Everyone that knows me, knows I am extremely passionate about social media marketing. I absolutely love learning new things about ways technology is developing and how businesses can use it to expand their brand potential online by being able to use a platform to connect with those they may otherwise not be able to get in front of.
I also see a very dark side to social media. Unfortunately, growing up, I experienced some very negative situations associated with certain social networks. Formspring being one of them. An anonymous "ask me a question" platform that was regularly abused and used as a way to bully people online without anyone knowing it was them. I became absolutely obsessed with checking my inbox for new messages. I got some nice ones but those never seemed to stick in my mind for long because amongst those would be so many damaging and hurtful ones that would consume my thoughts way more.
As a result of my age, I have grown up with social media right from the off and quite literally spent YEARS looking at it become something which unfortunately can be a very gloomy place at times. With more people posting more frequently online now and giving strangers more insight into their daily lives, we are often subject to un-nessecary scrutiny.
I have often felt that spending so much time on social media has really had an effect on me. I love looking at Instagram and sometimes find myself becoming fascinated by looking at perfect 'gym girl' bodies for inspiration, girls that have had tons of surgery and filler and beating myself up that it's not the way I look. I started getting dermal fillers when I had just turned 20 and I also feel the way I dress and some things I do have been heavily influenced by what I've seen online.
It does show how influential social media can be when targeted towards the best audience but this is why all of us need to make a conscious effort to ensure that we truly do our best to spread positivity online. I love the recent movements towards showing "Instagram VS Real life", No make-up selfies, 'This is me' realness type posts. So many people are blinded by images they see on social media of what they assume so many look like in real life. I must say, on my trip to the local supermarket, I don't see anyone remotely like the images I see on my Instagram feed. Is this because images now seem to be so heavily edited to perfection!?!
My love for social media over-rides my hate for it. I have learnt SO much from the internet. I have made friends, I have shared things with people half way across the world who I would find difficult to connect with otherwise and I have laughed. Hard. There are so many talented content creators out there producing hilarious videos and memes that make us laugh and share with our friends and family. These are the best parts on the internet. The happy times, the realness, the ability to connect and the lessons we can learn from it. I have raised several thousand pounds for charity through facebook shares and twitter re-tweets, I have received some amazing, supportive messages about my business which have given me a boost when I've needed it, I've grown as a person through inspiration things I've read online and I have found new loves for things I never knew I had (Interiors.... I could scroll interior IG pages for DAYS!).
Social media is FANTASTIC and can be life-changing in so many ways. We have an amazing platform which we can use to be positive and do good. Use it correctly and you will live a happy life. Sometimes a little detox is needed too and that's perfectly fine. Always put your mental health first.