Photography by Katherine McMorran
If you are reading this then chances are you use some sort of social media. In fact, you probably found this post through a social media platform. In todays society social media is such a big part of our lives and a lot of us find it hard to live without it. If instagram is down then chances are you will log onto twitter to discover half of your following list complaining about it. And if twitter is down- well, we don’t quite know what to do.
There are so many advantages to social media. I’ve made so many friends through twitter. Some that I have met in real life, some that I have made plans to meet, and others who I will probably never meet but who I would trust with my deepest secrets anyway. Social media allows us to keep in contact with friends who have moved away- we can keep up with their adventures through instagram, and keep in contact with them through facebook.
Social media also allows us a place to share our creativity and find inspiration for said creativity. If I’m lacking motivation I scroll down instagram to see all the gorgeous photos and get inspiration and ideas for my own photos. Or I will scroll down twitter to gain ideas for posts and outfits.
But while there are many upsides to social media, there are also many negatives. And these negatives can, at times, outweigh the positives. With the popularity of smartphones, social media is easier to access than ever. And while this can be a good thing, it has also meant we have become a generation who can find it difficult to ‘switch off’. No longer do we have to leave our work at work- we can reply to our emails, tweets and messages anywhere and at anytime. Even outside of work-related activities, we are glued to our phones for facebook, twitter etc.
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Last night a friend of mine put up a snapchat. It was a snapchat of a load of friends at his house pre-drinking before going for a night out. But the first thing I noticed is that pretty much everybody in the snapchat where on their phones. Very few of them seemed to be talking, they where all just staring at their screens.
I know for myself, I find it very hard to put down my phone. If I am in a new or uncomfortable situation, I take out my phone and go onto twitter to put myself at ease. If I can’t sleep I go onto facebook. I can’t watch a tv show without jumping onto twitter to see what everybody else thinks of it.
But perhaps one of the worst parts of social media, is what it can do to our confidence. We spend hours scrolling through instagram looking at perfectly made up girls, all wearing the newest trends and with the newest makeup. And it can leave us feeling a little crappy about ourselves. People go out of their way to put their best selves on instagram. We take a hundred pictures to get that perfect selfie and we only ever insta-story the best parts of our days.
Twitter is a lot more real than instagram. People are a lot more likely to talk about their issues and problems on twitter. But it is also full of drama and arguments. I find myself so afraid to tweet at times because I am worried that somebody who has a differing opinion is going to jump on me, retweet and start an argument. I try to stay out of any twitter drama but I’ve seem some of the arguments that have went on, and people can be vicious. People who claim to be advocated for mental health, yet are pretty much attacking somebody online. And all it takes is one person to start and then everyone seems to jump in. And don’t get me wrong, sometimes people tweet extremely hurtful things and deserve to be called out. But a lot of the time it seems to all be over a misunderstanding.
Social media isn’t something I can live without. I will admit it. I doubt I could go a week without it. But it is something that I really need to try and cut down on. I’m sick of the drama on twitter, and I’m so over feeling like I’m not pretty enough, or rich enough after scrolling through instagram. So for now on I’m going to try and stay off it as much as possible. I’m going to try and reach for a book when I can’t sleep. And I’m going to put my phone and ipad away when I’m watching a tv show or movie. And I’m going to make sure that when I’m out with friends I actually pay attention to them rather than twitter.
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