a love-hate relationship…with social media

At least once, we’ve been in the position where we love to share tidbits about our life in the form of photos and video but we find ourselves stuck in the social dilemma of what if’s. What if it doesn’t get X amount of likes? What if no one comments? What if people hate it? What if I lose followers over it? We find ourselves so wrapped up in that dilemma that we forget the real reason why we took to social media – to share tidbits about our life. I like to call this dilemma for what it is: a love-hate relationship. 

Why? Because we, as humans, focus, naturally, too much on the negatives and a solid aptitude for dislike and hate towards something arises. There are very real reasons to hate social media, and we could be here all day trying to list them.

My own personal experience is that I grew up with social media. MySpace was the thing, then Facebook, and there was YouTube and Snapchat and Instagram and Twitter and wow, wow, wow. So many! Social media came natural to me. I was on it everyday and, at one point, more than likely over shared by updating my Facebook status every five minutes. Whatevs. I was like 12. 

I used to love social media. I’ve always loved creating and sharing things. Again, I grew up with it, so it was natural to me. Despite my love, I ended up being bullied off social media in 2017. I tried everything to overcome it, but the bullying turned into a deep fear and anxiety that, admittedly, I still have today, and that’s why I decided to write this blog post.

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As much as I love social media, I hate it. Of what was suppsoed to be a way to connect with people and share things we love – a truly lovely and innocent thing – it’s become a giant cesspool of heartache and misery. 

Social media is no longer about things that come from the soul or heart. It’s about how many views, how many likes, followers, comments, etc, that we can get. It’s about living a life, not that fulfills us, but that impresses others.

Sure, there’s a lot of genuine, wholesome content out there, but you have to weed through so much. And when you finally create a feed that brings you joy, it’s easy to get caught up in the lives of others. Not just the endless scrolling, but the wishing of your life being aligned with theirs.

It’s heartwrenching. It’s what creates this love-hate relationship.

I struggle to post, interact, and enjoy it. I constantly worry about the numbers. Constantly. And when I’m not worrying about them, I’m freaking out over what I’m posting. I knitpick everything. I write out captions over and over. I criticise the emojis I use. I look down upon any hashtags/tags I use. I compare my photos and feeds to everybody elses. 

It’s ridiculous. It’s truly ridiculous because I love to share. I love to share and I love when others share.

Nevertheless, I deleted and left behind my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

When Instagram rolled out their “Hide Likes” feature, I thought perhaps it was time to return to social media in the way I wanted to. Yet, I was still lacking confidence to post and often gave myself anxiety wondering if I’d be bullied off again. 

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When I opened my first Etsy shop, I also joined Instagram to promote the shop. It did fairly well when I kept up with it. I had almost 1000 followers, I got tens of likes, and the occasional comments.

I liked Instagram for the shop until I began to fall back into that spiral. The more engagement you have, the better chances of making sales by means of social media. When Instagram switch its alogrithim to boost video content, I got discouraged. I’m not a video person, and keeping up the engagement by photos made me hyperfixate on the numbers. 

It brought the fun out of planning content for the shop.

I, again, left social media behind.

The shop does quite well without social media I must say. Although, it would be nice to return to socials. I’m sure it would boost the shop greatly.

Yet, I’m afraid of that spiral.

Again. Ridiculous.

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To curb this relationship, I’ve slowly begun trying to post what makes me happy and post without second thought on my personal Instagram.

This means that, rather than nitpicking every little detail, I post without rewriting the caption a million times, crying over emojis, worrying about how many people are going to like it, et cetra. I just post. Scary, right?

At the time of writing this, I’ve just posted a carousel on Instagram of some random photos I took while in Chicago. (You can read all about that here in part one and part two!) My brother and I had joked in the weeks leading up about an episode of Victorious where Trina Vega does a one woman show and she sings about Chicago (Chicago! by Daniella Monet). As that’s all that I could think about, I captioned it as such and posted.

The last I posted before then, January 2022, was August 2021 and before that was February 2021, December 2020, and October 2020. It’s been an *ahem* very slow process returning to social media but I love how I created a feed that makes me feel good.

I’ve worked on sharing only things that matter to me/make me happy. And if a post doesn’t make me feel that way anymore, I archive it. Simple. I keep the likes hidden and make a habit of posting and then dashing away from the app by keeping busy with something else (like writing this blog post, for example). 

I wish it wasn’t like this. I wish I could enjoy social media in the carefree way I once did. And I wish the process to eliminate this love-hate relationship was easier.

Older equals wiser within yourself. Now, I work to create safe, positive, and genuine environments around myself. Why should I stop when it comes to social media? I want to turn all my social feeds into a safe, positive, and genuine space and create my own feeds to be as such.

If you were looking for a sign to leave social media forever or just a bit or if you were looking for a sign to start your social media over, this is it.

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Your relationship with it doesn’t have to be full of hate as much as there is love. Social media has become an extension of ourselves. You should fill it with the love and happiness you deserve.

Post what you want. Follow who you want. Ignore the numbers.

It takes practice. It takes a long time. And that’s okay.

Here’s to the beginning. Here’s to bettering this relationship.

Ciao.

Hi, I’m Jade Madison!

When I am blogging, I work to bring you quality lifestyle and personal content, as well as printables to make your life easier.

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