Saturday, 16 September 2017

Is Social Media bringing out your green eyed monster?

Love it or loath it social media has taken over our lives. It's killed the excitement of receiving a letter, naff postcard and even a good old chat on the phone. In my youth my friend and I used to write 10 page letters to each other. We sat next to each other on the school bus and spent most lessons together, and didn't live too far apart either. Yet those letters, which we would then read on the bus (sat next to each other) were some of the funniest, most honest and heart warming words on paper I've ever had. But that art, and actually I do believe it is an art to write a good letter, has all but gone.

And don't even get me started on phone calls! Again in my younger years and even in to my 20's, I would spent a happy hour (or longer) just nattering on the phone to friends. Pointless conversations with no real reason for the call, other than to reach out and maintain that all important contact with each other. I remember talking (and not quietly) on my work desk phone to a mate for at least half an hour, regularly. But everyone did it back then. Well maybe not everyone but I certainly had no qualms about it. 

Yet now we are in an age where even when we can be arsed to leave the sofa and Netflix and get together with friends and family, everyone sits around, heads down, on their phones. What is that all about? It's rude and we are losing the art of a good old chat. Engaged, making eye contact, ohhing and ahhing at some juicy gossip with someone you want in your life. Will it come to a time when humans no longer have vocal cords?

And Social Media - on the surface of it, and I'm sure what developers envisaged, we have easy to access and use platforms which open up the whole world to us. A one stop source of inspiration, knowledge, insight and a discreet stalk. 

With Instagram I get to see what people are wearing, what they've seen in the shops or online, where they're holidaying and eating. I love it. I'm a visual person, I like getting a heads up on what's New In and have purchased many things having seen them on other people's Instagram. But there are days when I just beat myself up - I don't have a "theme", I don't have my pictures taken for me/of me, I work full time so, at best, can post a couple of pics at the weekend and I don't have 1000's of followers (if truth be told I'd be happy with a 1,000!). I see beautiful images on Instagram of beautiful people, in beautiful locations eating beautiful food and it can make me feel a bit rubbish. 

Twitter, I'm really not bothered about at all. It seems to me to be a beefed up Facebook status update of people either showing off, slagging off or generally having a very public melt down. I have practically no engagement on Twitter and at best I use it for BBC Breaking News. And I can certainly see how Twitter gets out of control. I have seen some really nasty and bitchy spats between grown women. I mean, seriously, where is the stiff upper lip us Brits were so well known for?

And Facebook, whilst that can be a great platform for seeing what your long lost friends are up to with their lives, it can also be a knife in your back, or heart, especially when you see check in's and pictures of your friends having a great time at the pub after work or a night out - when you never even got an invite! Ouch.

For me, when I get the social media green eyes, I have to remind myself that what I'm seeing is the best version. No one's going to post their cheese sandwich and packet of walkers for lunch are they? Or when they've been in saggy old stained jogging bottoms and no make up all day. We want to post our very best version or check in at somewhere exciting and not Asda! Which is why I like it when well known bloggers will confess that that picture that got 1,000's of likes actually took 30 shots before they could pick the best one and then filter it to within an inch of its life. And with a lot of the great outfit of the day shots, they've been taken by someone else, perhaps a professional photographer. With a lot of bloggers, particularly full time ones, this is their job and main source of income so their Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook is their shop window or business card. It's their advert to attract more business, so of course they need to look their absolutely best. And whilst it looks amazing to see pictures of people being whisked away to exotic locations by brands, for me I just think about how knackering that must be and to be going away with people you don't know but who look stunning in a bikini - I just couldn't be doing that.

And actually that's how I control my green eyed monster. I remind myself that when people post online, it's staged, like a shop window. It's not always real life and so I take it all with a good pinch of salt. I also every now and then have an enforced couple of hours away from my phone. I'll purposely charge it upstairs whilst I enjoy watching a full TV programme without the constant urge to keep checking my phone and seeing people in fabulous outfits, checking in to amazing restaurants with their gorgeous boyfriend. It's so good to have time away from the device we can't live without. Because for a few hours, you can and if it reminds you that your life is actually ok and shuts that green eyed monster in the cupboard, it's got to be a good thing and maybe even a self preservation thing.




  1. Love this post. I've been guilty in the past of comparisons between myself and others when browsing social media. I thought I might be beyond that due to my age but apparently not! It makes me sad for younger generations who are going to to grow up thinking it's normal to look and be 'perfect' all of the time. They are just bombarded with it every day. Instagram is the worst for that. Comparison is the thief of joy, as they say. I should take a leaf out of your book and step away from my phone! Thank you for the reminder that real life is going on around us all the time, and we should stop to appreciate it. Currently sitting in my jogging bottoms with no makeup on, and really enjoying it :) Hope you're well Julie and having a lovely weekend.

    1. Hi Melissa. So lovely to receive your comment and hope you're well?
      I think the whole comparison thing gets us at all ages but yes for younger people it's brutal.
      I'm actually writing a blog post atm having neglected for a while and I'm rocking out to Spotify tunes.
      Take care.
      Julie xx


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