Wednesday, April 6, 2016

How Much Is Too Much? [Social Media]

According to just one of the recent studies on social media, the average American checks their social media about 17 times a day. Another study said that Americans 15-25 spend about three hours a day social networking. While I'm sure the exact numbers vary person to person, the truth is that we are in an ever growing explosion of social media. I'm a millennial, and we've quickly become known as the social media obsessed generation. With all the statistics and studies, it got me wondering, how much is too much? Where do you cross the line into too far? Or is there even a line anymore?

My activity on social media started slowly, and looking back I'm thankful for the rules my parents put in place. I'm very involved in social media now, but I'm glad I didn't start too early. I'm more than happy to avoid the awkward pre-teen photos and dorky captions!

I'll be the first to admit that I do spend a decent amount of time on social media. I have Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, GroupMe, and three Instagrams (one personal, one fitness, and one for my cat). I have three emails- one for school, one for personal, and one for blogging/professional/privacy purposes. I have this blog, and have had a second blog in the past. Instagram is by far my biggest social media platform, as I think it is for most college girls.

With all the time I spend on social media, I've learned some things. Comparison is very real. FOML is very real. Jealousy, hurt feelings, and insecurities are all very real. Here's my honest moment, with my personal experiences, and where I draw the line:
I used to spend equal amounts of time on my personal Instagram and fitness Instagram. At this point in time I was keeping them very separate. I was starting to pick up on different things on them though. My fitness Instagram was a community of like-minded people, many of whom I didn't know personally, but they were the kindest, most encouraging people I knew. Majority of the time when I got on there, I was left feeling inspired and more determined with my own journey. People readily offered advice, left the loveliest comments, and reached out to me. I've met so many incredibly people through there, and it's been such a positive experience. My fitness Insta is a constantly growing network (currently over 800 followers), while I keep my personal Insta very small (under 200). I found when I was getting on my personal I felt myself noticing how many likes I did or didn't get. I often times felt left out by the photos I'd see of group hang outs or parties. Yes, even I get jealous sometimes when I see people's pictures of destination trips, new cars, events, or their cute couple photo. I came to a point of realizing, that it was in my best interest to spend most of my time on my fitness Insta. I still post to my personal, because I love knowing that when something more personal happens in my life, I can share it with my closest network of friends, and they understand, because they know me so well. However, my fitness Insta is my main hub, because I love the positive energy and the people.

I believe that part of social media, is being responsible enough to see how it makes you feel, and change things that need to be changed. Don't allow yourself to continually get down or feel depressed or jealous just because of something as silly as social media. Social media only controls you if you let it. You are more than the likes, the followers, the retweets, the shares. You are more.

So let me leave you with this lil nugget of wisdom. Don't allow yourself to get too hooked to social media. It's a big part of my life, but I remember to distinguish between the two. This semester I've made it a rule for myself that I don't even pick up my phone when I'm in class. Also, a few times a week I try to not bring my phone along for my walk, so that I can just enjoy nature. The point is, never forget how valuable it is to take time away from your phone and social media!

xoxo, em

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