Wednesday, 10 February 2016


As a big user of social media, lately I've been asking myself why. The answers vary from it's a powerful tool for promoting my freelance stuff to the fact I'm just a big narcissist. Truthfully I think it's probably both. Almost every brunch date goes on Instagram and there's very few hilarious one liners my four year old says that don't get tweeted. As I generally avoid any sort of conflict or confrontation when it comes politics, salicious gossip or bitching, I've been lucky enough to escape any real negativity online (apart from a little light trolling now and again). Social media has been pretty good to me over the years.

It's given me opportunities that I wouldn't have received otherwise. The odd night in a hotel or sometimes a nice face cream to try. It's allowed my blog to grow and develop in a way that wouldn't have been possible without cross promotion through various social media sites. It helped me implicitly during the first 12 weeks of Ava's life when I would sit alone in the dark at 3am sobbing uncontrollably and asking the internet why she wouldn't stop crying. Or if breastfeeding was meant to be this painful. Social media has allowed me to arrange group nights out with friends that would have been way to complicated by sending individual texts. I find writing jobs through social media and before it became so ridiculously abused - the #prrequest hashtag on Twitter was a useful tool.

Social media isn't always your friend. When you've broken up with someone then it can be a dangerous device and something to stay away from. I know too many girls (myself included) who will occasionally use it to check out their boyfriend's ex on Facebook or to pre-empt whether or not they will actually go on that blind date. But if you did go on that date yet think there might be something not right - Google can be a very good way of checking you are not dating someone who just did 5 years. 

There's a running joke amongst us social media addicts that if you didn't Instagram it then it didn't happen and I do sometimes find myself putting aside real day-to-day life in the pursuit of the perfect picture. I've declined calls because I was in the middle of composing a funny and irreverent tweet & I've let my dinner go cold trying to find the most natural light to get the best shot. I've missed important plot twists because I was too busy checking my timelines to keep up then spent the rest of the movie asking what was going on. I remember before social media I actually used to watch programmes. Now even if I do manage to put my phone down I struggle to hold my attention span any longer than 25 minutes. I sometimes wonder if social media has a role to play in that.

What I have noticed is that when I'm in a relationship I'm much quieter online but when I'm single I'm much more pro-active. Without constant company my tweets are funnier, they receive much more interaction and people engage with me more on social media. My Instagram shots are well thought out and much more professional looking. Because I have no one sitting next to me wishing I would hurry up so they could start eating. I don't Facebook a huge amount anyway but you only have to look at my page to see that I am much more active when I'm not spending lots of time with a significant other.

So I think a lot of my social media usage is out of boredom. When I am off on romantic adventures supping champagne and staying in nice hotels my content is sporadic. When I'm sitting at home bored out of my brains watching something ridiculously inane like Made In Chelsea then you can bet you will get an Instagram of my dinner/bubble bath/new nail colour. Every single night. So I have concluded that this social media addiction of mine (I prefer the term brand management, but whatever) is mostly borne out of boredom. With a little bit of attention seeking thrown in for good measure. 

1 comment:

Tanya said...

Really good post and I do agree it can be dangerous for a break-up because you will always be reminded of your ex.