It’s a bit like Marmite in my experience, you either love it or hate it. Personally I fall in and out of love of it in a regular basis, depending on my mood. It can give me a lift up when I’m feeling down, but sometimes it can go the other day and make me feel really depressed about myself. Back when it first started I was moving house and getting married back in 2007 and social media was a bit of a thing, I had been on myspace previously but got bored of it when I got loads of random messages and social media had been a new thing for me and I didn’t know how to block things I didn’t want to see.
Social Media started to become a huge thing in the 2000s, it started in 1997 in the US but by the time interest was shown on a large scale it had started with Flikr the photography website in 2006. Although some may not call this a social media website, but I would class it as one because you’re connecting with other people (ie. photographers). Then about the same time Twitter was born, another one either you love or hate it. Some use this for information purposes, some to stalk their favourites celebrities (I would NEVER do that!) or and I hate to say this one, but VENT but when I say that I mean most of the time they troll. I cannot believe that there are actually people out there that do this but they purposely go on social media to upset people. Not cool.
In the world there was always those that unfortunately bullied, I was bullied at a young age when I was at school and then later in life in the work place. It was awful, but I always remembered that I had a safe place. When I got home, that was it, I didn’t have to worry about it until the next day. Now youngsters cannot actually get away from it, they’re bullied at school and on social media. Where does it end? I will endeavor to work so hard at educating William about this, I like to think that he won’t show an interest in social media like his dad.
I feel like people have lost their conversations now too, when you have a proper conversation with them you find yourself telling them what you’ve already published on social media. I met a friend for lunch the other week and the conversation went “Oh William and his sense of humour!” I say after she’s asked me how he is, she knows how he is because I’m on social media daily. “Oh yes.” She says, “I saw that on Facebook!” That’s it, the conversation is almost over because I couldn’t tell her the whole story because she already knew! So with that in mind, I’ve stepped back from putting too much on there. It was great in lockdown (also lazy) because I could see how my friends and family were doing, I didn’t need to call them or text them because it was all on facebook and I could see what they’d been doing. A couple of friends would sometimes share something sad or meaningful on their wall or status, then I would call them because to me that read that they needed some proper conversation. I had a few moments when I would type out; ‘please call me I need a proper conversation with someone’ on my status but then I would delete it because I thought maybe people would think I was attention seeking.
A lot of people at the moment have started to appreciate the art of conversation and have always remarked on how social media has taken over our communication, you would walk down the street and people were on their phones not looking where they’re going. Most of the time people assume they’re on social media, but there are moments when I’ve been on my phone whilst walking sending a message to Mike about what time I’ll be home or texting my mum to say I’ll get whatever she wanted from the shops on the way back. So I am hoping that assumption does go out of the window a bit, but I don’t think we shall ever get away from life today as being so much in the limelight because of social media.
Personally I’ve found social media quite useful, it has helped me get through so much. It is true that it also added to my mental health. The worst time to be on Facebook was when I was having miscarriages because every time I scrolled my timeline one of my friends would be having a day out with their children or announcing their latest pregnancy. It even got the point where one day someone had posted her children’s first days at school photos and I threw my phone across the room and burst into tears. I still find it a struggle when I see friends on there with more than one child and I know in my head I am realising it would be so much hard work, but I still feel that I would’ve loved to have a brother or sister for William.
Then on the flip side social media has helped me through, because with William being a premature baby it helped me research and get support via Instagram and Facebook groups. Being in a hospital where the other parents weren’t always local Facebook was also good for that too, because we were able to keep in touch, which was lovely seeing all the babies grow up.
As I write this blog, I expect I will be using social media to promote it as that’s what many bloggers do. Some bloggers even use just social media to post things, being able to advertise and get paid to do it just by posting something on Instagram so it’s their job and what feeds their family. So much time can be wasted scrolling through social media, Instagram for ideas about decor, clothes and food. I save them most of the time, but I never get around to doing any of them but at least the intention is there. And the same goes for tiktok, who knew you could waste so much time getting ideas for making things, cleaning things, literally anything. My head normally feels like it’s going to explode after spending time on it, there is so much I didn’t know! ‘Some people have too much time on their hands’ my husband says. But then he was impressed at some of the things I’ve discovered that are very beneficial to all of us, packing for holidays has been a game changer for us for sure. NOT that we’re going anywhere at the moment!
Our parents don’t like Facebook, I think that is a standard thing with people over a certain age. Technophobes is another word that is regularly used, especially as the only phone they all use is a Doro or Nokia mobile phone. My mum personally hates that she doesn’t get to see the children growing up with pictures because the pictures end up on social media and on mobile phones, I’ve always made a contentious effort to make sure I send regular emails and pictures of William and getting some printed off (thanks freeprints) for both sets of parents. I literally am the best daughter/daughter-in-law!
I once was telling my mum about a folding sheet thing I’d seen on TikTok and she reminded me that she had already known about that years ago, I then did actually remember that when the bedding got changed when we were kids she would have set each in a bundle that was easily taken out and changed quicker than you could say double duvet set.
She really was a multi tasker my mum, I don’t think I ever saw her do housework. She was like a ninja, she worked through the night at a children’s home, she would take us to school have a day job and still manage to fit all the housework in. I break a sweat just changing the bedding every week!
It’s funny how social media can also change the way you do things like housework, cooking, cleaning (Mrs Hinch!) and anything nowadays.
Pinterest is a prime example of this. I love being able to think ‘Hmm the weather is going to be pants the weekend what can I do with William’ then BANG, a few seconds later I’ve got ideas listed of rainy day activities. I did actually have to check what to do over the next couple of weeks because the weather looks atrocious (don’t even get me started, its like I fell asleep and missed summer and woke in October!)
Social media does really have a huge impact on life at the moment and I wonder if we’ll ever have a time when it doesn’t, you can literally find anything on it. My dad always asks me to look on my ‘brain box’ for something and most of the time it’s on one of the social media sites. The other week he was trying to work out what was wrong with the washing machine, I went on YouTube discovered what to do and fixed it within half an hour. If we had called someone out that would’ve cost a small fortune and I wonder how long it would’ve been until they come out to fix it?
I can see you nodding in agreement, that yes social media has had it’s benefits but there’s also consequences of these sites. As I’ve said before, the sad fact is that there are people out there who feed off negative attitudes and love a good argument. This is all very well, but not on social media when you don’t actually know the person on the receiving end and they don’t know who you are. All your friends on Facebook aren’t your real friends, you’re friends with them because you want to see how they’ve done since school and to make sure that they’re lives are just as normal as yours. But then when you discover they’ve got what you want, what do you do then? Do you continue to snoop and get envious? No, apparently it’s quite a high percentage of people that delete that friend or sometimes even block them.
I’ve blocked people before, but the people I have blocked are people I don’t really want seeing what I’m up to. Every now and then I go through and check what ex boyfriends or people that have had a negative impact on my life are on Facebook and block them before they can find me. There have been a couple of times where they’ve got to me first and tried to add me, but they get almost immediately blocked!
I personally think that social media can take over if we let it, I am permanently attached to my phone and laptop but that’s because of the nature of both my job and hobby (my love for writing and having this blog.) I’ve had to embrace social media even more so now I’ve decided to take my blog to the next level, so I’m not going to be a hypocrite and say that yes, it has taken over and I don’t like it.
So like I said, it’s like marmite, just don’t let it take over your life and let it define you. You are a person, not a number on social media.