Cleaning my social media: Was it enough?

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I work on social media because I like social media. I enjoy scrolling through feeds, laughing, connecting, and getting inspired. There is a ton good to say about social media, and I think all the nay-sayers ignore the long list of positive features. It can build community, it can connect you with similar people when you can’t find them in your daily life. It can help make your life easier by teaching and informing. Its how most people get their news now a days. It exposes you to beauty that you wouldn’t otherwise see. And it’s great for a good laugh most days.

That being said, social media is a lot like most of your favorite foods. It’s wonderful, it brings you joy, but it needs to be consumed in moderation. It, like every other thing in this world, has negative features to balance it’s positive ones. That doesn’t mean you need to delete all your feeds the moment you notice the not so glittery side of social media, but it does mean that you need to find a way to filter and control yourself and your feeds.

I’ve written about the dangers of consuming things online. At the end of it I decided the solution was to balance what accounts I was following with accounts of the adverse. Then a few months later I wrote about how I filtered all toxic media out of my feeds, which is what I should have done in the first place. It was a learning experience because I lost most of the accounts I was following based on my definition of what toxic media is. I had to start over and find more accounts to follow, mainly ones that focused on hobbies and clean humor. I built back a nice positive social media experience. I thought that was it, that I had achieved what I had set out to do.

But then my fiancé, who doesn’t use hardly any social media, pointed out that I was scrolling instead of doing other actives, which lead me to realize that scrolling always seemed like an easier task than my hobbies, because scrolling doesn’t require you to think or move or commit to anything.

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How to Beat Social Media

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Did you know social media is linked to depression? Well, it is. The principle behind it is that you see other people doing awesome things and you compare that to you not doing awesome things. I think we’ve all been victims of that. I think we’ve also all been known to try to portray our life as a more interesting one than it is on social media.

Which is fine, I mean, I only want to remember the good stuff three years from now scrolling through my instagram. The real solution isn’t to post everything online, but to remember that nobody does. We’re missing all the ugly cries and silly fights from that one blogger who seems to have everything together.

But I’m telling you things you already know. We’ve been lectured not to compare our lives to others for as long as we’ve been alive. That’s all fine and well, but it doesn’t stop us from doing it. Which is why I’m going on to post these solutions for fighting back against social media’s bad side effects:

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Social Media and Shame: Let’s talk about it

We’ve all been there before, haven’t we? We have a picture up on Instagram ready to publish, or a tweet, or a status and we’re wondering if it’s right- not because it will hurt anyone, not because it’s mean- but because… haven’t I posted five pictures of my horse in the past two days? Nobody needs another selfie of me, I’m not that pretty. Do my inspirational quotes get on peoples nerves? I know I shouldn’t be this proud of my cooking- it’s not that photogenic!

I shouldn’t post this.

See all the horse pictures? Four in one day, that's how you do it.

See all the horse pictures? Four in one day, that’s how you do it.

We’re ashamed of how we’re viewed on social media, we take our self conscious thoughts and transfer them onto internet and app accounts. We think people will judge us or simply get tired of repetition. We’re not using the accounts for anything we should be, their uses, to socialize with friends (who shouldn’t be judging you anyways?) or to share things we enjoy, to record our memories.

We forget that instagram isn’t really about how many likes you get on the eighth picture of your day-cation in twenty minutes. It isn’t about trying not to spam.

To be honest, I think one of the coolest things about instagram and twitter to not just the sharing (though how cool is it that my over sea’s friends can know my day without me having to repeat the same story five times!), it’s about being able to look back and say “Wow, do you remember what it was like to be eighteen? Look at this! Listen to what I was thinking that day!” or to hear your grand kids laugh “Grandmom, did you really dress like that! That was back in style last year.” or “You looked just like mom when you were her age!”

Remember, social media isn’t supposed to be about counting likes to see how “social” you are. It’s supposed to be about sharing things you love and even more than that, remembering the things you love- and doing so with joy.

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On the Insta:

Untitled-5Here are some of my favorite Instagram’s I’ve posted in the two weeks I’ve been out for the summer. It includes Magnolias, sunsets, trail rides, and a nest we found empty in our front yard!

I would love if you guys kept up with me across social media, and I check out all the people who follow me!

Instagram: anna_katherine_o  //  Facebook page: Anna Down South   //   Tumblr: annadownsouth  //    Twitter: AnnaKatherineO