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Social Media Pressure To Leave Behind This Year

February may be the month that we all already start to give up on our aspirational New Year’s resolutions. But in the spirit of Mari Kondo; it’s never a bad time to declutter! Today we bring you a list of five social media pressures to leave behind in 2018 which most definitely do not bring us joy.

Reply Guilt

Whatsapp is one of the key culprits in making us feel we need to be reachable, and responsive 24/7. The development of ‘sent’ and ‘read’ notifications have made us develop a sense of urgency, and of responsibility for the messages we receive. In 2019, we should learn to view our social media interactions as brief touch points, opportunities for interaction to make plans and maintain relationships. Viewing our communications on social media as continuous conversations will cause us to develop a sense of guilt if we don’t reply ASAP. Taking the time to read and respond, or just waiting for a moment of calm to answer rather than bumping into strangers in the street whilst we desperately type away will lead us to more thoughtful interactions.

Justifying Self-love

We’ve all done it; posted a selfie just to remove it an hour later because we feel uncomfortable or for fear it might look too vain. 2019 should be the year of healthy vanity. Instead of having to adorn our selfies with disclaimer captions and self-deprecating hashtags, we should be able to flaunt ourselves without having to explain ourselves. 

Obligatory Follow Backs

We have learned that the (excessive) time we spend on our social media affects us. The Instagram accounts we follow culminate to create a personalized message within our feeds. A fitness account can be an inspiration to some and to others can be downright depressing. The ‘follow back’ etiquette is one that should be left behind in 2018, as we understand that we perhaps don’t want to follow every girl who ever went to our middle school, but can appreciate the curiosity of those who do. 

Accepting Curiosity

With the middle school girls curiosity in mind, we should all feel far less concerned about our Instagram stalks. We all know we do it, it’s practically what Instagram is there for, and yet the idea of accidentally double tapping a photo from 2009 when scrolling through someone’s feed seems completely unacceptable. In 2019, we should feel less guilty about our natural curiosity. 

For The Love Of Like

The final flourish to a healthy social media life is to *try* to ignore the ‘likes’. It’s a natural emotion to enjoy the compliments of others, whether real or virtual, but to depend or rely on them is a step too far. Refreshing our notifications vigorously after posting an image for the satisfying sensation when that little heart pops up on the screen. It isn’t worth letting ourselves feel down about a photo that ‘didn’t do so well’, when it often has less to do with the content itself than it does timing, algorithms, and simply people’s mood. We should instead stick to sharing based on what we like, and not for the love of likes. 

By Emily Dempsey
Cover Photo Kukua Williams by Hanna Hillier