Creator Corner | My Favourite Creators right now!

2019, creativity

Hello!

Between ‘follow Friday’s, Instagram story shoutouts and #likeforlike left, right and centre sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming on social media between who you want to follow, who you feel you have to follow and who you follow to support the blogging/creator industry.

I’ve never been the ‘if you like my blog post then I’ll like your blog post’ kind of person because I think that’s really un-genuine – I’d rather someone liked my blog post because they enjoyed the content and not because they wanted more hits on their own posts.

With that in mind, I thought it would be nice to shout out my favourite creators at the moment! All three are YouTube Influencers but two are published authors and one is a twitter Queen if I do say so myself.

You’ve probably heard of them all, but I thought it’d be nice to share the people who’s content I’m really enjoying at the moment!


Anna is a Brighton based fashion, beauty and lifestyle creator and is the perfect example of someone I watch not because of what she talks about. I don’t dislike what she talks about but luxe make-up and expensive beauty technology is never going to be something I engage with on a financial level, but I just think Anna has the nicest personality and that’s more important to me regarding the creators I engage with.

She talks really genuinely, she’s funny, her relationship with her husband is just the sweetest and her videos are great to put on in the background while I scroll through Instagram (because I definitely don’t do that really regularly). Her content is also fantastic, really varied, covers a lot of basis and her style is just so on point.


I’ve followed Hannah for years and years now and watching her grow and develop her business while talking so openly about so many topics that a lot of people are afraid to talk about online (including sex, disability and how she makes money on YouTube) and all round she’s bubbly, full of opinions and got sass to boot.

I’m so excited to see more of what she does with her second channel More Hannah – whilst I find the sex education side of her channel interesting, it’s one of those things that isn’t my go to because I’m an awkward hermit, essentially. However her second channel where she talks about organisation, lifestyle and basically anything else is my jam.

Most creators I’m subscribed to I engage with because of who they are as people (or at least, how they present themselves online) more than their content – it’s like having a one-way conversation with a friend, it’s a friendly voice in the background whilst I’m doing my make-up or eating dinner or writing a blog post… (I’m actually not watching YouTube right now, lol). Hannah is constantly growing and developing and has a really strong identity of how much she shares and how much she keeps private online and I think she’s brilliant both as a viewer and I look up to her as a business woman.


If you’re here for sarcastic, self-deprecating humour from an Essex girl with fashion to boot, Fab Han is your girl.

I first found Hannah on an article of ‘if you like Zoella you’ll like these channels’ on Shout magazine’s website or something and I was drawn in by a video she made about short hairstyles and I’d just got my hair cut short so I was drawn in! I’m utterly baffled that this girl is like two years younger than me because she’s so on it and I love her style.

Her vlogs are so funny, her clothing hauls are really cute and overall, I think Fab Han is such a girl boss and she deserves so much more attention and love than she has. This girl is going to take over the world and I am here for it!


Apparently my favourite creators at the moment all have names that sound like ‘Anna’ and y’know what? I’ll go with it!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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starting my masters!

2019, career, student

Hello!

It’s been a long few weeks leading up to this and I still feel a little like it’s not real because I’m not in the new flat yet, but I’ve officially enrolled and I’m officially a student at Oxford Brookes University! Here begins my journey as an MSc Digital Media Production student.

I’ve already tried so many new things – I’ve driven on my own on the motorway for the first time, I’ve figured out how the park and ride system works in Oxford, I’m learning about buses and I’m trying to navigate my way around the campus. It’s a lot to take in and I feel like I haven’t really engaged with half of it.

It’s only been a couple of days – Monday I was just scoping out the route and getting to know things, Tuesday was my first proper course induction, but there’s still sports and freshers fair,  module induction and then the real thing begins!

It’s all very overwhelming and I don’t quite feel like I’m really a student again, I need a bit more information before I can truly process and plan what I want from the end of this course, but I’m excited.

I’m excited to get back into learning, planning my time at uni and having something to work towards and get stuck into. I’m not so excited about having to budget super tightly and figuring out getting a part time job and eventually moving into our flat, but I’m generally trying to balance feeling excited with being mildly terrified and focusing on keeping ‘excited’ on top.

At the end of the day, I’m still trying to convince myself that going back to uni instead of being able to get a career relevant job as a failure or second choice – I’ve been talking about doing a masters since I was in second year of my undergrad because the long term plan was to always develop and make it so journalism wasn’t my highest qualification, but if I’m being honest – if I’d been able to get a job I probably wouldn’t be here.

But if I keep treating myself like a failure for being here at all, it’s going to be a really tough year. I’m bettering myself, furthering my education, refining my skillset and career field. I’ve got time to secure relevant industry work experience and I can push myself in ways I’ve not been able to from my home in South Lincolnshire.

There are lots of positives – I’ve got lots of skills and positive traits, I just need to work on believing them and believing that I’m worth anything at all.

This year is going to be hard and there are going to be challenges along the way, but I’m really excited to be a student again and can’t wait to learn all about digital media production.

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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an unexpected year of progress | graduate life update

2019, career, student

Hello!

I feel like I will feel the need to write updates until the day I start a job or figure out a plan of what’s next!

It’s a weird balance because I want to document what’s going on in my life for me to look back on, but then I don’t want anyone who’s currently at uni to read and feel terrified that this is their future… but (how many times can I say ‘but’) there are other graduates in a similar position to me who feel reassured they’re not alone! This is what I think about every time I write or film on of these posts, if that gives any clarification.

So, disclaimer: this is my situation. I know a lot of grads who have jobs and many who don’t. It’s not to say that those who don’t have jobs haven’t worked hard and it doesn’t diminish the hard work those who have jobs also did. There’s no ‘luck’ in getting a job – those with employment put a lot of time and effort into getting their job, but there is being ‘unlucky’ as someone can put in the same effort and not be successful. Graduation can be so scary because it’s so uncertain and there’s no formula to certify anything, we can only do what we can. Disclaimer over!

Let’s go back to the beginning – I handed in my final assignment in May 2018, last year. I graduated in July. I started applying for jobs to start when I graduated in the February, so about a year ago now. I just kept applying for job after job. I had three interviews over the summer that were all unsuccessful. In September I started doing some part time work for my mum’s business but I didn’t properly commit because I was still hopeful something would work out. In November I had an interview for some freelance work which very quickly fell through. After the new year I went back to applying, I’m in conversation with my uni’s careers department who are trying to help me get a a job and I’m now doing two full days a week at my mum’s work.

So, I’m essentially no further along than I was a year ago except I have a degree and a part time job.

And that’s the literal update of what has factually happened.

Looking forward, /i’m going to keep working with mum, finish learning to drive, keep applying, keep researching a masters and figure out if I want to do that. I’m keeping myself busy but I can’t do this forever.

Outside of the practicalities, in myself I’m not in the best mental state. In November, things really picked up for me emotionally even though I was facing rejection after rejection. But these last few weeks where I’ve been trying to budget and pay for driving lessons and bus fares, it’s been really rough. Thinking about why I’ve been rejected for so many jobs, obviously I start thinking about how maybe I’m really not good enough, I’ve wasted my time at uni and I should just give up completely.

But what really helped was a call from my university’s careers agency (shoutout to Aaron from Solent Futures!) for reassuring me that I’m qualified, I am good enough and it will happen.

Even though I’ve been job hunting for a year, I’ve actually learnt so much and had the time to try things I wouldn’t have if I’d gone straight into a job. I’ve started learning to drive and I absolutely adore it. I’ve gone back to the dance school I spent most of my teenage years in and I volunteer on reception which has taught me a lot of really valuable skills as well as getting to go back to tap classes, I don’t know if I can find the words for how much I love them. Doing office work for my mum has taught me lots about admin and being a PA. All this time without full time commitment has meant I can continue working on my blog and YouTube channel and have time to figure out what I actually want.

I’m trying my best to think positively – giving up isn’t going to get me a job or improve my mental health. Hard work and self belief is – I’ve got to empower myself because right now, it’s all I’ve got!

So overall, I’m struggling but I think I’ll be okay in the long run. If you have any questions about post grad stuff or job hunting please do let me know!

I have a question too – I was considering writing a post about my favourite instagram accounts at the moment? I really want to share the love but not sure whether to do a post or insta stories, so please do let me know!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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January Goals

2019, goals

Hello!

And the last of the trilogy of blog posts about New Year’s Resolutions and goals is upon us! I’m so excited to have another year of focusing, setting myself little goals and giving myself the exciting feeling of new year’s at the beginning of each month.

I’ve decided this year that each month I want to set my goals in accordance with my 2019 resolutions – last year I did them based off what I want to achieve each month and I’ll still do that this year but I really want to properly focus on my goals to make sure I’m working on achieving them every month.

Progress is a huge motivator for me and finding new ways to work on that and ensure ongoing development makes me happy! So let’s jump right in.

[ J A N U A R Y   G O A L S : ]

  • get back to healthy eating and a workout routine – the whole reason I focused on for losing weight (a family wedding) is coming up at the end of the month so I’ve decided, quite spontaneously, to go part time vegetarian – not for any moral reasons (don’t come for me pls) but just for health reasons I’m planning to eat veggie up until dinner time every day during the week. And I definitely need to get back to working out – my tap classes start again next week but I’m aiming for one at home workout each week. If I put a number on something I’m more likely to actually do it so once a week – sorted.
  • work on prioritising productivity – I have refined the way I make my to do lists so I have 5 tick box jobs, 3 additional tasks that are not quite important enough for a tick box or would be useful if I have time after I’ve finished everything else (I don’t know if this makes sense to anyone but me!). The next step for me is to make sure I get them all done during the day rather than working half heartedly on my laptop till 9pm – essentially I want to have business hours and unless I’m using my laptop for something like creative writing I don’t want to use it in the evenings. That’s the goal!
  • working on hobbies – start my knitting project – to go hand in hand with the productivity, making time for hobbies is something I really want to work on! I think knitting would be a great activity for me because I’m not very good at sitting watching TV and just watching, so I think a non-committal task like knitting would be a good start for me. The other half of this one is not taking my laptop into the living room so I’m not tempted just to scroll through Facebook for the sake of it. Knitting and no laptops!
  • get more freelance work – I mean, this one is kind of a necessity more than a goal but it’s got to be a real focus for me this month! I’m going to reach out to local businesses and get as much work as I can, because I miss it and I need a focus. If anyone has freelance advice that would be much appreciated thank you!
  • focus on blogging and YouTube – I’ve been really happy with the content I’ve been making and how regularly I’ve been creating and uploading in the last few months but I want to step up my game this year – I’ve got a few ideas that I’ve been a little apprehensive to make and I’m just going to bite the bullet and make them this year! I want to work on growth and read advice from other bloggers and YouTubers and think about building my platform a bit like a business. Maybe that’s pretentious, or presumptuous that I think my platforms deserve to grow (I seem to be allergic to followers anyway), it’s all a bit complicated and I feel like a proper dick about it but I want to at least give it a go!

I got proper rambly in this goals post! I think I got a bit lost in it, sorry!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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I think this is a game plan… (Diary 3)

2018, career, fitness, lifestyle, writing

Hello!

When I planned to write this post (though, side note, should I write a post about how I plan my content?) I was expecting to write about how I was taking a step back from applying for jobs – I’ve been applying basically non-stop since about March and nothing had come from it other than a lot of money spent on three unsuccessful interviews and a whole ton of rejection emails. So I was going to talk about making the most of my time at home, working and saving as much as I could, finish learning to drive and try again next year – when all the graduate schemes are open again and hopefully this time I’ll find something that works for me.

But, if you haven’t guessed already, that’s not what I can write about because it’s not true for me any more.

I found basically the perfect job – part time flexible hours at first, building into something more over next year, being a PA and Admin Assistant and PR Exec and Social Media Assistant all in one, it’s local, I can carry on with my volunteering and work at my dance school, it was just perfect. And after a very informal, chatty interview last week I’ve got the position! Official Freelancer with work coming in, need to figure out invoices and maybe get an accountant kind of work and I still can’t quite believe it (but I’m so excited about it).

It’s only sods law that two other jobs that would be pretty brilliant have cropped up too but will see how all of that goes – things are kind of working out for me and after feeling like everything was a bit piggly (just for you Miss Debbie!) and I’d been left with the crap at the bottom of the barrel for months now, I don’t think I couldn’t be happier about it.

So what’s going to be the focus of my ‘diary’ post now? Well I got a job, I’m loving my home life of volunteering at my dance school and going back to tap classes, alongside that I’m really enjoying working out and eating healthy and I’m seeing results (unfitness update coming up in the next few weeks!), I’ve worked on really shortening my to do lists and prioritising the things that really need doing and that’s working really well for my productivity and overall I’ve feeling fulfilled, busy and motivated.

Obviously, not 100% of the time – I don’t want to talk about the bad stuff here (I half have a post planned for that too), I want to talk about the good times right now but for transparency’s sake, I wanted to clarify that I’ve not turned my life around to being a happy, productivity person every single day because no one is, that would just be ridiculous.

But I’m feeling really good right now!

November has also been extra busy because I’ve been taking part in NaNoWriMo and it’s stressful, but really inspiring to be a part of this community that wants everyone to be a winner, no matter how many words they’ve written! I may be behind on my word count but I’ve written 27,037 words in just 20 days starting from nothing? That’s actually insane! (Just don’t think too hard about the people who wrote 50k in three days because that is just mental)

One of the things I said in my ‘things I’d tell my teenage self‘ video has really stuck with me since I made it – everything is hard work. If you want something to be the best it can be, it’s going to be hard work but once you’ve accepted that, put the work in to whatever you’re passionate about, then it’s so rewarding. I’m throwing myself headfirst into my freelance position and I’m going to make a life for myself – no ifs, buts or maybes, I’m going to do it.

And it’s going to be brilliant.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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nothing is permanent, even unemployment

2018, lifestyle, student

Hello!

After graduating, the only thing anyone ever really wants to talk to you about is whether you’ve got a job, what’re you going to do next and what your plans are and when you don’t have a job or a plan it gets pretty boring and incredibly down-heartening.

That’s not to say I resent anyone who asks – it’s nice to know that people care enough to ask, especially my family – I’m mostly annoyed with myself for not having anything to update them on.

And it is disheartening – when you’ve spent three years working on something and you’re proud of your achievements and you’ve been told ‘you won’t struggle to get a job’ (maybe all lecturers say that to everyone) it’s hard to apply for some really exciting jobs and some jobs that you could do but wouldn’t love and some jobs just to pass the time and to get a new rejection email every day. Even my mum today used the words ‘soul destroying’ and she’s right.

This isn’t new information – I’m not the first graduate to feel like this and I most certainly won’t be the last, I’m not trying to be a voice and I’m not trying to pretend this is something new or original.

I’m just saying that if you’re feeling like this you’re not alone – being in this post-graduate unemployment slump can be incredibly isolating. After three years of living with your best mates, seeing your friends every day and living a completely independent life, for most students it’s moving back in with your parents, knowing that all your friends are scattered around the country and it takes more than just a Facebook message to see them. It’s lonely and on top of that you may start to feel like the universe is telling you that you’ll never get a job.

To be honest, I don’t know if I have any ‘tips and tricks’ to make this easier – we’re not going to be unemployed forever, no one ever is, I just don’t know what the next step is. However much I keep telling myself I’m going to be unemployed forever and I’m not good enough for the jobs I’ve applied for doesn’t mean it’s true – I’m not going to spend the rest of my life living at my mum’s house making food plans and uploading videos not many people watch and I know that not getting a job doesn’t mean I’m a failure and I’m useless.

Well, at least I hope it doesn’t.

I guess the thing I want to share (to make this a slightly less miserable post!) is this – I was chatting to a friend a few weeks ago, he’s just finished his first year and he said his biggest worry about finishing uni was ending up in a dead end job and I said words to this effect.

I mean, it’s hard to say either way – obviously I want to say ‘that won’t happen’ but I finished uni months ago and I still don’t have a job. All I can say is nothing lasts forever – I don’t think I know anyone who has been in the same job at the same company or even in the same career from when they’re in their early 20s to when they’re 60. Things change and move and you’ll change and move with them – nothing is ‘stuck’ or ‘dead end’ unless you decide to stay, so don’t worry about it too much!

Nothing is permanent, even unemployment.

Any advice (or jobs in social/digital media or along these lines) please do let me know! All my socials are linked below as always.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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my uncertain life right now (Diary 1)

2018, lifestyle, student, travel

Hello!

A couple of months ago I wrote a post all about how I was writing this blog for myself – how I didn’t really want to spend masses of time scheduling tweets or making promo for Instagram stories that I didn’t get much engagement on so I’d rather this blog was a little spot on the internet that I can scroll through in 50 years and look back on what was important to me when I was 21.

I don’t think I’m the right kind of person to get brand deals and really make a living from doing this, maybe writing in other capacities but not like this (not that I wouldn’t want to if the opportunity came along? I could get caught up in ‘if’s and ‘but’s for ages, but you get the gist).

So where I may have held off writing diary like blog posts in the past (‘because it doesn’t help anyone’ or ‘no one cares’) – I want to start documenting little capsules of my life! Here and now – 17th August 2018, these are the things I’m thinking, what makes me happy, what I’m worried about. I hope that’s okay.

Right this second, I’m sat in a Cafe Nero in Peterborough – my boyfriend is at his (hopefully) last driving lesson before he gets put forward for his test and I’m killing time until we get the bus home together later. I love working in cafes – for some reason, being out the house and in public makes me feel like I have to get work done but it doesn’t feel like a chore. It inspired me to write this post, to be honest.

This week was one of those busy but quiet weeks – the beginning of the week was a trial shift at a job that I had to turn down because my back is in really bad shape and standing for whole shifts would do more bad than good, then I was on a train back to Southampton for a job interview at the university I didn’t attend.

I think it went well – I’ve tried not to post too much about it online because I know for a fact that if everyone else is as nosy as me, people will be judging and keeping an eye on how the job hunt is going (that sounds malicious – I’m kinda nosy but because it’s exciting seeing where everyone’s going next!). But also I don’t want to post about it and then not get it because then people might ask me how it went and I’d have to say I didn’t get it. I’m waiting on an email or some form of contact today so I might update this post? I feel like I have to now!

edit: I didn’t get the job, back to applying I guess!

It was a very quick one night stay in Southampton and by Tuesday evening we were home and continuing to watch CW’s Arrow Season 1 – we started watching Legends of Tomorrow with the fam and it was a bit confusing because I’ve watched Flash but I hadn’t seen Arrow or Supergirl so we decided to go right back to the beginning and watch them in order. I’m loving it so much – I’ve always been a massive fan of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (none of the TV shows ever grabbed me) but DC’s films never blew me away, DC TV however is edging it’s way to be equal to Marvel to be honest. Flash is my DC boy and Spider-Man is my Marvel boy, they could never be more than each other.

I take superheroes very seriously, I don’t know if you can tell!

The middle of this week has been very slow – I’ve had a lot of headaches and I can’t tell if they’re dehydration or stress but I’m already looking forward to a new week and a fresh start.

In the least melodramatic way, my life right now is very uncertain – I might get this job or that job (I’ve applied for too many to count at this point), I might be living at home for a while, should I start driving lessons? Will I be home for my birthday? Do I book to go down to Bournemouth for my sister’s birthday because I don’t know where I’ll be? I feel like I’m waiting on a lot of conditions before I can settled and plan properly and we all know that planning and knowing where I am and what I’m doing is my specialty – I feel a bit like I’m floating, so I’m very much looking forward to having my feet planted firmly on the ground again.

I’ve really enjoyed writing this – I might make it a more regular thing or keep it just to when I feel like something significant is worth documenting? Either way, I found it very therapeutic so I hope you enjoyed it too!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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Dear YouTube, Fix the Subscribe Button

2018, lifestyle

Hello!

I’ve been watching YouTube videos and content creators for somewhere nearing ten years now and I have a lot of thoughts about how dumb some of the site changes have been, but here’s my biggest gripe and oh boy, plug in your seatbelts boys and girls because I have some opinions.

What is the point of a subscribe button, if the subscription feed doesn’t give you a list of all the videos from the channels you’ve subscribed too?

I get the point of algorithms – how is anyone going to find new content if there aren’t algorithms to figure out what you’ll really like? But save them for the home page! Or the suggested videos around a video when you’re watching.

subscription  (səbˈskrɪpʃ(ə)n/)  noun
an arrangement to receive something, typically a publication, regularly by paying in advance.
“make sure you get a copy every month by taking out a subscription”

 

The definition of subscription – sure, YouTube is slightly different in that it’s a free platform and maybe that’s where their loophole is, but if I subscribe to a channel and then don’t ‘receive’ that video in my subscription feed, it’s not a subscription at all?

‘Subscribe’ has just become a phrase to YouTube at this point – it’s doesn’t mean that a creators videos get sent to certain people, it’s all about the numbers and YouTube only appears to be paying attention to those with tens of millions of numbers to their channel.

That must be all it is to them! Surely it’s obvious? Why would anyone subscribe to a channel if what they actually wanted was for someone to guess what they want to watch?

There’s only so accurate that YouTube can be! For one, I don’t want an algorithm to try and tell me what I want to watch when what I want to watch it what I’ve subscribed to – it’s that simple! On my channel, I’m the only one making content but my boyfriend often watches videos on my channel and what he watches it completely and utterly different to what I watch. I don’t hate it, but I’m not subscribed for a reason.

But now YouTube thinks all I want to watch is vine compilations and gaming livestreams and that’s not the case. Not even a little bit.

I’m not sure what else there is to say – I think it would be really interesting if YouTube put out a survey and asked what people actually wanted from the sub feed, because I’d be legitimately surprised if the majority came out saying people want it how it is now.

And don’t even get my started on why social media news feeds aren’t chronological.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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Is blogging ‘dying’?

2018

Hello!

As someone who is looking for a career in social media, I’m quite analytical of how I and others use social media and what different platforms are offering.

I read a really interesting article (or it might have been Hannah Gale’s insta stories?) about how ‘microblogging’ on instagram is becoming more popular, both with creators and getting more response from an audience, in terms of writing longer captions that have a theme and may or may not be in any way related to the picture it’s captioning.

The primary difference I find between my blog and my instagram is how much more immediate Instagram can be – stories are instant and in a way people have started using it to daily vlog, Instagram TV looks like it’s trying to rival YouTube (though I’m not sure how well that’s going…) and making posts and writing out long captions is a way of short form blogging.

A lot of people use Instagram in different ways – some people post fun pictures of good times and don’t think too much about what they post, it’s like a scrapbook or a memory. As opposed to the more ‘blogger’ or influencer approach, where photos fit with a theme and whilst making creative content is important, it’s also about reaching as many people as possible by making the photos fit well together (like having a theme), engaging with the human experience in the caption and making the most of hashtags and reaching people that don’t follow you yet as much as captivating their followers too.

That’s not to say that there will be a day where we can say ‘ah yes, blogging is officially dead, RIP blogging’ – there will always be a community of people who like to blog, in the same way that people still read newspapers and listen to the radio. New media and old media are often in competition and trends come and go, but so far it’s all somewhat balanced in their audience size.

I don’t think blogging will ‘die’ so to speak, not in the way snapchat did anyway, but it’s interesting to see how the medium develops and where the majority of an audience is. Instagram is a huge marketing tool for brands, businesses and even content creators that are just starting out. The rise of the influencer started on YouTube and Instagram (to my knowledge, anyway!) and lots of companies and ‘#ad’s are on Instagram as much if not more than they are on YouTube, because audiences are potentially more likely to engage.

Obviously I’m not a marketing expert (yet, I’m looking for courses), this is just coming from my own observations and interest in social media, but I’m really intrigued – what do you think? Are you still a big fan of blogging or would you rather scroll through Instagram’s multitude of content? I’d love to know!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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social media comparison: dangerous / motivational

2018, lifestyle, photography, student

Hi there!

I feel like everywhere I look at the moment, people are talking about how social media is such a ‘toxic environment’ – influences are only posting the best parts of their lives, teenage girls think they’re fat and nobody is as happy as they say they are.

But is that really the case? Is social media as awful as everyone says?

Short answer, no I don’t think it is. Yes, in some respects, social media invites you to compare your life to what everyone else is posting about their lives, but does comparison necessarily have to be a bad thing?

Disclaimer: if social media has a negative influence on your mental health and happiness, obviously it’s not good – I can only talk about my experiences with social media and it’s different for everyone so take my words with a little pinch of salt.

For one, not everyone is scrolling through Instagram analysing how every post they see illustrates why their lives are rubbish – I scroll past a photo of an influencer who’s bought some new furniture and I think ‘oooh that’s lovely!’, I’m not thinking about how my life is awful because I can’t have what they have. Does making this example about furniture make me seem really old? I don’t even know anymore.

For two, people are capable of going through social media and seeing people they admire and not comparing themselves (whether that be their body or clothes) to what they see. There’s a lot of talk, particularly with women and teenagers, about how people only ever compare themselves to others. In some cases, this is true (obviously) but in other cases, is it not just admiring someone who looks good? I follow a fair few fitness Instagrams and yes, I’d give anything to look like they do, I’m mostly just admiring how exercise has worked for them and it inspires me more than anything else.

(For the most part, on my really low days it can be depressing but those are the days I know I have to step away or look at something else)

Whether it be body image, interior design or career, social media can be an easy source of comparison but I’ve found in more cases than not, that comparison motivates people to be on the level they want to be – to work out harder, to work as hard as they can for that promotion, to be more like the people that they follow online.

In some respects, I think for us to assume that all anyone does online if negatively compare themselves to other is just that – negative, completely dismissive of how complex people are and we’re all capable of using and reacting to social media in different ways.

Obviously this is all very personal to me – as my mum likes to remind me, I’m a very competitive person so I’m often comparing myself to others and whilst it can bring me down and dishearten me, often it inspires me to be better, to be the best I can be. Sometimes it’s as petty as being able to prove to the people I went to school with that ‘media isn’t easy’ and I can and will be successful. Sure, that’s probably not the most ideal mindset but if it inspires me to work as hard as I can is it that bad?

I predominantly follow people from school to keep up with what they’re doing and watch them flourish in their own fields, because they’re so different to mine. Just to clarify – I’m not that badly competitive.

Comparison can be an awful thing and in some instances it is dangerous, social media can be an awful platform for that. But depending on who you are, how you use social media, how you react to other people, who you follow, what content you engage with and what they post, it doesn’t have to be.

For me, I find social media can be a useful tool when I’m feeling low – it helps me stop analysing my own life for a minute. It brings me out of my own head and into someone else’s world for a little bit – it’s a distraction as much as it is a motivational comparison.

But then that is just me – what do you think? Do you use social media for a particular purpose and do you find that has an impact on you?

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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