I'M THINKING OF BREAKING UP WITH SOCIAL MEDIA

March 20, 2014

I've been going through this strange realization that social media, put bluntly, is bringing me down. I think I used to tell myself I was inspired by all the beautiful things I was seeing online, and maybe that was true at one time, but now I feel like I can't look at another woven rug or chemex or succulent or the perfect pair of denim or all the other 'perfect' things you can clump into an instagram square without feeling like everyone is exactly the same, styling images in the same way and posting to instagram or pinterest for the world to see as the perfect moment. Yes, I really enjoy all the things I just mentioned, but what I'm really doing when I scroll through my feed is comparing, and more importantly, feeling like what i've got and what I do isn't good enough. Even just five years ago these sorts of feelings were not so prevalent. I didn't have hundreds of 'perfect' images at my fingertips each day. I feel a little bit like I'm stuck between a rock and hard place if I can use that analogy. I am a sucker for good design and could spend countless hours looking at home tours online and searching for well made ceramics and textiles and clothing but the constant feeling of wanting better 'things' is just not sitting well with me. I know that a lot of the stuff I see is staged and styled and often times given to folks for free for the purpose of posting online to their networks and I get all that. But regardless, that gross feeling still exists in me and I'm ready to just....not care.

Social media is like an addiction for so many of us and while I do think it has its benefits, I'm seeing that right now in my life the benefits are not overwhelming. I'm not really sure what this means for me. To stop using Instagram all together doesn't seem realistic - aside from looking at other's images, I really do love the process of capturing a moment and editing the images I've produced. It's one of those every day creative experiences I am able to have without much effort. What I am thinking about doing is taking a break. Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest - I want to see what a month away from these sites is like. Will I feel more content with what I've got and not constantly be feeling like I need to stay on top of new designers and trends? I hope so because truthfully, it gets so exhausting. 

So that's where I'm at. I'm not sure what I'm going to do but I know that I need to do something.

image. (of course I use an image found via pinterest. oh the irony)

8 COMMENTS:

  1. I feel ya about Social Media...my problem is fb there are days when my finger is on the button and I just can't do it. My Husband is not on any of it but, I am friends with all of his family so if I am not in the loop I will never get to see Kiddos and all the fun stuff. The way I see Pinterest & Instagram is a way to inspire me to be more creative then I already am:) You are so Creative already! Either way Good Luck on your quest:)

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  2. I get it, I do, but at the same time your Instagram feed (and your husband's, too, for that matter) are very often the highlight among my scrolling. The pictures you two post are awesome and I would be lying if I said I didn't look forward to a little creative square from the both of you every now and again. On second thought, maybe I should be breaking up with social media, too! We should create a support group or something...

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    1. Thanks, Bradley! It means to much that you enjoy my feed so much. I think a little break from anything for that matter is a good thing sometimes :)

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  3. You know, I really believe that social media is what you make of it. I often hear people make the same complaints you are here-- that it feels like everyone only ever posts these beautifully crafted images highlighting the Best Things in LIfe, and I know that is true for many... but it isn't my experience of twitter or instagram because I follow many people who are fine posting the less glamorous parts of their lives as well.... I see their messy house, their kids in mismatched clothes, whatever.

    So, perhaps a social media break may be a good thing to try. But when you get back, it may be wise to look through your following lists and rethink who you are following and maybe find a few others to add to the mix that better fit what you want from your social media experience right now. That's the great thing about it-- there are thousands of different people posting thousands of different types of things... it can take a little searching but you can find whatever "niche" you want to.

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    1. Hey Marcy, thanks for your insight. I totally agree- it is what you make of it and you are so right in that I could choose to unfollow a lot of people who are putting out extremely stylized images. The thing for me is that I look at instagram more as a creative outlet so I really do enjoy looking at beautiful images - I guess that's part of my problem - while a lot of what I'm saying my problem is, is my own fault I'm also not willing to unfollow the users who put out quality images, or at least not all of them. But it might do me some good to have some more "real" images scattered through me feed too. Does that make sense? It's totally contradictory and my own fault, i know.

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  4. With you all the way. Although I'm not quite to the break-up point, I've certainly been taking a few steps back and assessing its value. Thanks for your honesty.

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  5. I have had the same struggles with social media for years. Feeling inadequate, jealous, hurt, and not feeling good enough. Additionally, I struggle with life no longer being private and the fact that most people posting their "perfect" things on social media are not upfront about the money they earn for blogging, instragramming, etc. All of this came to a head for me several years ago when my husband and I were going through a difficult time and I deactivated my Facebook account. It was, and still is, so freeing. Now through Instagram and Twitter I am very intentional about the people I follow and the stories I consume. Conditioning yourself out of the habit of browsing these sites takes a bit of work, but you'll start to feel like yourself again. In a culture consumed with social media it seems radical to live without it, but it will change your relationships with the people you care about most - including how you view yourself.

    In an unrelated note, my husband and I live in Cincinnati - specifically in Covington - and we can't wait for the City Flea season to start!

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  6. I totally understand your feeling! And yet, am still obsessed with Instagram! So sad, but true... But yes, it does make me go out and want to make better, prettier, images all day long, and there is more to moments than their registration!

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