Social media is a strange one.
We can all have a Facebook page, an Instagram account, a twitter handle etc. All you need is an email address, it’s not something that’s earned or awarded.
Despite this, despite the fact that none of us earned our social media presence, a lot lot lot of people seem to think that the way they ‘run’ their social media accounts is the ‘correct way’.
I cant believe she put that on Facebook.
I cant believe they shared that.
I cant believe the comment he left.
The fact of the matter is, there is no correct way.
Let me get out in front of something here and state emphatically that hate speech of any kind, including but no limited to racism, sexism or bullying of any kind is wrong. But aside from that…
There is no correct way.
If I want to check in to my house every everning after work, that’s my prerogative.
If I want to post a picture of my lunch every day, hey, that’s my decision.
If I want to post an ambiguous status in an attempt to gain attention- guess what? You don’t have to like it, because I don’t need your permission to do it.
Hey, Im no angel, I have my issues with social media. Ive written about my biggest peeve. But when I stood back and realised that perhaps, someones social media wasn’t for me, I had a little awakening.
Let me explain using my own Facebook and Instagram accounts as examples.
I am a member of Facebook mainly out of what I believe is necessity. I don’t live in the same country as my brothers or mother, and Facebook is a nice platform for sharing. My main contribution to Facebook nowadays is check-ins and pictures of food. Do I post these for others? No. Well I know my Mom enjoys them, but that’s not why I post them. I post them for me. So that I can go back through my check ins and remember all the things Ive seen and places Ive been. Hey that hike was amazing! Look at that burger! It brings me joy.
By most definitions I post on Instagram excessively. Everywhere I go, every time I eat a meal outside of my flat (which is often), every time I feel proud of myself, or see something that makes me grateful, which luckily, is also very often.
If you don’t like my posts, if you find them excessive, if you don’t feel the need to see pictures of my meals- guess what? That’s ok. They’re not for you. They’re for me. But maybe you need to unfollow. Don’t let my posts annoy you, get that negativity out of your life!
I said to a friend recently, if I had no followers, I would still post, you know why? Because my Instagram feed is for me.
This has given me great freedom, not just to post, but also in how I react to others posts. If I notice Im following someone whose posts annoy me, or I find boring or repetitive, where I once would have thought, ‘why are they posting this?!’ I just remember, its not for me, its for them. And I need to decide: do I need to unfollow, or is it only a mild annoyance? Because the issue is not their content (unless, see disclaimer above), the issue is me. My reaction to their posts is the issue. I need to take ownership of my reaction to it, and act accordingly.