S is for Social Media


You can find information about the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge here or read the rest of my A to Z posts by following this link.

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Today’s post for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is about Social Media.

Back in the day, way back when social media sites were just starting to emerge, I had a MySpace account and really loved being able to connect with friends and family, make new friends and be able to write about my thoughts and feelings, share music and customise my site to the max.  Then Facebook seemed to arrive out of no where and my MySpace account was abandoned as all my friends seemed to prefer Facebook.  For years I loved my Facebook account and would post to it several times a day.  I loved to read what my friends were doing.  Facebook then introduced sharing of photos and it was nice to see my friends pictures as well as read what was going on in their lives.  Eventually Facebook introduced sharing of websites, news articles, memes and eventually, with so many selling groups becoming popular, they introduced Marketplace.  I stopped seeing what my friends were doing and my feed became a mishmash of music videos, re-posted memes and adverts and that’s when I decided to quit the platform.

I had, and still have my original Instagram account and have made one specifically for the blog (you can find that here), I also have a Twitter, a Pinterest account and I can be found on Bloglovin’.  I’m not particularly active on any of them.

I had plans to be active on all my social media platforms and in several of my Monthly Goals posts have set myself a goal of learning about the platforms that I have and start using them more effectively but in all honesty, I am put off by the whole numbers game and all the other silly games that are played there in order to get noticed.  There are people who follow you in the hope that you will follow back, regardless of whether the things they post are interesting to you, and then you get unfollowed the day later because you didn’t follow back.  There are people with hundreds and thousands of followers but when you look at the interaction on each post, there only seem to be a handful of likes or comments.  People seem to be obsessed with the number of followers that you have, the higher the amount the more interesting you become to brands and the more “influencer” you are.  But, from what I have looked at, and what I have seen, there seems to be a flaw there, the more followers you have should not mean anything.  Just because you have 4000 followers, does not mean that they will all see your posts and like the image and be swayed into buying the product, it just means that you have a higher potential reach.  I have looked at people who have smaller numbers of followers and they seem to get a higher percentage of likes and comments than those with more followers.

And, the whole numbers thing is just one element that I’m tired of.  The other thing I am getting bored with is the amount of images that are shared that are styled so much and look magazine perfect.  I’m not against this at all, I think a beautifully styled image is lovely, but I also want to see images that have just been shot in the moment and are not perfect.  We all have flaws, images have flaws and that makes us human.

I have been reading a lot about Instagram and have read several articles about how you should pick a theme for your feed, so that all the images tie in with each other, whether it is using the same background, or colour scheme, or the same filter, and while I agree with this to some extent, I am perfectly happy to post things that please me and fit in with me as a person, rather than me as a brand.

And, I think, really, that is what I struggle with, and maybe why I am not so active on social media, the whole idea that you have to be your own brand and develop your social media channels to fit that brand.  And that is also why I prefer my blog, and reading other people’s blogs, either here on WordPress or over on Blogger, most of the bloggers that I follow have an honesty about them, a sort of what you read is what you get, sort of style, and I hope that, along the way, when you read my blog posts, that you get a true understanding of who I am and what I am about.

What are your thoughts on social media?


10 Things That Have Happened Since Leaving Facebook

Today’s Top 10 is a bit different to normal, I’m not going to be sharing a Top 10 today but I’m going to tell you about the 10 things that I have noticed have happened to me since I left Facebook over a month ago.

  1. I’m less bothered about what other people think and more confident in my own opinions.  Before I left Facebook I would always be checking it out to see what my “friends” had posted about all sorts of different subjects, from news items to the latest storyline in a soap, and I would let their opinions sway my own.  Now I don’t have that social media channel and can not check what people think, I’ve found that I’m not bothered about what others think so much and I feel that I am getting more confident in my own beliefs and opinions.  It feels like I am able to develop my own opinions better and not let what others think influence my own thoughts.
  2. I’ve started to enjoy doing nothing.  At one point in time, sitting and doing nothing would have bored me to tears and I would soon have been reaching for my phone and skimming through Facebook pointlessly.  Now though, I find it is really nice to sit and not do anything, just take some time out and enjoy the moment for what it is.
  3. I’m not checking my phone as often.  While I still have Instagram and WordPress on my phone and check those 3-4 times a day, the majority of my phone checking would be down to Facebook and the ingrained fear of missing out that it cultivated in me.  I thought that this would be a really hard habit to break but, because I know that the app has been deleted and my account shut down, it doesn’t even occur to me to pick up my phone.  It is almost as if the habbit was broken the second I deleted my acount with Facebook.
  4. I’m not wasting so much time.  Or maybe I should say that I seem to have gained extra time?  I seem to have more time in the mornings to get myself up and ready for the day, more time to enjoy my lunch, more time to spend with family and friends, more time in general.  It’s crazy how much time I now seem to have and how much of it I wasted by being glued to a site that gave me next to nothing in return.
  5. I’m not judging myself so harshly.  I am being kinder to myself.  When I am having a bad day or feel like I have not succeeded at something it used to be so easy to go to Facebook and see all the success stories of friends, whether it be them going out, having fun days, holidays or anything else, these little things would make me feel so much worse and I would judge myself and what I have accomplished or not.  Now I feel that I am being kinder to myself and giving myself the allowances that I need.
  6. I’m not comparing myself to others so much.  This sort of ties into the above.  I used to compare myself to everyone – they are prettier than me, have more friends, are having more fun, and in this social media filled age, where everyone seems to share everything except those insecure moments, it was really easy for me to forget that everyone can feel like this and somewhere, someone was probably comparing themselves to me.  But comparing yourself to others is not healthy, especially when you lose sight of how different we all really are.  And now, I’ve stopped comparing and I’m focused more on myself and what I have to offer and I’m a lot happier with myself.
  7. I’m not being so easily influenced.  It’s weird how coming off of Facebook has made me realise how much seeing things on there influenced me and my decisions, from what I wear, what I buy, read, eat, use, how I look, it all seemed to have some kind of influence over me.  I feel like I am now becoming myself again, emerging from this social media cloud that I have worn like an armour to “fit in” with the crowd.  I feel like, even though I wasn’t aware of it, that somehow lots of little things influenced me, my style and who I am and that is pretty scary.
  8. I’m feeling more relaxed.  I used to feel like I was forever rushing around, not having any time for anything, constantly being connected to everybody, constantly having this role to fulfil and an audience that couldn’t be let down, whether it be from me not sharing something, liking or commenting on someones post or wishing someone a Happy Birthday, there always seemed to be a million things that needed doing.  Since unplugging myself I have felt like the pace of life has slowed and I no longer place this pressure on myself to connect with everyone.  I’m feeling more relaxed and like I can breathe again.
  9. I have more time to focus on the things I want to.  It’s weird, whatever I was doing when I had Facebook, like reading or watching tv, there always seemed to be half of my brain occupied with thoughts of what was going on on-line and I never fully focused on what I was doing.  My concentration was not the best, it still isn’t, but I’m not getting interrupted with thoughts of Facebook anymore.  My brain used to use Facebook as a procrastination tool – if I wasn’t enjoying something then I’d have a look on Facebook, wasting time, waiting for inspiration.  Now if I’m not enjoying something I tend to see it through, focusing on the end of the task and then reward myself with a cup of tea.
  10. I’m not missing it.  I never, ever, in a million years, thought I would ever say that I am not missing Facebook.  But it’s true, I’m really not.  At one point, when Facebook first started and all you could share were a few sentences about what you were doing, how you were feeling, how your day had been or whatever else you wanted to write, it felt like you were really getting to know your friends and it felt social.  now though, because Facebook introduced sharing links to websites, memes, music, and anything else, you rarely see thoughts from your friends, just long news feeds of memes and other random shared items, it’s not really very “social” anymore.  I think if Facebook was like it was when it first started I would probably miss it, but now, when you see what is on people’s news feed, and that none of it is really adding anything to your life, its not teaching you anything, giving you information, creating conversations, letting you get to know your friends any better, well, I’m not missing it.

I Broke Up…with Facebook

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Back at the end of 2018 I came to a rather abrupt decision, not just to leave Facebook, but to walk out and never go back.  Facebook and I are over, we broke up and I never want to see it again (*disclaimer*…at least for the forseeable future…).

So, on the 5th January, after leaving a message up on my Facebook for a week prior saying I was leaving and should anyone want to stay in contact to inbox me their mobile, and after downloading all the information that I wanted to save from my account, I hit the delete account button.  Facebook does, kindly, let you know that it puts your account into de-activation mode for a month incase you want to come back within that 30 day period…helpful, but no.

And this wasn’t a decision I had truly thought about and mulled over, I just decided that I was fed up of the social media platform, just like that, there was no decision to be made, I’d had enough and I wanted out there and then.  A few friends were pretty surprised as I’d spent half my degree years working on projects about social media and proclaimed my love for Facebook pretty much daily for the past few years.

And here I am now, just over a month into not having a Facebook…do I miss it?  Not particularly, though in the beginning I would pick up my phone and not really know why.  That habit was quite a worrying one as I had not really noticed how much I used to pick it up to check Facebook and it was a pretty hard one to break too.

So, why did I leave?  That’s what you have all been waiting for me to answer right?  Well, it was a mixture of things, one being the endless amount of hours I spent scrolling through my feed (and we are talking around 2 hrs a day) and not really getting anything out of it aside from frustration borne from seeing the same things posted over and over again, whether it be videos, memes or articles.  No longer was I connecting with friends, I had no idea what any of them were up to in real life as no one seems to share any snippets of their life anymore, and surely that is the one thing that Facebook is supposed to do, after all, their tag line is “Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life.”.  And when people did share something personal it always seemed to be a smug photo of them on holiday/at a fancy restaurant/showing off a new purchase/whatever and to me it sort of felt like people were gloating and bragging and, honestly, I really hate that (not to say I’ve never been guilty of that).

Facebook breeds meanness, I used to be in a lot of groups for one thing and another and, while people were encouraged to share things, like, for example, something they had made, the amount of mean comments that were posted underneath made me feel a bit insecure and not wanting to share.  I was always taught that if you have nothing nice to say then not to say anything and that is a transferable skill…it works on-line too.

Then there is the whole censoring what you say, not for any political reasons or anything else, but because half the people you work with are on your Facebook friends list and you don’t want them to know certain things, or that you can’t say something because it might upset someone else and it all just becomes a headache.

And don’t get me started on algorithms and that Facebook controls what you see from which friends…

I think what it all boils down to is that I just became really irritated with Facebook and it left me feeling not too good about myself, wasn’t giving me anything in return of any sort of value, it wasn’t enhancing or enriching my life and when that happens, whether it is a real relationship or a relationship with a social media platform I think its time to call it a day.

Since I have left Facebook I have been reading more blogs and articles online that I’m interested in, writing and working on my blog more, creating more and just enjoying time where I have noting to do for what it is – simple, quiet downtime.  And its been brilliant.

Will I ever return to Facebook?  At the moment I can’t see that happening any time soon, I’m still getting to grips with Twitter and I’m pretty happy with Instagram, but it’s not something I would rule out entirely.