Wednesday, February 05, 2020

I am currently reading Johann Hari’s book “Lost Connections” and it’s got me thinking a lot about the way myself and those around me are currently living and the society that surrounds us. It’s lead to a lot of in-depth conversations with my boyfriend Ali and more than anything it’s made me realise just how lonely I am right now and I wanted to write some of those feelings down.
I never usually set myself new year resolutions but this year I had a thought to come off social media and 3 days in, I’m already feeling the benefits. I am not going to sit here and tell you all the negatives that social media brings because I’m sure you’ve heard it all before but from a personal perspective I didn’t like the unauthentic “social” aspect I was receiving from scrolling through my feed. I would constantly unfollow people that weren’t making me feel good or whose content didn’t feel authentic to me and it ended with my following around 20 people for the last 6 months of 2019. They were people who I considered friends and whose lives I wanted to ‘keep up with’. I realised, though, this stopped me reaching out to those people. If I felt lonely or I was missing someone I would pick up my phone, scroll through Instagram, like their latest picture and I felt as though I had my fix. Instead of picking up the phone, calling them and asking what they’ve been up to, how they are, arranging to meet up sometime… I had my fix.
Me and Ali currently live together in the midlands in a gorgeous cottage. It’s coming up to a year that we’ve been living here and although I love the area, because of circumstances regarding my health I’m unable to work for a little while and so- socially- I know my life is lacking. Meeting people is a lot more challenging when you aren’t leaving your house much due to lack of reason and finances.
Social media has stopped me from challenging myself to meet more people. If I need a fix of contact I should be going to the shops, volunteering, going to see Ali’s mum for a cup of tea. But why do that when I can swipe up and have the feeling of connection right away?


The time I’ve spent so far off social media has got me reading more, writing more, seeking out opportunities to keep me busy and seeking deeper connection from those already in my life. The thing is, boredom has always been an uncomfortable feeling for me, as I’m sure it is for most of us. Having a device on us 24/7 that can almost instantly rid us of this feeling sounds amazing but I’m learning that boredom is good. It tells us that we’re missing something and it can lead us to either productivity or procrastination and I don’t want to waste this opportunity by scrolling when I could be learning, helping or organising.
I know the vast majority of us use social media and so I know not everyone will relate to this feeling but I do think we all need to be a lot more cautious about the way in which we use these sites and apps.
I lost the connections I’m seeking so hard when I signed up for all of these sites that are supposedly intended to bring us closer together and I think that tells me all I need to know about the relationship I have with apps like Instagram.

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