Now, you may think the title of this blog is a little dramatic, but to some extent it’s definitely true! Don’t get me wrong, there are so many positives to social media like staying in touch with friends and family, connecting with people that you have things in common with, getting inspiration, education, plus foodie photos and networking. However, there are many downsides and I’ve listed some below:
1. We compare ourselves to others
Now, we all know this is a major problem. And you can argue all you want that you don’t compare yourself to others but we all do it, even if it’s subconsciously. Have you ever scrolled through instagram for 10 minutes only to come off feeling a little bit worse? That’s because we compare ourselves to how other people look, eat, how successful their careers and lives are, the material things they have, their fitness regime. Everything. As a result we’re ruining our self-esteem and damaging our relationship with ourselves, our bodies, food and even other people. Spend less time mindlessly scrolling and I guarantee you will feel a thousand times better when you focus solely on you and what you are doing and what makes you happy.
One of my current pet peeves at the moment is the word “influencer”, especially a self-confessed “influencer” (more like self-obsessed). Mostly famous for showing their bare-bum, be wary of which “influencers” you follow and what they are “influencing” you to do. A lot of the time these people aren’t interested in your wellbeing; they’re interested in increasing their following and selling their precious guides.
3. Everyone’s an expert
Following on nicely from my last point is the fact that everyone thinks they are an expert. Too many times I see bloggers/vloggers trying to be a personal trainer, nutritionist and lifestyle coach all in one. Now, I know qualifications don’t count for everything but they do count for a hell of a lot. To save on time, I’m going to talk specifically about nutrition – there are far too many people trying to give out nutrition advice and talk about topics that are out of their scope of knowledge/experience. If you are not a registered nutritionist/dietitian you have no right to educate people about complex nutrition matters. Nutrition is not an “eat like me, look like me” thing, and by dishing out nutrition advise without proper knowledge you could do some serious damage, mentally and physically. I have far more respect for people who know that something is out of their depth and instead refer you on to someone who does know what they’re talking about.
4. Everyone is too concerned with followers
Everyone has a fitness account, a youtube channel, is posting foodie photos and is posing for a gym-selfie. I get it, I really do. Previously, my account was all about these things. But now I just post what I want to post and if people follow me that’s cool and if they unfollow me, that’s cool too! The problem now is that everyone wants to be “insta-famous” and instead of focusing on real-life relationships, the focus is on the number of people who look at our photos online everyday. Think about how dumb that sounds for a second and then reevaluate why you post online.
5. We aren’t present
Probably my biggest problem with social media (and technology in general) is that it takes away from our presence in real life. Social media isn’t real life. It’s not and never will be. You can tell me you’re aware of that, and that’s great. But until you actually start spending less time on social media, you are still being sucked into this fake world for a disproportionate amount of time each day. I see people everyday walking around with their head in their phone, not looking where they’re going, or out for food with friends and every single person is scrolling online instead of talking to each other. There is nothing worse than talking to someone who is more concerned with their phone than what you have to say. We are always trying to catch the perfect moment to post it on social media rather than enjoying it for what it is. Spend less time on your phone and more time appreciating others and the world around you.
6. It is prioritised over everything
And last but by no means least, I hate how social media is prioritised over all else. “Wait there let me just post this” “I need to post this on snapchat” “That has to be a tweet”. Not everything you say and do has to be posted on social media. Social media won’t help you improve at your job, make you a better student or a better friend: in fact it will probably do the complete opposite. Stop prioritising posting/looking/being online and instead prioritise things that are important to you in real life. If you worry too much about what’s happening on social media, there is a serious problem.
Hopefully this blog has made you open your eyes a little, and you may think about spending a little less time on social media (and your phone in general!) Remember there are SO many more important things to life (real life) so look up from your phone now and again! And if that still hasn’t convinced you, just think how happy grandparents are – I am almost sure part of that is because they didn’t have the burden of having to live up to the expectations on social media and were more concerned with their own lives than everyone else’s!
**This blog is not trying to throw shade on anyone and isn’t based on anyone in particular, but is a general trend I’ve noticed lately. I completely understand that for some people, social media is genuinely their job and livelihood but for the vast majority of us, it is just an extra, a hobby.**