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The Danger Of Relying On Social Media For Social Interaction

Don’t get me wrong, I love social media. It’s what I use for work, and it can be a fantastic platform to boost small businesses who may struggle to reach larger audiences with minimal budgets. It’s also a great place to communicate with others, especially for us mums who may be stuck indoors with the likes of Mr Tumbles as our only form of adult company for the day. It can add a note of humour and light to a day which may have consisted of explosive nappies, relentless pestering and constant clearing up of food and mess. I get it – social media can be a saviour to a lot of stay-at-home mums.

However, it’s getting more and more apparent that people rely SOLELY on social media for social interaction. It’s ironic really because it’s not very sociable. We’re all guilty of it – sat at home next to our partners, not saying anything to one another, not really engaged in what we’re watching on TV, but FULLY engrossed in our mini screens. I do it, we all do it. We scroll, we tap, we like, we follow, we watch, we click, we put the phone down for 5 mins and then repeat. It’s almost like an addiction – sometimes we don’t even realise we’re doing it, it’s that embedded in our lifestyle. It’s a bit worrying. I sometimes wonder what this world will look like in 20 years, will we even need to leave the house? Relying on social media for your main source of “social” interaction is that it falsely reassures you that you’ve communicated with people who you haven’t spoken a word to. You see that someone has been out for the day and posted about how they had a lovely day and what they got up to etc. This subconsciously ticks the box of communicating with friends and family. Why? Because we already know exactly what they’ve been doing and the fact they’ve had a great day. What’s there to talk about? Instead we just tap like and continue.

It’s a bit sad, isn’t it?

We don’t feel the need to interact when everything is shared so openly. Whereas many years ago we would have phoned our friends for a chat, or – shock horror – actually visted them in person! Now, the majority of us rarely pick up the phone for a chat. Not only that, when you go to tell someone news, they usually already know about it – it kind of limits your conversation when you do finally get to catch up in person. It’s a strange world we’re living in. We post about our lives and want to share, share, share, but does everyone really care about the fact your stood in front of an “arty” brick wall with a fancy ice cream in your hand sporting some new sneakers? No. Who are we posting all of these pictures for? I do sometimes wonder. It prompted me to question whether people actually care about the pictures I post. I know I often just like pictures without even looking at them properly. It’s made me feel quite differently about many things. Firstly, I want to rely less on social media for social interaction. I am making a conscious effort to avoid it during the day whilst Molly is up. Secondly, I want to post things that ALWAYS have a purpose to me. Not just for the sake of getting a picture on Instagram.

I challenge you to change the way you think about social media too… not just for you and your state of well-being, but for your children too. I often worry about Molly growing up seeing me constantly on my phone and aimlessly liking and sharing images. I want everything to mean something and have a purpose, if it doesn’t then it doesn’t deserve to be shared with others. This goes for good and bad days, I don’t want to have “the perfect” Instagram with matching pictures to make an aesthetically pleasing theme. Because my life doesn’t look like that. Some days are great, some days aren’t. My Instagram will never look like a magazine of matching pictures and colours. I don’t want a life that revolves around Instagram or social media – documenting your days is never as valuable as experiencing them. Use and love social media, it’s a great tool, but don’t let it dictate your life and your choices. Sometimes you have to look up and look around. Most importantly, make real connections and real interactions. Energy, laughter and love is something you can only truly attain when you share real moments with others.

Big love x

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