Girl at Budapest Citadella

Most of the time, I love the internet. I grew up with it, I've made friends on it, learned new skills, found job opportunities, watched a lot of cat videos - it's been great. But sometimes it can get a bit too much, and recently, for the first time I experienced a real overwhelming feeling towards social media and the internet in general.

It kind of started when I got home from London at the end of January and the next day started feeling ill. It lasted for about a week and during that week I felt terrible and had no energy at all. As a result, I wasn't really tweeting or posting on Instagram because I had nothing to share except that I'd been in bed all day. I'm feeling better now but still haven't posted on Instagram since London, and have been spending a lot less time on Twitter. 

I don't need to tell you that the world feels very weird at the moment, to put it lightly. More accurately, it's terrifying. Every single day I open Twitter and am faced with the slew of shit that is that day's news. From the Muslim Ban to bombings in Somalia, there's always something horrible happening and that all seems amplified on social media because so many people are talking about it. Don't get me wrong - we should be talking about it, but the constant stream of bad news can make it difficult to feel positive about anything.

This - along with the fact that, to be totally honest, I'm not all that happy in my life at the moment - means social media has become more of a drain on me than ever. Everyone's posting about how fab their lives are (and I'm happy for you, I promise!) but I can't help comparing that to my own life and it makes me feel even more down about it. I know social media is not an accurate portrayal of someone's life, but it's still difficult seeing everyone's perfect Instagrams with their gorgeous outfits when I'm in bed in my pyjamas with a migraine.

So what am I going to do about it? No internet after 7pm? No screens at the weekend? Delete all my social media profiles? (gasp!) Well, no.

Girl with pug puppy
Totally unrelated photo but it's cute, right?

The difficulty arises in that social media is so intrinsically linked with my career and blogging, so whether I like it or not, I have to use it on a regular basis. And that's fine, because when it's good, I love it. I can connect with talented writers and other people who inspire me and share amazing content. What I have to do is learn how to strike a balance and how to deal with social media in the best way for me.

Taking a step back from the internet in these few weeks has been really good for me. It's given me some perspective and helped me find what's actually important. It sounds so simple and obvious but I've realised that I have to make sure I do social media on my own terms. That means tweeting what I really think instead of what I'm supposed to think. That means not giving a shit about the fact that my Instagram isn't full of bright, white photos of pretty products on marble backgrounds, because that's not my style. It means sharing content that I'm truly interested in, no matter how niche it is. And most importantly, it means not comparing my real life to anyone else's social media life.

Yeah, the world seems to be falling apart before our eyes, but there's still so much to celebrate. So many talented writers and artists, so many inspirational activists fighting for what matters, so much beauty in unexpected places that deserves to be shared. If you follow the right people on social media, your feeds can be filled with that kind of awesome stuff, and all that makes the world seem a little bit brighter.

So, I'm back on social media. But with a fresh outlook and a healthier understanding of how it can affect me if I let it. I'm going to tweet what I want, blog about what I want and post what I want on Instagram, with no apologies. I'm feeling good, and I hope you are too.

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