We live in a world completely consumed by social media.
There isn’t a single day where we all don’t pick up our cell phones, tablets or some other electronic device, log into our accounts, and scroll feeds full of photos…
Photos of people more beautiful, richer, skinnier, cooler, more talented, more perfect, more famous or more anything than us. Scrolling through and leaving us feeling like depressed, ugly ducklings who will never amount to such “success”.
We’re living a life of constant comparison.
We’ve come to accept “Instagram models” and “social influencers” as jobs. No offense to the percentage of people who make a living that way (more power to you), but it’s tainting how our society looks at becoming “successful”.
We’re growing up to believe that a certain amount of followers is an ode to how cool we are.
A single person’s social media account has become a profitable source of business, versus a business simply having a social media presence to increase their profit.
This realization all comes in the wake of 18-year-old Australian model, Essena O’Neill, outing her social media fame and dissecting each and every beautiful photo she has posted. She has opened a door for people to (hopefully) realize that what you see on social media is not always real life.
Her move is slowly sparking an “exodus from social media” and a call for other social influencers to “reveal the truth” behind their posts. Fitness model Kayla Itsines recently shared a personal post, and Rachel Brathen (@YogaGirl) led a TEDx Talk on the subject.
[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”] When connecting online becomes a disconnect, this is not using social media as a sustainable way of society. [/pullquote]
So I wanted to share my own feelings as a “normal” 20-something year old girl.
I don’t have 1 million followers, I don’t even have 1,000 followers. Yet I still feel the pressures and negative effects that social media has on my seemingly average life.
As a marketing professional, my career path creates a need for me to be on social media nearly every day. For my clients and the brands I represent, even just to stay “in the know” with what’s trending and going on in the world.
There is a need for businesses and brands to have strong social identities, and I am there to help: manage their social media accounts, post on their behalf, look up trending hashtags, write branded content for their website… the list goes on.
This is the industry I’m in, and there’s nothing wrong with the marketing initiatives I just listed. But when I personally got to a point where my REAL social existence was in jeopardy.. my relationships were being neglected, I was losing touch with my best friends, hardly seeing my family and making no time for my partner, I realized something needed to change.
So I took a stance against it; a vow to be more SOCIAL and less MEDIA.
I disabled most of my accounts, rid myself of negative clutter, and am being more mindful of how I spend my time… and you know what happened? I feel really good.
Sure, I still reach for my phone and check my emails, read newsletters or scan articles to keep me informed with what’s happening in the big, bad world. But, I’m not obsessively checking my feeds every day.
I pick up my phone to see which friends and loved ones are texting or calling me back, so I can actually talk to them about what’s going on in their lives versus finding out from their postings.
Maybe going cold turkey the way I did isn’t for you, or maybe you already have a healthy balance. But I choose to be more social, and less about media.