Did your mum ever tell you that if you stared at the TV too long then your eyes would become square? Well mine did anyway and I was innocent and gullible enough to believe it, but that’s beside the point. The point is, it’s easy to become surrounded by technology and artificial media these days and to loose sight of what is really important. Kind of like when you only realise how good being healthy is when you’re sick. Too much of an odd Segway? Sorry, but I hope you can see what i’m getting at!
Nowadays the internet has taken over, and in some ways that’s a good thing. My whole job is working with social media and writing online content for goodness sake! But at the same time, because I spend so much time online I think I am also probably a little more worried about it’s possible effects than the average person.
I have 5 different IG accounts on my phone and write content for 2 websites. I am constantly surrounded by the online world and sometimes it gets all a bit much. This is why I deleted Snapchat and Facebook from my phone and set timers on all other Social Media Apps. Obviously, I can’t avoid social media completely, and I probably wouldn’t want to to be honest but it is really important to take time out and to encourage the people i’m with to do the same.
This is how I came up with the 500 friends rule.
One day I looked at my Facebook and saw I had over 700 friends, for some people this is nothing i’m fully aware but for me this was a real wake-up call. I knew I probably didn’t know at least 200 of them well enough to call a friend, so the cull began!
When I was in my teenage years I spent so much time trying to prove myself to ourselves. I felt I had to be the best and show only that side to everyone, and although this has decreased as i’ve got older I feel it really still exists. I’d completely had enough of it. As I went to university and started working towards my goals, subsequently I got fitter and grew in confidence, suddenly people I had once wished would be my friend, paid me attention. Keeping up with the pressures of the online world got too much and I realised it just wasn’t worth it. I decided that in order to learn to love myself more I had to stop looking for validation from others.
Therefore that night I sat up in the early hours of the morning (when all the best decisions are made) and unfriended over 200 people and I turned my Instagram to private.
Now anytime I get near the 500 friend mark i’ll look at my friends list and re-assess. It’s not about thinking too highly of myself to be friends with some people, it’s honestly about keeping myself sane and grounded! The thing is, how many of those 500 people are actually your friends? I’m counting on it unfortunately not being all of them. I think social media sites such as Facebook are great for keeping in contact, especially now i’m abroad but there comes a point for me personally where a bit of a reality check is in order.
I have a teenage sister and now more than ever I feel a responsibility to make sure she always feels valued and empowered. I’m not perfect and we all have our moments of Instagram jealousy but i’m on my way to being less dependent on other’s perceptions of me, being more comfortable in my own skin and taking a step back every now and again.