My Love/Hate Relationship with Social Media

I took a break from Instagram. By a break I mean a looooong break over months of it completely off of my phone. This is not a sermon on how amazing my break from social media was. After all, I still had FB, and youtube, and my blog, and texting…

Anyway.

I chose to take a break from Instagram because I realized I couldn’t say no. Once I started doom scrolling, I couldn’t stop myself. Unlike the other media apps where I get bored and restless after 15min, ready to get up and be productive with my day. Instagram sucks me in and doesn’t let go. Especially those reels… This made me uncomfortable, so I took it off of my phone. Occasionally I got it again, got sucked in again, and then deleted it again. At this moment, I am at the ‘get sucked in’ phase. We’ll see how long it lasts.

This time, however, I was able to put words to what bothers me about Instagram in particular, and social media in general. Again, this isn’t a sermon on how we should all banish social media apps and go find books to read instead. These are my own lil’ (hah, ginormous) opinions on the topic and what it means in my life. Not your life. Go find your own opinions. ‘Kay? ‘Kay.

What bothers me about Instagram is the fakeness of it. How set up everything is just for the show. The jokes, the conversations, the funny moments. Some of them are candid, most of them aren’t The shots are carefully edited to find the perfect angles and the perfect moments. Videos are muted and covered with music so you can’t hear the chaos in the background. I know I know, this has been said a thousand times, “Remember, people choose what they want you to see!” But it really struck me this time. These people aren’t just living their lives that happen to be filmed, they are filming the best parts of their lives to share. Whether that means faking a shot, redoing something funny they didn’t have their phones out for, or setting up a very specific scene on an unknowing significant other.

Also, these people must have their phones out all the stinkin’ time! Come one now, they can’t even (so it seems) have a conversation without sticking a camera in someones face! Just thinking about having my phone out that much makes me exhausted. But then again, I am sure my preferred job of teaching things to small people makes other people exhausted just by listening. So I’ll try to give grace here… But still! Camera. All. The. Time. Do these influencers have any time to themselves?

The last thing, before I go to the positives, is a very personal one for me. All of the influencers are so thin. So healthy looking with tiny waists and nice legs. I used to think this didn’t bother me, that I was immune to what other people looked like. I’m not immune. It does bother me a little to see all these skinny women while I struggle with feeling fat and wondering if I ate too much today. I don’t think it is any one persons fault for this. It is the hours of seeing posts from woman after woman with seemingly perfect bodies and perfect lives that makes me feel inadequate.

On to why I still have an Instagram account.

One, I like laughing. Reels on Instagram are usually very funny, at least the ones I watch, so I always have a good laugh while being on Instagram. It is like watching a funny movie after a long day. An immediate pick me up! Also, the funny couple videos have gotten even more hilarious now that I am married and actually understand all of the jokes…

Two, Instagram is a great place to connect with people who have similar thoughts and interests. I have been able to meet people who read books. Wow! As well as to follow women who enjoy being wives and mothers, something I am very excited to be and to become someday. Sometimes, it can feel like I am the only one who likes thus and thus, and who listens to so and so, or reads this and this. But when I get onto social media, I realize that I am not alone. This connecting power of social media is the greatest gift it gives. Through it we can realize that there are hundreds of people all over the world who can fangirl with us, give us encouragement, or rant with us about anything and everything under the sun.

So there you go, my opinions on social media. Take what you like and leave the rest.

Shaina Merrick

2 Replies to “My Love/Hate Relationship with Social Media”

  1. Genuinely curios question.
    Do you think that those relationships online ever take away from the ones you have in person? Also, do you think or have you ever found that there are many who people in person who you’ve met that have read, listened to, and liked thus and such who you connect with in the same way as the people online? Or is it too easy to slip into letting social media fill that need without searching for those types of people you know or can get to know in person?

    Like

    1. Great questions! I have not as yet found that social media relationships take away from my in person relationships. I also tend to be more of a passive observer in my social media accounts, so that may be why. I enjoy the relationships I have within social media, but I also enjoy my in person relationships. I can see where it would be very easy to slip into social media and not try to connect with the people around me however. It can be easier to start a chat online, than to go up to someone and say hello. On social media, it is easier to find people who like the same things I do, something I have found very rarely in person. I am not sure if it is because of the area, or because that I am not looking. So to that part of your question, I am not sure. However when I do find those people in person I connect with them just as easily as online friends, and sometimes even more so because of being face to face. I hope that answers your questions!

      Like

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