Is Social Media Toxic?

On Sunday I decided to take a little break from social media, I’m always amazed when it gets to an unhealthy point because social media makes me feel less isolated, but the past few days have been an eye opener at how unhealthy it can be.

It always starts when I begin to compare my life to others, I’ve been very isolated and it always makes me feel worse about myself. I begin to put my little triumphs down, “You went for a coffee on a weekday, why are you feeling proud of a thing most people do every day?”

Then I force myself to do things because everyone else can do them, I forced myself to go the biggest Highland show, be constantly sandwiched by people, and then I had a breakdown next to the crafting tent.

I begin to get obsessed with what other people are doing, why I can’t just go to work like other people, why I can’t get married because I’m scared of people paying attention to me, and before you say, “Have a small wedding,” just know I have a huge family.

Then it takes a turn to my writing, I begin to put it down and myself in the process. Why doesn’t anyone like my posts on social media or my blog? The urge to just give up overwhelms me, I begin to feel useless and unwanted.

It may sound ridiculous to you, but social media really does these things to me, looking at the negatives really makes me want to quit. But there are also positives, I cannot speak to anyone in person, but I can speak to them online.

It makes me engage with others in a way I never could in person, I might still get nauseous when I post things, people may be nasty to me at times, and I might get emotional. Is it really helping me?

I truly think social media has helped me, reading other people’s experiences with narcissistic parents has helped me come to terms with my own, reading abuse and rape testimonials has made me feel less alone, reading other women’s experiences got me through the taboo of miscarriage and reading about others with Mental Illness (still not sure how I feel about that term but its better than mental health) has made me feel accepted for who I am.

There is a lot to be thankful for when it comes to social media, but a lot to be afraid of, I know fine well what lurks beneath the surface, but maybe social media isn’t toxic after all. Maybe it could be used as a tool to help people, and maybe it’s a small majority of its users who are toxic.

What if our collective positivity could just drown those toxic voices out?

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