Getting it for the gram…

Hi, my name is Laura and I’m addicted to social media.

It all started with MySpace which provoked some serious girl drama over the order in which we displayed our ‘top friends’. It would literally take one girl to accidentally give you stink eye on the wrong day of your cycle and you’d be straight on the dial up internet dropping the perpetrator from ‘top friend #1’ down to at least #3 and then hanging out and waiting for them to notice.

Then Facebook. To be honest when this one first emerged I was a little bit young to use it to its full potential, and used to spend most of my time on it just “poking” people and writing intermittent philosophical statuses. As it became more popular and I became a more proficient user, I began to see it for what it’s really for – to stalk people in a socially acceptable way. If you’re laughing you’re guilty.

And last but not least, Instagram. The place I find solace in the chaos that is my life. Pathetic? Maybe. But am I alone? Not even slightly. Over the last few years I have slowly built a community of people on Instagram, most of whom I have never met – but many who I feel like I know. Single mums, single dads, paramedics, young women, older women – people from all over the world who have scrolled through Instagram and seen a photo, a comment, or a blog that I’ve posted which in some way shape or form has resonated with them. I think that’s pretty bloody cool.

So what’s the problem? I’ve thought about this a lot recently – specifically regarding the line between a healthy and unhealthy use of Facebook and Instagram. Personally, I think that in modern day society its almost impossible to escape from this so called ‘epidemic’ of social media, especially with advertising now being embedded into it.  Side note: I’m getting real sick of scrolling through Instagram and then ending up with $334 worth of teeth whitening and at home laser kits on after pay. Im a victim. BUT – what we can do to maintain control is to be self aware and to try to have some insight into the impact we allow these platforms to have on us.

Not long ago, the midget and I went to breakfast together. I ordered myself a coffee, and a babycino for Bae. The beverages get delivered to the table, and Henry picks up the marshmallow from the plate, lifts it to his mouth to eat – and just as its about to touch his lips he pauses and says “you want to get a photo mama?”.  First of all, yes I do. But secondly, shit – I’m a total stage mum. And guys, its not just getting the photo is it? It’s the cropping to get the perfect frame, the filter to get the perfect light, the search for the perfect hashtags, and then the next six hours we spend monitoring comments and counting the likes. The phrase “pics or it didn’t happen” has become less of a joke and more of a reality as we are constantly presenting “perfect” snap shots of a not so perfect actuality. We all post the marshmallow shot, but how many of us post the tantrum after the marshmallow is gone?

Finally, ill touch on relationships on social media. Partly because what’s one of my blogs without a cute fireman in it? But mainly because it’s highly relevant to this topic. I was horrified to realise recently that despite having been ‘real life official’ for quite some time, calendar boy and I were NOT ‘social media official’. An oversight that my 1986 model boyfriend could not understand the significance of. I had to explain to him that within 3 seconds of hearing someone’s name I’ve stalked them so well that by the time I meet them not only can I wish their Auntie’s cousin’s husband’s second child a Happy Birthday, but I sure as hell know if they’re single or not. “And so you see…” I patiently explained. “If you’re single online, you’re on the market until proven otherwise”…

…I then set out on a mission of evidence based research in the form of self conducted surveys across the relevant generations in order to confirm whats the new “hip” way to establish a new relationship. The consensus by a mile according to my meta-analysis of data is as follows;

  • “Facebook official” is officially irrelevant
  • Insta is the new facey
  • The official “I’m taken” statement comes in the form of a couples photo posted to your page
  • Insta stories don’t count (Elite Daily, Annie Foskett Jan 11 2018)

Incidentally, the information on this topic online and by word of mouth was overwhelming. So yes, it seems most of us are guilty of living our lives one insta post at a time. No matter how hard we try our actions will be somewhat dictated by social pressures, often in the form of online media. Im still trying to work out exactly what I’ve learnt from all this, but so far here’s what I’ve got;

  • Let’s take the time to enjoy the moment before we take the photo.
  • Let’s post the outtakes
  • Let’s take what we want from social media, but don’t let it take over us

One day at a time.