Our lives have been consumed into social media. Consumed. Mangled. Managed badly it can only lead to a lot of negativity. The glamorous shots of the school yard bully marrying her university sweetheart. That guy you met in a pub getting yet another promotion and a company car.
Then there’s you.
Sitting in your PJs. On a Saturday afternoon. Reaching for an alcoholic relief to the situation.
Read between the posts
Facebook and Instagram are riddled with people wanting to present their most ideal self. As the phrase goes;
It’s not your successful friends posting vague inspirational quotes
The same goes for those couples that continuously post all those lovey dovey messages back and forth. It’s been found that people that continually post about their relationship are more likely to have low self-esteem and less likely to be happy about the relationship, read up at The Atlantic.
Of course, there are the people who are more obvious about their desperation, the Vaguebookers. You know the sort. Short pathetic ‘Woe is me’ posts. Designed to gather as many ‘u ok hun?’s as possible. I’ve seen those that don’t get enough reactions get deleted and reposted in the hopes of more attention. That is what it is. People driving for social attention.
In all of these cases, it’s a simply people clamouring for social acknowledgement. That need to see comments and reactions totalling up.
How can I maintain my sanity?
There are a few ways really, some you may not be looking forward to hearing- and others you may already be practising.
Think sceptically- don’t be afraid to question it
My mother always said “if something is too good to be true- then it probably is”, and I’ve extended this to social media. If something doesn’t quite add up, be it a piece of news or controversial meme, don’t take it at face value. Check it.
One that does the round is this lovely image;
What people fail to see is that the image originally came from;
You can read more about this on Hoaxes.org as part of ‘Operation Cat Nip’; an animal hoarder had hundreds of animals seized, they were undergoing a mass neutering so as to get the animals rehomed as quickly as possible. Instead of the image putting forward the message of nurturing and caring for one’s animals; it was high jacked for a completely for likes and retweets rather than anything substantial for animal rights.
No Use? Cut it loose
I unfriend people, a lot.
Often that gets looks of horror and confusion.
I don’t see why I should have negative, uninteresting, or pointless, posts clogging up my feed when I am solely responsible for its curation. There are a few people that I bend the rules for, but in general, I’m pretty strict.
Constant vaguebookers go quickly.
Posting hourly/daily pictures of babies are out. I’m your friend, not your baby’s.
Oversharers of every detail of their life? Out of the window.
Instead, connect to positive groups. The ‘Catto’ and ‘Doggo’ groups are so positive, and filled with beautiful and loved pets. Inject some positivity!
Stop the stalking or semi stalking
Up until recently I still had a “friend” on Facebook, I spoke about her briefly on 5 Reasons Why I’m… Childfree. I loved to watch her choke on reality, flail in the real world she was so ill prepared for.
To cackle to myself as she whined about the pettiest of things. The time she thought that doing admin for a Brownie pack was hard- I was in tears. “Wait till she get’s a real job!” I giggled to myself. She’s the exemplar of mollycoddled, with rich overly attentive parents ready to swoop in at her smallest of whims. And there were many.
The kind of woman who wanted to go to university to find her husband, not her future career.
The kind of person who would claim to be self-made, whilst never having to have paid for anything herself.
I could go on. Which is why I shouldn’t.
One day I realised that yes, she had ruined a substantial part of my life. Instead of moving on, and surrounding myself with positivity, I was putting my energy negatively towards her.
In short, she did not deserve my attention. Not anymore. So I unfriended her, removed her from any social network that we had vaguely connected on, and continued on with my life.
I’m unlucky enough to have a few people in my past who, although I don’t want to know anymore. An example of which sent me a friend request the very evening I finished this blog post. I umm’d and err’d for half an hour debating whether to add her back (yes I removed her some time ago). But why would I want her back in my life? I have literally (in the actual meaning of the word) lived a better life without her in it. So I deleted the request and added this edit. The only thing I’m unsure of is if this counts as an edit.
Take a break
As someone who uses social media to promote her work- this is a hard thing to write about. It’s something that is built into my day. Once Belov’d is up, he takes a run, but I’m checking Twitter and perusing through Facebook.
There are days I’m trying to make an effort to not look in on an hourly… minute by minute… basis. Even to the point of putting devices on plane mode. When Belov’d and I had no internet I got so much done- and there are days when I am so tempted to turn it off at the router. I don’t have the guts to do that though.