! Then I thought about the motives behind my posts/updates/shares etc. My profile pictures are often of myself from a recent promotional job or photoshoot – this is a reflection of a few things.
- I am proud of the work I do and the work of the photographers who shoot me – this is one way I can bring attention to them and their talents
- I like to feel and look beautiful. Complete honesty – your responses to my pictures helps boost my ego
- Sharing my confident, smiling self and receiving positive feedback does help build my strength to stay positive – there are days when I can’t muster the thoughts or start the internal dialogue to do this myself. Through your feedback you help me to do this!
And my contributions to the world of social media are prompted by a variety of impulses also
- I read something interesting or inspiring and I simply want to share it
- We all need a good laugh so I will do what I can to help
- I love to be inspired, so I will happily pass on anything that filled this criteria for me in the hopes that it does the same for someone else
- I like to feel like my ‘friends’ are interested in where I am with my life, especially with the events of the past 11 months
- I need support and when I can’t call/sms/email all my close friends and family regularly this is a simple forum to vent my frustrations, shout out my cry for help or remind you I still need you all
- I have MANY extremely talented friends and colleagues in a variety of fields – I want them to have all the success they deserve so I promote, promote, promote! You never know what it will trigger…
- And its a great networking forum!
So in acknowledging this and much more I had to acknowledge that my judgement of and frustrations at the aforementioned over-supply of information was tainted and very unfair. My lack of insight into the thought and reasoning behind each and every update/check-in/comment/share was clouding my vision. If I couldn’t see that everyone else, potentially, had the same or similar reasons for their contribution to the world of social media then I couldn’t see the true purpose of each and every update/check-in/comment/share and I was therefore limiting the joy, knowledge, beauty and positive energy I could personally gain from what I was scrolling through. I was also potentially missing unique profound moments or ignoring someones attempt to reach out and say “I need support right now and this is the only way I know how to ask for it”.
I feel like the scales have been peeled from my eyes. I feel fresh and light. And I feel fair and a little less judgemental. I need to try and make sure I remind myself of this newly-realised thought pattern in an attempt to prevent myself from repeating this toxic process.
And if I cant do this at times (of which there is a certainty) then those are the times when I need to refrain from glueing my eyes to a piece of technology and filling my head with stuff I can’t receive in a positive light….leave the world of facebook and twitter and tumblr and instagram to those who can find the joy in its pulsating flow of human interaction…