Putting my money where my mouth is: Week 5

So, a month has passed since I’m off social media.

Good news: no withdrawal symptoms, belated or otherwise.

Bad news: if your friend isn’t answering you texts, you can’t just go worry-stalk them to make sure they’re okay.

Social media stalking, by the way, is definitely on top of the list of things I am not missing right now.

Essena O’Neill is the talk of the Internet right now, because she deleted her Instagram and YouTube channels. As someone who also got off certain social media, you’d think I’d have an opinion on the topic, except due to my being off social media in general, news of this storm in a teacup reached me about a week later. (So, no differently if we still relied on letters to get our news.) Plus, the entire world has had an opinion about it already, so my adding to it will just make things worse. I figure the girl is having it hard enough as is, so let’s just leave her to figure things out in peace, yeah? And if you really want a think-piece worth reading, check out Emma Gannon. 

So instead of focusing on this one Instagrammer doing what they need to do to take care of themselves, let’s talk about the validation game on social media, because I for one am glad not to be playing it.

(And if the Irony Gods are listening, please, oh please, make it so that the reason I rejoin social media is because there’s a publisher twisting my hand. Thank you very much.)

It’s November, which in previous years was about NaNo, and frowning at the grey skies, and realizing that I only have six weeks to an essay deadline and I haven’t even picked my topic. Ah, memories. This year, someone has clued me into the fact that the retail machine is working hard to bring the Christmas cheer on early, which in turn means any or all of the following things:

  • Glitter. Glitter everywhere.
  • Shopping on a weekend is about as fun as getting your teeth drilled.
  • The rugby crowds have been replaced by people with huge bags from Selfridges.
  • There are too many Christmas campaigns going on and not enough snow. (Seriously, weather, what is this? Slush? Drizzle? My bike slipped today and I nearly fell into the canal, and there wasn’t even enough mud to soften my fall!)
  • Bloggers (the ones I check out when I’m bored) are falling over themselves to show us the latest gift collections, which is both awesome and really frustrating.

I’ve recently unfollowed a ton of people on YouTube and Bloglovin’, but my main hope is that, come December 25th, there won’t be a deluge of “What I got for Christmas” videos, because those are some of the most depressing things I have ever seen.

Not because of what the vloggers are showing, mind you – they are always so thrilled, their enthusiasm is infectious, and you smile along for the 10-15-20 minutes it takes them to go through everything they got from their friends and family. What’s depressing is thinking about the fact that it takes my family all of 5 minutes to open our presents on December 25th and the rest of the day is spent with us sitting aound and being like: “Aren’t we supposed to be doing something fun?” It’s a let down, but it’s a let down because nothing can live up to the hype that two months+ of marketing campaigns create.

Perhaps I’m biased. My family is split down the middle – with half of us living and working in a different country, continent, time zone, there are certain expectation that we have of the holidays. Our time together is precious little, so of course, there is pressure for us to make the most of it. Unfortunately, illness or depression or just regular bad weather doesn’t care that we only have a week together, and life is life regardless of what random people have designated as “holiday time.” Sometimes the best you can do is… well, your best.

Social media is not helpful. Even at regular times, people take care to show their best face – and then there is someone who always feels low because everyone else seems to be having it better than they. How much worse is it going to get when we start decking the halls and wrapping presents?

This week isn’t any special, but I feel glad nonetheless that I don’t have social media to worry about. Some things are just better left on their own.

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