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Sunday, 2 August 2015

Anti-Social Media

I remember when I first joined Facebook. I remember because I was underage *gasp* and had to fake my age to be allowed on the social network. That was back when Facebook was intended for university students and not everyone under the sun. It didn’t hold much appeal to me at the time because only about 5% of my friends were either old enough to be on it or ‘brave’ enough to lie about their real age.

In 2009 I felt a little more at home joining Twitter where there were no age restrictions, although it was initially a strange concept deciding what to say to the literally, the world. Below was my first ever tweet (you can find out yours by clicking this link and typing in your handle). Why I thought the world needed to know the below, I don’t know - or why I thought I was cool typing in the 3rd person… But hey, you live and you learn.

I don’t remember when I joined Instagram but it was definitely last to my social media party. Since my ‘birth’ into the social media world I’ve sent over 30,000 tweets and uploaded over 4,000 images to Instagram - which does scare me a little. I remember a point in my life when I was tweeting about 15-20 times a day whereas now I struggle to send more than two. I’m trying to vet what I share to the world now. Why? Because I think social media is having an opposite affect on me and my life. I can definitely recognise that I’d become a slave to social media and shared everything from what I had for breakfast to snaps of my loved ones.

I’m still comfortable for people to see my Friday cocktails or my weekend Eggs Benedict but as for my personal life - I want to keep it that way, because I feel for me, that’s what Facebook is for. I’m happy for my Facebook friends and family to witness me getting emotional and sentimental on my wall but doing it to the world is something I’m no longer comfortable with, because as nice as it is to get likes, do they honestly care?!
I know some people have social media anxiety (there’s probably an official name for this I realise), where if it didn’t go on Instagram, it didn’t happen. GUYS IT DID. You don’t need a square photo and a fancy filter for it to have been real. How about memories and those abs you gained last weekend from crying with laughter? That’s how you know and remember. About only 10% of the photos I take end up on Instagram because it’s nice to keep some of your life for you.

I love social media and I hope that this post doesn’t come off as otherwise, I just don’t want it to take over my life and for people to think it’s 100% real. I’m not saying that my photos are fake, but I’ve had quite a few people come up to me and tell me how amazing my life is and how they want my life. I quickly remind them not to read (or look) too much into my Instagram grid. Not everyday is a bed of roses - no-one posts the hard times on social media or uploads a photo of the washing up they’ve not done - and that’s where social media scares me - because people believe that you lead the perfect life. Scrolling through my feed it looks like all I do is wear nice clothes, drink prosecco and watch the sun set. Whilst that DOES happen, my actual life happens around that.

I had an urge to write this post after my work’s summer party this weekend. As a photo and video addict, I came away with about 5 photos and envy of my colleague’s much better media efforts. I spent more time dancing than snapping so whilst I don’t have memories stored in my phone - I have them in my head. It was one of the best nights of my life and I’m not sure whether that’s down to not over-sharing it with the rest of the world - but it’s something that I’m now doing. And to completely go against all of the above - here’s a snap from the party.
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