Back in 2007 a friend of mine told me about a new social media platform – Facebook. “Join”, she said, “it means we can all still keep in touch easily!”
I was fresh out of university, and had moved to a new city for my first full time job. On joining, I never knew just how popular or addictive it would become.
It was great – over the next few years I became “friends” with old school friends, university friends, work colleagues, and friends of friends. Suddenly, anyone could get in touch with me and they didn’t need to have my number! Facebook meant that I could see what was going on in peoples lives without having to actually have a 1-2-1 conversation with them – it was great as I felt in the loop with everything.
Over the next few years I got a smartphone, and was then able to look at Facebook via the touch of a button – the app made it sooooooo easy. So, whenever I was on public transport or had a few minutes to kill, out came my phone and i’d scroll through to see what was going on, keeping up with my newsfeed.
I also LOVED posting on facebook. I’d check in to places, and post funky photos of where I was – especially if it was something fun that I wanted people to know about. I would get excited at notifications of likes and comments on my posts – it made me feel popular, as people were interested in what I was doing. I would post all the fun stuff I was doing at any opportunity I got. And when I went to a new trendy restaurant? One of the first things I’d do when entering the building was to check in!
The game changer for me came when I started overthinking what certain people were posting – about how much fun they were having, and what they were up to with their friends. I’d never paid much notice to those emotions before, but as I was going through some friendship difficulties, it really resonated with me. The final straw came when I found out some personal news about a friend on facebook rather than a conversation between us. That hurt. She hadn’t text me, she’d posted it online instead for all of her Facebook friends to see at the same time as me, and I was supposedly one of her best friends? What happened to getting in touch with your friends first? Or was this what the world was coming to? Facebook rather than personal communication? I was deeply upset.
I then came across an article about someone who had left social media after totalling up the amount of time she spent scrolling per month. If I spent 5 mins per hour, for 12 hours of the day on social media, that was an hour wasted a day, 7 hours a week, 28 hours a month (a whole day per month!)
Those stats made me review my use – why was I on social media? Why did I post on social media? How was social media making me feel? I then decided to de-activate my accounts. Just like that. People close to me didn’t think i’d be able to do it as I was on Facebook all the time. Even I wasn’t sure whether I could do it!
But, after a few weeks, it felt like a weight had been lifted. Like I had a part of me back. I suddenly didn’t care about what others were doing, and how much fun they were having – as I didn’t see it. I also didn’t feel the urge to post all good things on social media – instead taking the time to enjoy such moments, or share them on a more personal level with those who mattered.
18 months on, i’m still not on social media as “me”, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. It has made me reflect and realise that some people NEED that acknowledgement of how great their lives are, how people never post the bad things that happen – just the good, and just how much time is wasted feeling jealous of others. Time and energy that could be used elsewhere.
So, after I had my baby (and didn’t need to announce it on social media), Mummy Setra was born. Not because I missed social media, but because I wanted to start secretly blogging. And i’m pleased to say, that this has been a nice healthy relationship with social media where I can just breathe and be me, without the need to prove a point.
Mummy S x