“Gossip Girl here! Your one and only source into the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite”
That’s Instagram in a nutshell, isn’t it? At least that how it has felt over the last few days…
Have you ever been in a situation when you want to say something but you’re stuck for words? Where you want to share a piece of wisdom but you just can’t get them out? Where you want to stand up for something you believe in but don’t want to get into a heated debate? Where you want to share more but live in fear of what people are going to think / say? Where you want to talk about taboo topics but don’t want to hit a nerve?
You’re not alone. I feel like this most days and keep learning that this is what’s holding me back. We all have our opinions, we all have our beliefs, we all know right from wrong, we all know how to lift each other up…
I don’t really know how to start but there is SO much I want to say on this topic. Some of you know what’s going on… some of you don’t. But the crux of it all, is, that a lot of people are hurting (several that are close to me) and severely affected by the actions of online bullying / trolling and the ripple effect that is happening.
The situation has knocked me. Not down… but it has brought on an influx of anxiety and made me question what my purpose is on here and if I’m really making a difference…
When I first started out on Instagram it was a minefield, and truthfully nothing has changed but at the same time… everything has. At the beginning, I didn’t understand how it all worked and looking back, I wish I was as naive now as I was back then. I was just (another) mum on a mission, trying to make some noise about a brand that I had created. But, it didn’t take long for me to realise that Social Media came with as many implications as it did positives.
The more time online, the less time in reality. The only way to grow was to be present – to engage with others, to like photos, attend events, follow one another etc. I developed a sense of FOMO and JOMO. Why was X invited to an event and I wasn’t? What did they have that I didn’t?! Am I not doing enough?! Saying enough!? I held back but spent many wasted hours questioning my own self worth and abilities (which if you know me isn’t so high at the best of times).
It became quite apparent that just like school, social media came with its very own playground politics and I learnt some very hard truths. (Being ripped off numerous times, hacking and trolling)… However, one thing I’ve always maintained on here is to be authentic and the relationship I have with my audience is exceptionally real as a result and for that I’m proud.
I’m no big fish nor do I want to be. To me, it was never about the numbers. It was about building long-lasting relationships… a strong community and lifting others. But there have been times where I’ve lost sense of what is real and what isn’t.
It can be toxic. Severely toxic if you allow yourself to get too sucked in. People thrive on gossip. They thrive on judgement, they thrive on fear. I mean, that’s why the news does so well, right? But as I said before – what happened to raising each other up instead of bringing each other down?
It’s so easy to pass the blame onto someone else by finger pointing. A bully is a bully and they won’t change but don’t let that manifest into bullying yourself. Take the time to look within. If someone is mean to you, turn off the noise. You can choose to feel the way that you do but it’s important to recognise that these people don’t deserve the attention they’re getting. You are better than that. We are better than that.
The majority of us are parents – trying to set examples to our kids. We preach kindness… so why be two faced about it?
Sending love and light. Always.