I feel like I should start this post with a disclaimer, I am not trying to offend or judge anyone this is just my personal view and experience!
Ok I am just going to say it, I am not a fan of social media and, I know as a girl who blogs, that may sound a bit strange.
It wasn’t always this way, about 8 years ago I was on Facebook and like half of the population I was a little obsessed with it. I would spend many a hour looking through posts and pictures. I loved it. Then one day I was having some food in a cafe when one of my ‘Facebook friends’ walked in and we both just ignored each other. It was a girl who I had been to school with 10 years earlier so, don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t expecting a full blown conversation with her but a smile or hello was not even passed. It wasn’t just her to blame because I also didn’t initiate anything. It made me feel so uncomfortable with the whole meaning of ‘Facebook friends’, what does it mean? Is it just a number to make ourselves feel better about ourselves?
I have a good friend who has hundreds and hundreds of ‘Facebook friends’, she recently had a party and there was only a handful of people who turned up, very few of these ‘friends’. Experiences such as these tainted Facebook for me. I guess it just made me think – what is the point?
A couple of weeks ago I joined Instagram, I knew out of all the social media platforms this would be the one for me. I love taking pictures and I love looking at other peoples pictures, I have about 3 shoeboxes on top of my wardrobe full of photographs from growing up, University, holidays, nights out. It would have been great to be able to share all these with friends throughout the years. Just as I imagined, I do enjoy it but there are parts I feel slightly uncomfortable with. I look at other accounts who have thousands and thousands of followers and feel like I am the most unpopular girl in school, don’t get me wrong I realise people work really hard to build up their followers and they are well deserved but I do feel it can bring back all the same insecurities we all feel when we are younger. This makes me sad, especially for my girls. I don’t want the number of followers or Facebook friends to define them. I don’t want them to feel any less about themselves. I want them to have good real friends they can count on rather than hundreds of ‘Facebook friends’ they can’t. I don’t want them to get confused with what is real.
Social media is such a double edged sword. On one hand it brings so much opportunity – people are making careers for themselves, people can easily keep in touch, it can reunite old friends etc. – it amazes me and the evolution of Technology is very exciting. Whilst on the other hand it can bring so much pain, insecurities, jealousy. It scares me for my girls growing up in this world. Remember that time you fell over in front of your whole class or walked around with your knickers tucked into your skirt, imagine that online for the whole world to see forever.
That said, I know if I want this blog, my labour of love to be found and read in this virtual universe I need to promote myself on social media. I need to up my game and stop being scared, to have a thick skin and maybe just to take social media for what it is – an opportunity.