Social Media Makes Me Happy

It seems that every day, there’s a new report out on how social media is having a negative effect on our lives. That it’s damaging our mental health and frying our brains.

It may be the case for other people. But for me, social media has completely changed my life for the better.

This time last year, Sian explained over brunch how to “do” Instagram. Previously, it had been a place for me to dump random photos of my life – photos that hadn’t been thought about, that had no purpose other than “lol, we did this”.

As soon as I left brunch with Sian, I started to see my surroundings differently. I was on the look out for beauty; I stopped to take things in. Suddenly, walks turned into hunts for pretty flowers, gorgeous scenes. Popping into town, I’d hunt for the most photogenic doorways. I became one of those people who takes photos of their food. No, I was one of those already (I lived in Japan, duh). I got BETTER at taking photos of my food.

Seeking beauty in things has massively impacted my positivity levels. Sharing pretty things is great fun, and is a wonderful outlet for creativity.

What’s more, seeing pretty things that other people post makes me even happier. I have a bookmark folder FULL of places I’ve seen on Instagram that I’d like to visit. It’s what took me to the Hitchin Lavender fields, and what dragged me out of bed at 9am on a Saturday because I’d seen that there’s a gorgeous cafe in a garden centre 45 minutes away.

If it wasn’t for Instagram, I wouldn’t have the amazing friendship group that I have in Cambridge. I was sat lonely one day, and started chatting to a bunch of girls I’d found through the local hashtag. Now they’re my best friends.

Now, all this isn’t to say that sometimes social media doesn’t make me sad sometimes. I wish I had never heard about apps that let you see who has unfollowed you, as every time I see someone I like click that button, I go into a spiral of self doubt, wondering why they don’t want to engage with me anymore. It’s even worse when the Cambridge blogger/social media scene is so close, and I consider some of the people I don’t see often IRL but check in with online to be actual friends.

Last week on Twitter, I watched with horror as blogger after blogger ganged up on a young lady who expressed her opinion about blogging; saying that she wished that people would use our platforms for more important things (speaking out about causes instead of makeup posts etc). Of course, our blogs are our own and people can do what they want, but it was just a young woman feeling passionate about making the world a better place. Big name after big name piled in on her, to the point where she wanted to delete her blog.

People reacting to me being on social media also brings me down sometimes. I have a number of friends who will comment that I’ve stopped to take yet another photo for Instagram, and a group of friends last week gave me serious sass for having a selfie stick on me.

(Side note – there is nothing wrong with selfie sticks. They allow us to take better photos and as long as they’re not used in crowded places, then there should not be any issue with them at all. If you’re worried that the place you live in/visit is full of people using them, consider when cameras, cars or any other modern technology became popular and how people would have said the same thing).

At the end of the day, social media, and in particular Instagram, motivates me to do more with my life, gives me ideas for cool things to do and gives me connections to amazing people to do all this with. As long as you remember that what you see on screen isn’t a true representation of someone’s life, don’t compare yourself to others, and get caught up in engaging with great people as opposed to getting caught up in stats, then social media can be a great place for anyone.

What are your thoughts on social media? I’d love to know in the comments.

 

 

Comments

  1. Sorry if I made you feel bad about the selfie stick 🙁 xxx

  2. I think it’s very easy to let your instagram feed become some sort of aspirational torture device! I’ve had a bit of a re-shuffle recently and switched out designer style bloggers and celebrities for awesome girl bosses, colourful babes and creative ladies and you all inspire me every day!

    • Charlotte says:

      It’s always good to have a shuffle. I deleted a couple recently because I don’t want to see someone who has a life of constant travel and parties. Their photos are pretty but their message isn’t to me.

  3. Great post! I agree with everything you wrote. Instagram is a wonderful place to find beauty and make friends. I’ve met so many people through my blog and social media. I’m a happier person because of it, despite the handful of critics/not very nice people out there. I’ve learned you can’t please everyone out there so just keep doing what you live.

  4. Great post! I agree with everything you wrote. Instagram is a wonderful place to find beauty and make friends. I’ve met so many people through my blog and social media. I’m a happier person because of it, despite the handful of critics/not very nice people out there. I’ve learned you can’t please everyone out there so just keep doing what you love.

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  1. […] wrote this week about how social media makes me happy as I was sad about the stick I get for it, and I was so touched by all your responses. Comments on […]

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