Aah, mental health. It’s possibly one of the most talked about subjects in the last couple of years yet it still isn’t talked about enough, how can that be possible, right? I definitely don’t talk about it as much as I should in real life, but have I found the right balance for the online world? Let’s talk about how we decide on choose what to share about the subject on social media in today’s post.
With the evolution of sociaI media, I believe a majority of society are over-sharers (myself included) and living in an online world certainly hasn’t helped that perception but with outlets to tell your friends what’s going on, to tell strangers your problems and to share with the world what you had for breakfast; is it really that shocking that we feel like everyone is living a lie? I’ll be the first to say I love posting on Instagram; from my running progress, the foods that I am loving to what I’ve been getting up to that week. I’ve been a tweeter since 2010 and with almost 50,000 tweets, I love talking nonsense sometimes so I definitely count myself as an over-sharer from time to time.
Take a look at my latest Instagram feed for example, what do you see? You see gorgeous plates of food, fresh manicures, gorgeous skies and spending time with my boyfriend. In that timeline, you don’t see me struggling to get out of bed until mid-afternoon one day because I’m worried about the future. You don’t see me sitting by the phone waiting for that phone call telling me whether I got a job offer and you don’t see me having a good Sunday morning and then suddenly getting hit with very sore cramps that caused me to lie in bed for most of the afternoon.
Am I part of the problem? What exactly is the problem that I may or may not be a part of? Is there anything wrong with just sharing the good moments of my life or have we been conditioned to believe that it should be that all-or-nothing attitude of “share the good, bad and ugly or share nothing at all”? The world, online and offline, really isn’t that black and white and I think that’s something we are all struggling with. In real life, I’m not someone to really open up about problems that are bothering me and while that is something that I’m becoming better at, it is still a struggle. I feel like a burden and I don’t want to burden anyone with my problems and that’s much more common than you think. So while I’m all about others talking about their problems, I’m not so open about my own. (Again, am I part of the problem?)
At the beginning on 2018, I became very depressed to the point where I cried on the way to work for weeks on end and getting out of bed to go to work was a task in itself. I hated the weekends because I put so much pressure on myself to do everything and when I didn’t, I felt horrible during the week because I didn’t feel good enough. I was very unhappy; nothing I enjoyed doing made me happy anymore and I floated through life for a couple of months feeling completely lost. At the time I questioned why; I had my family and friends, I had my boyfriend, I had a job and I had my own house, I had everything I wanted (or so I thought) so why was I incredibly unhappy? Yet on social media, you probably wouldn’t have picked up on it because it’s not something I wanted to put out there nor was it something that I was trying to hide. Do you see my dilemma? Just because I didn’t put it on social media, doesn’t mean I was trying to hide it but I chose not to put it online so it seems like I was hiding it.
I don’t think anyone has the authority to tell us what is too much to put online except ourselves. Social media is not the be-all-end-all and I think that’s why so many more people are now having digital detoxes because it can all become too much. Waking up and scrolling through other people’s lives can become your daily habit if you make it that. Comparing yourself to someone else can become something you do on a regular basis if you’re constantly picking up the phone and looking at yourself in a negative light because someone else is doing something different than you through the other side of the screen.
We can all handle social media in a much healthier way if we recognize that it isn’t all pretty rainbows and sunshine. Next time you look at someone’s social media accounts, remember that they’re not putting out every single thing about their life; they’re not always putting out the bad and they certainly don’t put every single great thing either. If you can’t handle what someone is sharing, don’t look and I know that’s easier said than done. The great thing about most social media platforms now is that we can mute people, so you’re making the active decision to not look at their content and unless you physically go to their profile, you won’t see it. If it helps your mood and overall mindset, then you’re doing something right.
This is a post that I’ve been thinking about for a while and it’s been really hard for me to write exactly what I want to say because this is such a broad subject, it can be easy to fall down the rabbit hole, can’t it? I hope it made sense because it’s something we all need to think about and it’s also something that we need to protect ourselves from, whenever it‘s necessary.