A step back onto this blog is just what the new year ordered. The last few posts I wrote were all about new or ended semesters, so to take a break from that, I want to talk about how I’ve been using social media lately.
Social media has its ups and downs, we all know this. Now, it’s a matter of learning how to limit use and shifting your mentality when you do.
Instagram, the usual case for negative social media impacts, has become home to insecurity and comparing yourself to other people’s looks and lifestyles. I know I’ve fallen into this trap too.
The first social media account I made and still actively use is my Instagram account, created at the end of my junior year of high school. At the time, it felt like I was late to the game, but I didn’t really care about social media until my sister started an account and I wanted to see everything too.
Almost three years later, I have accounts on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and they each serve their own purpose in my online life. I know there are probably other accounts I have that I can’t remember, but those will do for now.
While it probably makes sense to use each platform pretty similarly — just as a showcase of your life — there is some curation that I put into each one and a goal I have for each moving forward.
To me, Instagram is for mindless scrolling through the explore page and occasionally posting on my story when I do something fun. Because of that, I use Instagram the most out of all the social media apps I have. There’s something so easy about scrolling through posts and reels that it sucks you in every time. One of the main reasons I refuse to download TikTok (even though I love the content on the platform) is that I know I’ll get addicted to it because I already spend hours watching the reposted videos on Instagram. I’m constantly opening the app to watch videos of somehow so relatable content or recipes or posts from friends that I don’t realize how long I’m there until I check my screentime and see how high it’s gotten.
I split my Instagram use into two: a personal account and a Don’t Make Lies account. The personal account is private (for obvious reasons), and I just post stories and pictures of things that happen in my life to share with friends and family. The DML account has not been used or posted on as often, but I want to change that. This year, I will use an app timer again and only use the app for mindless scrolling when I know I absolutely cannot be doing anything else. And this doesn’t even have to be something productive. It could be watching an episode of a TV show that’s been on my watchlist forever because I want to limit my time on an app that is sucking way too much time out of my day, as funny as the videos may be.
Twitter is my favorite app after Instagram. I love reading people’s reactions to anything — good or bad — and trying to piece together my own (even if I don’t actually post them). Prior to about two weeks ago, I mostly just used Twitter to look at Marvel memes after every new movie or show came out. Now, I look at memes but in a little more cautious way.
My post-graduation end goal right now is to be a full-time journalist, and, in this day-and-age, that comes with a good online presence, which has become headquartered on Twitter for most people. So, since starting this co-op program and taking a semester off from classes where I’m doing journalism work for a publication not at my college, I cleaned up the look of my Twitter. I made it appear more professional and personal, and in the progress of doing so my goal is to learn how to tweet (though I probably won’t stop looking and laughing at Marvel memes).
That made me sound like such an old person at 19 years old, but I really never tweeted my thoughts frequently before, just retweeted trailers or things other people said that I thought were funny. While I don’t think what I say may be funny, I want to feel more comfortable being personal on a site for micro-blogging and not always pouring my thoughts out in 1,200-word spiels like I do on this blog. (below is me trying :))
For the sake of not making this post actually over 1,200 words, I will finish my longer thoughts on LinkedIn. While I said before that I feel the same insecurity on Instagram as most people do, there’s no where else I feel it more than on LinkedIn. It’s funny to me because, of course, there’s something that brings out jealousy when looking at another girl’s prettier face or larger group of friends or farther away vacation, but it applies equally to LinkedIn for me. I compare myself so much to other people’s accomplishments and posts about their new jobs or internships on that platform that I forget my own accomplishments or the work I’m doing in the process, whether or not it’s subjectively better.
My goal with LinkedIn is really to keep it entirely as a resume. Sure, I’ll like posts from my friends and classmates and congratulate them on their accomplishments, but I need to do it from a new perspective. One of someone who knows that they do not need to strive to be like that, and simply strive to be satisfied with what I do.
All in all, I want to both spend less time on social media but post and interact more. This is going to come by being more intentional with the time I spend online and looking for something else to do besides scrolling when I want to wind down (or feel any sort of boredom).
With that, I hoped you liked this entrance into my brain and that you are staying safe this new year. Thanks for reading 🙂