"Social media can be your friend - just don't let it be your best friend, or replace your real friends. You can capitulate to seek as many likes and shares, get the short-term rush and then face the long-term consequences. Or, you can call a friend, get a beer, and become a little more likable." - Jenny Anderson (full article on Quartz)
IS PEACE OF MIND
I have spent the last couple of weeks in Zurich, preparing for our wedding and actually getting married. Lack of time and to be honest, lack of interest, I spent as little time on social media as I haven't in a long time. And it felt so good. Of course, one can argue that I was high on my endorphins produced by my wedding - fair point. But I can honestly say, that being away from social media multiplied my happy hormones.
Social media as in Facebook, Instagram and any other platform where you share pictures, videos and captions of your life or company, does have some great value
- It is a great marketing tool, where you can make your company visible, share your events, sell your products etc.
- It let's you connect with your friends all over the world and to stay up to date what they are doing, where they are traveling. Especially when living an expat life, it's one way to stay connected to your home.
- It allows you to share your opinion, get into discussions and (almost) freely speak your mind.
However, there is also a downside to it
- It only shows a second of your life, usually a staged moment for the camera, everything being super happy and perfect. You only show what you want people to see.
- It is an illusory world, where people like each other without knowing each other.
- It gets you easily addicted to gain likes, shares and comments. And as easily it gets you depressed, if you can't seem to post popular content.
- It lets you strive for other people's perfect life, body, job, house, vacation even though you don't know how that person's life really looks like.
Today I was sitting on the couch, scrolling through some Insta-Stories (Short captions of your day, which will only stay online for 24 hours) and it got me thinking. What are we doing? Filming, captioning every second of our life to put on social media, so that people on the other side of the world can watch how we eat breakfast? Even filming while we drive, having our kids in the back of the car! Are we really that far from living a real life? What drives us (and I'm guilty too) to watch other people, we don't even know, while they run out of toilet paper?
Maybe it gives us some affirmation that we are not the only ones having a lazy Friday night at home instead of partying. But isn't it rather, that we try to flee our own real world because we don't want to face what is really going on in our garden?
As a recovering person from an eating disorder, first social media was an eye opener. Hey, there are other people suffering the same sh*** as I do, having the same thoughts as I do. It made me look less crazy and it was amazing to read some other their stories and see myself in them. But unfortunately, having an ED, comparing yourself to others is not far away. And so you start to see all those perfectly shaped girls, those transformations, those women eating all day and still looking good, the girls working out everyday and never getting tired etc and you start to doubt yourself. Why can't I have such an easy relationship with food, why am I still fighting with my inner voice? Well, you can't see their inner voice on the picture, you can't see how they actually live their life.
Being away from social media during my time in Zurich gave me the time and the ability to focus on my life, to be present and to have actual likes such as hugs and kisses from people who really know me. This is where we get our energy from, this is where life is happening.
Will I cancel my IG, FB account? Probably not (still trying to get my business running). Will I post this article on social media? Probably yes (I think it's a well written piece and people should read it). But I will definitely be more careful how I use social media - For now I restrict my time on it to 10 minutes per day (maybe posting something or sharing something I've read) and I try (won't be happening over night) to stop comparing myself to others.