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Social Media. The good, the bad and the ugly.

I have been struggling the last couple of weeks. Beyond the usual stuff. Exhaustion, feeling stressed and like I can’t spread myself far enough. A few other things have also been affecting me more than I thought they were. With it being the school holidays, it is usually the time where I kinda crash. It’s like my body and mind say ‘I’ve had enough and I need a rest’ and this time I have listened. The Girl Campaign programs aren’t scheduled these holidays and that is kinda nice... practicing what I preach.

Self care is an act that enables an individual to improve or thrive to reach optimal well being. So yep, Ive done the more basic self-care acts these hoils- like an amazing massage to relieve tension, having a bath with magnesium salts and beautiful scented candles burning and enjoying gentle exercise but, this time I’ve had to pull out the big guns.

Yep, I decided to go off social media. Eeeekkk. I have considered this move before but have always wanted to and felt the need to share the love through TGC posts so had previously decided to stay on there. I have been away before where you don’t have any reception or the wifi is temperamental and that is when you realise just how much we rely on technology. A LOT!!!!! Almost borderlines on addiction.. anyone else?

This time I only decided to say no to Facebook and Instagram for a few days (4 to exact) but it really got me thinking

1.Just how much I scroll through Facey and Insta. Mindlessly scrolling. Comparisons, judging, feeling judged, over analysing and feeling bad about myself, being inspired and feeling good about myself are just a few emotions I can experience daily. A mixed bag really.

2.People put exactly what they want you to see on their social media. A business wants to sell their product and wants it to look its absolute best to increase their sales. A friend posts amazing pictures of themselves on holiday, selfies with filters and practicing being all ‘zen’ when they have spend half an hour trying to get the perfect photo. Hell, we have all been there. I have cropped out one of my kids chucking a tantrum before because my other child is smiling beautifully. (Sorry Xave!) Social media can be peoples highlight reel. This is putting no judgement on social media as I think the good outways the bad but we all need to remember HIGHLIGHT REEL, FILTERS and BEHIND THE SCENES. We all have a story and in most cases only a handful of people know it.

3.Often we miss out in ‘living in the moment’ as we are checking into our location, taking a picture or playing on Snapchat. Ever noticed if you have an amazing time how little you are on your phone???

4.How I have come to rely on social media in many facets of my life. The Girl Campaign, my personal profiles, messenger with groups of friends and my job as a Careers Advisor/Teacher. Social media is so instant and direct. It sure makes life easier at times, and harder at times.

5.How I can read far too much into social media. How many likes I got, How many shares? Who hasn’t liked it? Why haven’t they liked it? Have I offended anyone? Why did they stop following me? Why has that person copied my post? This is what gets me most about social media and I know it is also my personality type but I cannot let social media become my life. Over analysing social media is NOT GOOD for my health- or yours!

Weed your online garden!!!!! Follow people/accounts that make you feel good about you and unfollow the ones that don’t. Unfriend the person that can’t say hi to you in the supermarket. They are not your friend. Who has 1000 friends anyway?

I found the time off social media hard. I wanted to check my IG and FB accounts (mostly for TGC stuff) for a quick look or to like and comment on other people’s posts. And.....

I had a little FOMO going on- but hey, my true friends knew I was taking a breather and could message me or call me if they wanted or needed.

I actually took IG and FB apps off my phone, which definitely helped as the temptation wasn’t there to just have a quick peek. I used my phone for calls and messages- the only functions that phones could do...once upon a time.

I’ll admit it....I did cheat a little (using messenger) as Year 12 were messaging me lots of questions about University Applications which I needed to respond to, but apart from that little confession, I did pretty well. I even scheduled Friday Flowers in so I didn’t need to go on there to post.

I enjoyed the days with my boys. We went to the beach and I left my phone in the car. We went for walks, had picnics and played under the sprinkler and I took photos- but not to post. Just for me and their albums. I became more present in the moment. I had better night sleeps and also woke up not feeling the temptation to check my phone before getting out of bed. On previous mornings I know a quick check of FB, IG, emails, bank balances, overnight news and houses for sale can turn into 45 minutes wasted. This meant poor Pumba (our puppy) gets a shorter walk or I don’t have time before work to get a gym session in.

I was more productive in my life. I coloured in mindlessly and relaxed instead of scrolling mindlessly and stressed. I used my time in other ways. My kiddies appreciated it more and didn’t ask to play games or watch ABC for Kids on my phone either!!!!

Social media has a place. It has a place in my life, it has a major place for TGC as it is a platform for me to reach many. It has numerous inspiring people creating good in the world. It has amazing honest people on there, telling their struggles and keeping it real. I hope the positive message that TGC spreads if an example of social media positivity!

Social media cannot and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. I have found taking a break (at the right time) has been beneficial for me. I needed it. It was one of the main causes for me feeling stressed. The first 2 days were hard but it did get easier.

From here I will consider have a couple days break again every now and then. I will also limit my time on social media of an evening. I will unfollow people that make me feel like crap. If I ( a 33 year old) struggle with this, I can only imagine how teenagers feel!!!

Yep sure, social media can be good, bad and ugly but more because of our mind frame when we use it. Treat social media for what it is and if you can’t maybe you need a little break too.

Kimberli xx

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