With so much media attention on the role of social media on your mental health, I’ve been thinking about how it’s influenced me, particularly how focusing on my own life rather than comparing to others has improved my happiness.
Those closest to me would probably agree that I’ve always been quite headstrong and driven in terms of knowing what I want, but if you read my blog or know me personally you will know that the last few years I’ve certainly had more doubts and quite often found myself confused and feeling a bit lost.
Society itself has a lot to do with the feelings of uncertainty I’ve experienced, after all, most of us are conditioned to think we are supposed to have achieved certain things by milestones in our life. When I was younger I found that taking my own route, one that often differed greatly from my family came fairly naturally, often not needing much thought at all. But as I’ve got older I’ve found being in the minority, in terms of not following the path of having a family has felt me feeling isolated, a little frustrated and at times very confused. If only we could approach our older years with the same single-mindedness and freedom as we did when we were young!
I’ve found the likes of Facebook only re-emphasises these types of comparisons. Even though I know we view lives through rose-tinted glasses on these sites, as friends rarely post the mundane or boring, it’s still hard not to take that glimpse of someone else’s life and think it is a better version than yours.
Although it sounds incredibly selfish, once I refocused on myself, and what makes me happy, rather than looking at what other people have, or comparing it with the image of life I had expected, it’s amazing how things started to fall into place.
So, although it feels slightly hypocritical as I’m just about to share this on my social media, I think my biggest learning over the past few years is to try and remember why I’m using social media, take the very best bits that work for me and declutter the rest!