In the age of social media, it can be difficult to think that what you are doing is ‘enough’. Whether this is professionally or in your social life. Are you doing enough at the gym, are you eating clean enough, are you progressing fast enough at work, seeing enough of the world?
Depending on your personality type, this can take a few different tolls on you. If you are someone who is comfortable shouting about what they are doing – social media can be a dream, you have a platform to talk about whatever you want, whenever you want. You can make as much or as little noise as you need. And someone, somewhere will see it.
But, if you prefer you stay a little more lowkey, it can become problematic. For one, these days it is almost a given that people will use social media to seek someone else – and this goes for anyone. From people interested in dating you, to long lost family, to people who might want to hire you. So it is in your interest to keep your social media (or 'brand') somewhat up to date – or alternatively private it completely.
While this might seem like the ideal solution, the problem with making a social account private is that it might come across as though you have something to hide. Of course this is not always the reason people have private accounts, but we have become so accustomed to seeing people’s lives on social media we are always a little taken aback when someone doesn’t want to share it with us.
The next problem is that the ‘Keeping up with the Jones’ (or Kardashians) effect is always made 100x worse on social media. So even though you are updating your profile once or twice a week – you might question whether or not you really are living your best life. Especially when you see co-workers filling their insta story with an event you couldn’t make, or your friends decorating their new house while you are still renting… or in my case, seeing models at the beach looking toned while I’m scrolling Twitter eating Oreo's.
I know the stress of social media is one of those ‘first world problems’, but with people talking more and more about anxiety and mental health – I think it’s important to acknowledge some of the smaller things that might lead some people to doubt themselves and become unhappy and a few ways to tackle them.
I class myself as someone who is more lowkey in terms of sharing my life online, and while you can expect a drunk Snapchat story from me once in a while, and a boomerang or seven on Instagram, you won’t catch a selfie every other day or a continuous stream of Facebook check ins. I recognise that we are in an age where the people that shout the loudest get the most recognition – whether or not they deserve all the credit for their work/projects (though this is a different topic completely) – yet I still cannot bring myself to make the noise 'needed'. I don’t know whether this is something that in time may or may not change, or something that I should get over immediately so I can alleviate any future worrying or stress.
Honestly, social media makes me roll my eyes at times, especially when I know the person posting isn’t being entirely honest… or just doing it for the likes, so often I end up coming back to a quote from one of the greatest writers. No not Shakespeare, or Dickens. Yes you guessed it. Lil Wayne:
‘Real G’s move in silence like lasagne’ (told you it was a classic).
Just because you aren’t making noise, doesn’t mean you aren’t working hard. And to balance the FOMO, or whatever social media envy’s official name is, I’ve been trying two things.
One – watching who I follow and making a conscious effort to take certain content with a pinch of salt. The platforms of bloggers and models can drag you in – as can those who travel and seem to constantly be on a beach, or those who always have the latest bag or phone. By forcing myself to remember that not everything is as it seems and that fakery is everywhere actually helps a little (for example… a recent blogger was recently slammed for photoshopping herself into locations. It is also common for people to use free images but pass them off as their own – yes this madness really does happen).
The second thing I have started to do is to try to take a digital detox day once a month. I truly recommend this, ideally on a Sunday when you have nothing planned – as nothing seems to make a train journey/waiting for a mate go quicker than meme hunting on Instagram. Not having everything pushed into your face takes away any anxieties or unnecessary stresses, plus it also gives you more time to give your full attention to other tasks – and actual real life. Remember when we didn’t have a social site to scroll through every 15 minutes?
So there is it is, first post back and a reminder that it's okay to be lowkey online (when it can sometimes feel like you are not doing enough). #NoFilter