Remember back in primary school when you used to call your friends. You’d have to ask your folks to use the phone, you’d punch in the numbers (that you knew off by heart) and with every single ring you’d get more and more anxious knowing that their mum or dad would be the one to answer.
There was nothing scarier than “Hello, is Jane there?” to which you’d always get a firm “Who’s calling?” Like come on mate, we’re 9 years old, we’ve got about four friends and you know every single one of us.
Fast forward a whole bunch of years (I won’t be specific because I’d rather be in denial of how old I am) and we’ve got dozens of platforms that connect us to thousands, if not millions of people at the touch of a button, at any second of the day.
We are always accessible, even if we don’t want to be sometimes.
For me, I’ve been a big embrace-er of technology! I think it’s great to have so much so readily available to us at any given time!
Social media has been a huge life line for me through my motherhood journey and through some dark and lonely times it gave me somewhere I felt connected and understood!
Of course, it has its downfalls like does everything! But I believe I’ve been good at adapting and learnt from some hard lessons along the way.
I very regularly get comments, messages and emails from people either upset or angry about something social media related. Perhaps they’re saw something they didn’t like, someone wrote something nasty about them, or they are trying to grow a blog themselves and are drawing comparisons to other people.
A lot of these concerns are things I’m fully aware of, because at some stage I think we’ve all experienced them – am I right? Plus no one likes reading troll comments about themselves? Even if some people think that because we put ourselves out there that it somehow makes it okay?
So, I thought I’d share a little wisdom (if you can call it that) that I’ve come to realise navigating this new and ever changing world that is social media! And written I guess a ‘survival guide’ to social media.
And, I’ll just note that this is purely my own personal experiences and opinions, it’s not about nor directed to anyone like I’m sure some one out there might think. It is an internal reflection as I’ve been there, taken it to heart or taken it to seriously, and this is just the lessons I’ve learnt along the way 🙂
Don’t read into it to much
I used to have this app that told me who had followed and unfollowed me, and I used to get so upset or annoyed. Till one day a mate of mine (a guy) unfollowed me when I was pregnant, and I was so like “WTF have I done” that I questioned him via text over it.
His response really knocked me back into reality when he simply said, “I’m just not interested in seeing breast pumps and baby clothes daily, but that doesn’t mean were not friends”. Fair enough!
From that day, I just deleted the app and realised I was looking way too much into it.
One day you might follow a page that sells baby bibs, but a year later you unfollow because your simply not interested in baby bibs anymore as my children have grown up!
So, if you have this app, DELETE IT! Because most the time it’s either people you don’t even know anyway or not a realistic representation of someone feelings towards you.
Don’t judge (anyone else or yourself)
Just because someone seemingly throws their child a lavish birthday party, does not make it okay for you to paint it as over the top or unnecessary just because it’s not perhaps what you would do.
Same goes if someone slaps some frosting on a Woolies sponge and hands around a bowl of Salt & Vinegar chips (my idea of a wicked party by the way).
And even beyond that, don’t look at someone else’s social media and automatically place judgement upon yourself just because someone else does something different to you!
As the old saying goes, each to their own!
Don’t read the comments
This one just goes without saying! I know it can be super intriguing to perhaps go and read them when you have an article published and your super proud! But I can almost always guarantee you that there will be nasty comment from the internet’s finest!
It’s always just good to remember that these are comments written by people whom you’ve never met, are bored and have nothing better to do and/or those that are jealous of you!
Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing
I know that it can be easy to someone get caught up in whatever one else is doing. So many times, I hear “They copied my blog” “They’re buying followers/likes” “They’re working with this person, why didn’t they ask me”
It’s as if we think that it’s a competition, that there isn’t enough room for everyone? But this is the internet, and there is literally billions of people using it! Trust me there is room!
If you just worry about yourself, focus on your own grass then it will flourish and be green AF – I promise!
Don’t be a dickhead
Social media is like having a car. A car is a tool, it gets us from A-B and allows us to travel distances and helps us live our lives! It’s a great thing!
But used inappropriately, a car becomes a weapon and can ruin people’s lives! See where I’m going here?
Just because you see something you don’t agree with or like, does not mean you should be a dickhead. Don’t be a troll, don’t write nasty and inappropriate things on the internet! Just keep scrolling and go watch a cat video to calm yourself the fuck down!
Don’t get confused between online and real life
Social media allows people to see the highlight reel of someone else’s life. Remember that no one forces you to post a picture, you take the photos of your own free will and post whatever you want – therefor you create the image you want people to see!
Just like the traditional media, you still need to be critical and take what you want from certain things.
And most of all, don’t get caught up in internet drama, people whom you’ve never met or things said by people you wouldn’t give two seconds to face-to-face!
If you at any stage find it to overwhelming or it’s getting you down, then walk away! Because you can leave social media behind, and there’s this wonderful place called the ‘real world’ where all your actual friends and family live and they love you 😉
Just to remind you, when used appropriately, here is how awesome the internet and social media can be, especially for mum!
Mush – An app that connects you to nearby mums, whom love wine and chocolate (or whatever it is you love) much like an online dating app for mums!
Online Forums/Facebook Groups – These groups can be a literal lifesaver for some mums. I had DIG (Due in Groups) both pregnancies and found them a great outlet and resource. There are some great groups on Facebook like Midnight Mums, I’m sure a lot of local Aussies are aware of!
Little Moments by Fat Mum Slim – This app is a photo takers best friends, it allows you to do cool little edits as well as play along with FMS Photo a Day community!
Podcasts – Specifically the Australian True Crime Podcast by Meshel Laurie! SO GOOD!!!
YouTube – Because it gives us videos like Pearl The Landlord, Charlie Bit Me and Gangnam Style