With the imminent arrival of our first child, I decided a few days ago, to stop posting on the Bird Therapy Twitter account until after the summer holidays. Yesterday, I found I was still obsessively checking it and I felt that the only way to counter that would be to deactivate the account.
I always thought that social media was a positive when building a profile of a brand, a product or a person. However, what I increasingly found myself doing, was comparing myself to other people and becoming despondent at not being able to reach their levels of popularity and reach. This actually made my wellbeing worse and has put me in a pretty negative place at the minute.
I’ve read up on the effects of social media use and how it can lower self-esteem and make people feel inadequate. It’s certainly had that effect on me, as I just don’t have the capacity to maintain a presence on there, yet felt that I had to. If I didn’t post – I lost followers. If I posted and it didn’t hit a certain threshold of likes – I felt useless. I had found that I was so focused on ‘being’ someone, on being known – of being accepted. That it consumed my life. I was actually so focused on my social media presence that I’d started to lose a little of who I am in the real world.
These are common feelings though. There’s a fascinating report into social media use in 8-12 year olds, aptly named ‘life in likes’. The issues are similar, almost identical – and although presented from the perspective of children, resonate entirely. I write this to show to other people who are experiencing the same thing – that you’re not alone.
On the plus side – I’m about to become a Dad and in the absence of birds locally as they nestle down again, I’ve seen some beautiful local butterflies and orchids. Pictures below.