Social Media, A Reality Check. Guest Post by Madison Bregman.

social media

Recently I’ve been picking my phone up too much. Way too much. I find myself scrolling, and scrolling, endlessly scrolling through instagram. Sometimes stuck in the bermuda triangle of instagram, facebook and tinder. Whenever I talk about this with friends online and offline, I get lots of “me too’s” so I know I’m not the only one. Meditation helps me to manage these feelings, as does getting very aware of my use of social media and putting my phone down!

Maddie has written a wonderful guest post on Social Media, and how it can be used as a shield.

Keep reading below …

I’m a private person, ironically. I say “ironically” because I’m part of a generation that is constantly sharing things on social media, giving glimpses of our lives to the world. We live in an age where things “didn’t happen” if you don’t post a picture on Instagram or your Snapchat story. Despite sharing “everything”, what people fail to realise is that we only share the good parts of our lives.

We don’t share pictures of the nights we sit alone in our room or the moments that we’re in tears. It’s why things like “finsta accounts” (or fake Instagram accounts, supposedly allowing people to be “real”) exist. We’re deeply filtered. Edited. And curated. It’s why people love social media. We’re able to create an image for ourselves that we want people to see.

Social media is a shield.

It allows us to portray an image of perfection, despite the fact that none of our lives are perfect. It allows us to keep people out, while giving the illusion that someone really knows what’s going on. Pictures are snapshots. In a day with 24 hours, 1440 minutes and 86,400 seconds, they show a second of our lives. We have no idea what was going on in the few seconds, minutes and hours before and after. It’s why I laugh when I see things like “Couple goals!” or “You guys are perfect!” commented on pictures of couples laughing or smiling. We have no idea what was happening in the seconds leading up to the click of the camera.

It’s possible for someone to be a very different person on a phone screen that in real life. And it’s entirely possible that despite portraying an image of perfection, someone’s life could be the complete opposite – shattered, broken and split into thousands of pieces. We tend to forget that.

It’s a numbing mechanism, much like alcohol, drugs, snark or shopping. It allows us to numb what’s really going on, because if we’re not in the real world – the one that hurts and sucks sometimes – but instead the world of social media, we won’t feel anything. We won’t feel the pain and fear and shame. But, we also won’t feel the incredible things – real joy and excitement. The things that make all of this worth it.

Read more of Maddie’s brilliant words over on her blog and keep up to date with her via instagram and twitter.

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