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The Problem With Social Media

I worked from home today.

I always work from home on a Wednesday.

I don’t know about you but I need background noise.  If I work in the office then I have YouTube pumping through my earphones.  It’s always a questionable playlist.  Sometimes it could be an *NSYNC playlist, other times it could be tunes you’ve likely forgotten about from c.2001.

If I’m at home then I’ll have the TV on low.  Daytime TV to be precise.  I draw the line at Jeremy Kyle though.  I have to be REALLY desperate to stick that shite on.

Anyway, before I digress even further than I already am, I mean, I’m sure you’re not interested in my televisual habits, like my music tastes they’re really quite questionable, allow me to get on with my point.

This Morning was on, er, well, this morning.

It was Ruth and Eamonn, Eamonn Holmes OBE.  Not sure if you’ve heard the news but he’s now got 3 initials after his name.  He doesn’t like to go on about it though.

On This Morning, they had a phone in.  Phone in’s normally bore the tits off me.  Especially if they’re finance related and that shouty Martin Lewis is doing his normal shouting thing. Although, if someone is in more debt than me then I’ll revel in that.  It’s not often this happens, however.

Christ, I’ll actually get to the point in a minute.

On today’s phone in they were discussing social media.  Social media and how it effects us.  A couple of calls suggested it made them feel less lonely.  Which is obviously great.  Loneliness, I can imagine, is a horrible feeling.  So if the invention of social media has helped people combat this then that’s fab.

Some people, however, confessed it leaves them feeling anxious.

Social media has a negative impact on their mental health.

Yep, I thought.  I internally nodded and agreed. I get that.  I totally and utterly appreciate where these people are coming from.

Allow me to tell you why.

I’m a social media addict.  There I said it.  My name is Rachel Hawkins and I am totally addicted to social media.

If you can’t get hold of me then head to Twitter and you’ll likely find me there on one of my epic rants.  ‘

It used to be Facebook.  In the early days; 2007-2011 I’d be doing my scrolling and my typing on Facebook.  Then I caught the Twitter bug. I finally understood the micro-blogging site and took my addiction over there.

If you want to show off, you’ll head to Instagram.

If you want to invite everyone to have an insight into your Christmas or your Birthday party or let your friends know that your child took their first dump on the potty then you head over to Facebook.

And if you’re feeling angry, like I often am, then you’ll be typing ferociously on Twitter.

And in the main.  It’s great.

Until it’s not.

I’ve written before about my jealous streak.  I’m not ashamed of it.  I wish I didn’t get jealous but I do.  Instagram brings out my green side.  This is why I don’t follow many celebrities or big-time bloggers.  I can’t deal with that green eyed monster rearing his ugly head.

If I’ve just eaten a large Dominos pizza (with extra cheese) then the last thing I want to see is some bird’s six pack.

Likewise, if I’ve spent the weekend living on pennies because yet again I’ve gone over my overdraft then I really don’t want to see a Kardashian sister sprawled on the beach sipping a Mojito.

I need to not compare myself.  I know it’s not conducive to good mental health but I can’t help it.  I look at what I haven’t got as opposed to what I have.

Another negative side to social media is what I’m missing out on whilst my head is firmly in my phone.

When I think back to life BSM (Before Social Media), I wasn’t half as vain.  I could go days without giving a second thought about my appearance.  But now I care all too much.

BSM I would spend decent quality time with friends and family.  Catching up with them in person as opposed to via a platform.

And BSM I wouldn’t get my head up my arse if someone didn’t ‘like’ a status update despite giving some love to someone’s photo they barely know.

I mean, seriously.  What the fuck is all that about?  When I type it out in black and white it doesn’t even make sense.  But social media politics exists people.  Believe me it does.

I don’t know what the answer is for me.  I don’t want to give up social media.  I enjoy it too much.  However, I don’t want it to have a negative effect on my life.  Which is something I often feel like it does.

I’m trying not to make New Year’s resolutions.  Namely because I never stick to them and then I spend the remainder of the year beating myself up about my sense of abandonment.

One thing I am going to do however, is have a little social media detox.  One day per week I’m going to totally abstain from social media.

You laughed out loud didn’t you?  You don’t think I can do it.

And you’d be right to cast doubt.

However, I want to experience life like it was BSM.  I don’t want to be worrying about the right selfie angle (cringe), nor do I want to wind myself up with what someone has or hasn’t liked.  It’s only going to put me in a bad mood and God knows I spend enough time in one of those anyway.

The Digi Detox begins this weekend.  And I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.

I might tweet about it.



This Post Has 25 Comments

  1. Briony

    I am too addicted to social media. Our broadband went down just before Christmas and I thought the world would end and obviously took to Twitter to berate BT about it. I now have an internet connection and that tight and anxious feeling in my chest has gone. It’s bad!!! Good luck with your detox. I’m not ready for that kind of commitment yet! #StayClassyMama

  2. Sophie

    Fellow Twitter addict here making the transition from Facebook. I have a love/hate thang with social media tbh. I think it’s the gossip in me; I’m just so nosy that I like to see what everyone is up to. The problem is, it’s not real and every now and then I look up and realise that I’m missing out in the real world! Problem definitely. Solution? No idea, a detox would possibly be a good idea.

  3. Gary Pearcy

    I’d say I’m in the early throws of addiction – like week 3 of developing an horrendous, life changing crack habit.

    Having an agenda to promote is what’s driven my addiction. Social media allows any of us to promote our views to the widest audience possible: if you want to bring about change, Twitter is incredibly powerful. I’ve had Warwickshire LA threaten me with legal action over my tweets. Little do they know that I’m moving to work in Warwickshire in a few months. Mwah ha ha haaaaa!

    So, yes, I too am a social media addict.

    Help me promote my cause?


  4. I totally get that! I feel kind of the same and have on occasion had time of it. It feels great if I’m honest but then I start worrying everyone is going to forget about me (narcissist much?!) anyway I hope se detox how’s well and look forward to reading all about it. Thank you for sharing with #StayClassyMama

  5. Cathy

    Good luck with your Digi Detox. It is addictive but I totally agree with all the points that you raise above.

  6. Carol

    Good luck – it’s not easy. I’m addicted to being online – used to do Facebook morning, noon, and night. Gave it up. I do most social medias. It just gets to be too much. Sometimes I turn off all electronics and read a real book. Then I finish the book and immediately check – did I miss something online? #POCOLO

  7. I am addicted to social media…Twitter more than anything.
    Good luck with your detox! x #PoCoLo

  8. Good luck on your digi detox. I think I might need to join you! I’ve been thinking about leaving my phone elsewhere at night so that I don’t check social media right before I go to bed and as soon as I get up. But I’m yet to actually take the plunge. #thesatsesh

  9. Berni

    Good luck. I with your detox. I’m going to start with easier things like drugs and alcohol… Sorry , seriously, I’m not a drug or alcohol addict but , yep…, My name is Bernice Benton and I am totally addicted to being connected, Messenger, FB, Twitter …
    good luck (again) with your digital detox, I’m not ready to take that step x

  10. Sherry

    I totally get what you’re saying here – have you watched ‘The Circle’? – It’s made me think about social media and sharing / oversharing and the ever growing levels of youtube creators #thesatsesh

  11. I tend to avoid the twitter rants and had fallen out of love with facebook but as an EXPAT it is a great way to keep in touch with people. Instagram has been ruined by the new algorithm but I still enjoy the communities over there. I am not a fan of social media politics and try not to get involved, unless something really upsets me. #POCOLO

  12. Ha ha ha – I think I did see you tweet about it this weekend! I hear you about the negative effects of social media and have to keep a careful eye on myself with it. I stay off screens on a Sunday morning and I feel really good for it but that’s about all I can do! I loved the break over Christmas and will try my best to do more days off in 2018 too. Good luck with your efforts. xx #thesatsesh

  13. Digi Detox, I love that phrase. I love and hate social media in equal measure. It keeps my teens glued to their phones and I hate it for that, but it is also a huge tool for marketing our holidays without spending too much and I’m grateful for that. On a personal level I do very little. Enjoy your Detox, I think you’ll enjoy the space and time it frees up. #GlobqalBlogging

  14. Clare

    I have a love/hate relationship with social media too. What really winds me up is people bragging about how well they’re doing constantly on there, really grinds my gears! #mondaystumble

  15. Ross

    I have my moments where I feel slightly adicted to social media. The old dopamine rush from hitting that refresh button. But occasionally I do stuff like delete Twitter, or just avoid them altogether. It’s good to have that break once in a while.

  16. I agree. Comparing ourselves to each other via social media is such a huge problem. Also, cyberbulling makes bullying in today’s world worse than ever before because there’s no escape from it. Bullies often have access to their victims 24/7/365, which can have devastating consequences.

  17. Karen

    This has really made me think, it’s a love/hate relationship with SM for me too, I love some of the communities and really enjoy catching up with others and connecting with people through it, and other times it can become a little obsessive with mindless scrolling. But like you, I don’t want to give it up! I think the digital detox one day a week is a great idea, I would find it challenging but I think it would be positive for me. Good luck with yours. #thesatsesh

  18. I am also found scouring social media, it’s scarily addictive! I feel I should have a 24 hour digi detox a week too, I just don’t know how I’d stick to it! Food for thought. Thanks for linking up to #BloggersBests

  19. #thesatsesh thanks for rejoining us lovely, I have to say i can go without. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t adore it. I prefer IG as I’m way more visual – but twitter for a rant is always good therapy.

  20. Oh the joys of social media. I stupidly work in social media, so there is no escape – EVER!!

    I work from home, so I find dipping in and out of Twitter (if I can find a decent conversation, that isn’t all link dumping or promotion ha ha) keeps me company during the day. It also appeals to my opinionated and argumentative side too, all though I get involved a lot less these days. I do like to read your rants though.

    I like Insta but yes there is an awful lot of glam-lifery going on there which can make you feel a little inadequate if you let it. I pride myself on the fact that I come from a time when Kim Kardashian’s arse would be considered large enough to show a film on ( thank you Police Academy!) rather than the individual sexual personality that it is now, so I steer clear of those accounts!

    I have told myself that I will do a digital detox each week, so far I have not even come close but it is only the 10th of Jan. Good luck with yours! #thesatsesh

  21. Good luck Rach! Sometimes I think I’m addicted but than I realize that I’ve not been on the entire day and I didn’t even feel the need to. I also routinely schedule human time and ban my phone. It helps a lot. #GlobalBlogging

  22. I was the person who didn’t even post a single thing ever on anything, didn’t even ‘get’ social media, occasionally looked at FB and then tossed my phone to the side uttering ‘what a waste of time’. But now, since blogging, it’s taken over my life – i’m one of those losers who get up at 7am to get my instagram photo up, better check my twitter, kids are trying to talk to me but they’re irritating me because i’ve got to write this up on FB and I’m stressed about it. TOTALLY agree with you, it’s not good for one’s mental health at all, and life before it was so much easier and less stressful. Trying to detox once a week too. Good luck!

  23. I have a rule about not checking my phone when my daughter is at home which mainly works but I would struggle with a total detox. Internet problems at home gave me a taste of it before Christmas but I found it really hard! I hope that your daily detox is more successful :o)


  24. Debbie

    Hi Rach, I hope you’ree hanging in there and sticking to one social media free day a week? How’s it going? I’m the opposite and could quite happily live without social media, but I do enjoy it when I make the effort, it depends on my frame of mind at the time. I ‘m not comfortable with FB, I can never get my head around people asking if I saw/ liked this or that and then looking amazed when I say I don’t often go on… It is a strange world we live in.

    Thank you for linking up with the #MMBC.


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