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Social Media – it’s as real as you make it

Social Media – it’s as real as you make it

 

Our generation will go down in history as the ones who launched, and first began to capitalise on, social media, and those following us will be the first to grow up from birth with social media being hugely prevalent in their lives. Sites like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, have changed the way the world works, connecting people at the click of a button. Statistics have ranked the amount of monthly active Instagram users at 500 million, Twitter at 320 million, Facebook at 1.5 billion, and YouTube too as having over 1 billion. It is safe to say that with the development of social media websites and apps, we have also seen the development of an entirely new, and hugely profitable industry, with the most well known YouTube and Instagram users earning literally in the millions due to their popularity, be that through revenue from advertisements or from sponsorship deals. People who were once sat in their bedrooms making videos on their phones are now running, effectively, power-house industries, with branding deals racking in impressive amounts of money.

As the industry has become more influential and more profitable, a more sinister side has unsurprisingly developed along with it. According to the University of Pittsburg School of Medicine, those who use social media frequently are three times more likely to develop mental health issues. It is more than just social media use that is the issue here, it is the culture that is developing alongside it, of which near enough all of us are probably guilty of being sucked into on one occasion or another. It is intrinsically linked to the ability that we have of presenting a near perfect image of ourselves and of our lives on social media.

Alexis Ren and Jay Alvarrez are great examples of this. Take one look at their Instagram profiles and all you see is beautiful scenery, amazing cars, adoring couple pictures and incredible houses and apartments. From a glance it is easy to see why they have been able to catapult themselves into social media fame, capitalising daily on presenting themselves in a way that is very much fitting with the term ‘goals’ that is banded around social media so often: they are physically attractive, they appear to have a lot of money, and they also appear to be very much in love. Also, unsurprisingly, the comments sections on their photos are filled with proclamations along the lines of ‘I hate my life’, ‘WHY can’t I be them?’, ‘life is SO unfair.’  We are fashioned as human beings to want to succeed in life, to look at another person’s success and want that for ourselves: jealousy is an innate human characteristic to some extent.

There is something incredibly sad and deceptive, however, about this new found culture of ‘Instagram’ celebrities who put out these incredible images of their near perfect seeming lives, with little to no reality thrown in the mix. Reality is, life cannot be perfect, happy and beautiful at all times. Pictures are a snap shot of one tiny moment in time: most photos in themselves are posed, and that in itself is not a bad thing. The danger is that when all we expose ourselves with online is images of beautiful appearances and flamboyant lifestyles, we forget that there are so many other things happening in that person’s life that they are not sharing with the world. Very few of these hugely prominent so called ‘stars’ share any negativity with their followings, which is not surprising given that the reason they have these followings to start with is because of how great and problem free their lives seem.

Endless, continuous comparison and competition between our own lives and those that we see online is clearly having a huge impact on our mental, and in turn, sometimes physical health. One of the leading eating disorder treatment centres in the UK discussed the huge numbers of both fashion and healthy eating bloggers and online stars they had talked to or treated, proving that those behind the success are too being influenced negatively by the immense pressure on image that goes hand in hand with the social world. Young people are growing up completely over exposed to unrealistic body types, unrealistic lifestyles, and unrealistic relationships. A picture can allow you to show off your body and angles in the most flattering way possible, it can allow you to only show the best, most fun parts of your day, and it can allow you to pretend that your relationship is problem free. Nothing we see is as it is, because beauty and success and happiness sell – negativity does not sell quite so well.

The sooner we remember that there is more to people’s stories than what we see in a square image, I genuinely think the happier we will be. There is nothing wrong in itself with following these sorts of social media profiles, because it is nice to see what some would deem as ‘beautiful’ people doing what some see as ‘amazing’ things – it is physically appealing to look at, and potentially gives some people incentive. Neither is there anything intrinsically wrong with posting pictures of ourselves when we look our best, or when our lives are all excitement and joy. I know for one that I use my Instagram as a form of diary in some ways – I love flicking back through and seeing amazing memories or periods of my life.

I just think we all need a bit more perspective and grounding at times, because what is lost in the midst of all of this is the beauty in smaller, more simple things. You do not have to be sat on a beach in the Maldives to see the beauty the world has to offer you, and you do not have to be jumping out of a plane with your significant other to know what true love is and how special it can be. We lose the fragility and specialness in more simple human interactions and day to day experiences when we hold up an entirely unachievable level of success based on how someone whom we have never even met is presenting their own lives.

No-ones life is perfect every second of the day, no matter what it looks like on their social media platforms. Everyone has their own struggles and periods of difficulties in their lives, and to forget that and feel resentment that our own lives do not live up to a reality that is not, in fact, a reality, would be incredibly unfair on ourselves.

Love always, Kirstie x

 

 

 



26 thoughts on “Social Media – it’s as real as you make it”

  • This was really good, especially since nobody ever talks about things like these and everyone just thinks of social media as somewhere to interact, share photos, meet new people. But you have written about in a different way, showing people that we don’t have to live life like what somebody’s social media looks like. I love the fact that you took your time to write this whole post and I am glad you wrote it.

    Thank you, Maisie xxx

  • As a model you make a great point about constant standards that’s great to here loving your blog 💕💕💕

  • I can’t speak as I am far too obsessed with my sheep account and sheep look there best at all times. Love you kirstie 💕 from the girls @thesheepwatch👭👭🐑🐑🐑

  • You continue to impress and influence me with your views, Kirstie and one day i would love to start a blog too, i would love to inspire and help people the way you help me❤️ I have so much love for you, please keep doing what youre doing xx

  • This has given me some good influence… I look at you and James and your families Instagram and I have to be totally and respectably honest and say I have made past comments just like the quotes and examples commented above and after I have typed them I feel one hundred percent down than what I was five seconds before I typed that comment. Now I have learnt to think positively and think that you probably do day to day general activities and problems that I challenge through 24 hours…. Thank you kirstie you have once again gave me a life lesson and made me think more positive towards myself . Love you and thanks ❤️

  • Hey, Kirstie.
    The part of social media that bothers me the most is, in fact, the idea of perfection that it has. It’s always made me almost angry or frustrated to hear people, especially the girls at my school express how they think that they are ugly (hate that word so much!) or constantly put themselves down for things like having spots or saying that they are “too fat” or “too skinny” or even saying those things about each other! I always got questioned about why it annoyed and angered me so much and I suppose some of it is to do with the fact that people are basing themselves off of somebody else’s appearance and lifestyle.
    A lot, in fact, the majority of my idols are people who share online but the ones that I respect more are those who show and tell the more “negative” parts of their lives. You are definitely one of my biggest idols. For example, what you shared about yourself in the last post, I respected immensely because you were not afraid to share with us something that you have to deal with regularly which was a wonderful, remarkable thing to do because somebody somewhere who is also dealing with a similar thing now knows that what they thought was a flaw or imperfection in themself, is also existing in another person.

    I know I thank you in almost every comment, but seriously, your posts are amazing and always make me think more about things that I thought I had an idea about.
    ♥️❤️♥️
    Lots of love,
    Annie
    xXx

    • Hey, again.
      I think I kind of want to start a blog too but I am terrified. I don’t know how I would ever start it or what to use or how anything works and I’m just really nervous. I just think it could be an idea since sometimes I have things to say but nobody to really hear it. I don’t know. I just wanted to ask you since your blog is wonderful and you might be willing to give me advice about what you use to create your blog etc. What do you think, should I?

      Lots of love,
      (a very nervous) Annie
      xXx

    • ah what a lovely comment! thank you so much. we’re growing up in such a weird environment with social media platforms being so hugely influential and i’d be lying if i said i didn’t see things daily that made me think ‘i WISH i had that or looked like that’ but at the end of the day it is so important to separate what is and isn’t real life, and to remember that we probably have things too that other people look at and also wish they had. perspective is so important and no ones life is perfect at the end of the day! thank you again 💕😘 x

  • Your blog posts at are alway well written and I always enjoy reading them. Everything you’ve said I agree with. It’s such a shame that people believe they have to live their lives the same way as people on social media do and are always comparing themselves to others and if they don’t live up to those expectations that social media set then their life isn’t worth anything or they aren’t good enough. I do follow quite a few people on Instagram and have compared myself to them once or twice but then realised that I’m not the same person and I should live my own life and not a life based off of how people on social media live theirs. Thank you for writing such amazing blog posts. Lots of love xx

  • You are my role model and I couldn’t ask for a better one. You help me through so many issues I face just through your blog. Your post on it being ok to have a bad day and your reply to me has given me the confrontation needed to remove myself from the situation that was causing my anxiety and you seem to help me the most. I’m very proud to tell people you are my role model Kirstie as I respect and love you so much. I wish I could one day talk to you in person because for some reason your words help me so much. I know I won’t and you replying to comments on this blog is as close as I will get but just knowing you read my words gives me a sense of relief. Love you always xxx

  • So true, thank you for talking about the things that on the inside we know but nobody talks about it, love how you express your opinions💜, on the next one could you talk about vegans?
    Love you, Cris xx💜🇪🇸

  • This is literally so inspirational and i definitely agree with you on the points that you brought up regarding social media. Some people i know use Instagram likes to measure their self-worth. To be honest, that’s just saddening because they are missing out on so many opportunities to grow and learn new things. Instead, they are so fixated on the number of likes that they have until they have issues with their self-esteem. I’m so glad that this blog post is written so that I’m able to share it with my friends who go through this.

    Thank you for being such a positive influence!
    love you always, Mildred xxx

  • I loved this! Just as I loved all your other blog posts. It’s kinda scary when you think about how much control social media has over or lives and the mentalities that have been engrained in the minds of people because of social media. I think that it’s good to have real whether that be leaving your phone at home, deleting social media apps of your phone this way it’s only needed for essential contact, or even going on a holiday where there is no reception. In some ways it’s a breath of fresh air in that you don’t feel like you HAVE to reply.

  • Oh God Kirstie, no one could have done a better job, I swear.
    You always choose the right words to share your thoughts and opinions, to give us advices and to help us. Be proud of job and of yourself because you can. I genuinely think that creating this blog is one of the best thing that happened to you because it shows to the whole world how beautiful your soul is and how big your heart is, you’re not just a gorgeous woman, you’re also very smart person.
    Anyway, I feel like through your posts (and especially this one), you help me being a better version of me. You make me think about important issues, you make me feel more confident and that’s what I love the most about you and this blog. It’s not just a hobby for you, you’re really devoted and we can feel it while reading your posts.
    I would never thank you enough for what you do, you’re also so caring and sweet to us.
    I wish all the best for you, thank you again.
    xx

  • Thanks for talking about this 💕 As a teenager myself i find on social media that there is a lot of pressure around body types and what you should and shouldnt look like i feel like there isnt an end as to how skinny you are suppost to be and i really appreciate you talking about this in your blog thanks x 🙈💕

  • I agree so much Kirstie. As a 13 year old girl, Im expected to be perfect, or like youtubers or people such as Zoe Sugg (Zoella) Tanya Burr,Meg De’Angelis (maybaby) Kylie Jenner ect. Im only just realizing that So many people feel the same,and feel like we’re made to be like them. Im going to share this blog post with as many people as possible, because all of this is true.
    I find it hard to even go to school anymore, because I feel like I need to look like a model,or look like I should be in an instagram picture, and My anxiety makes everything worse too :/
    This blog post is amazing, You can see you truly put alot of hard work and effort into all of this, I want to become a hardworking, kind, and intelligent person like you someday 🙂 Love You Kirstie!xxx

  • Amazingly said Kirstie! I couldn’t agree more at how much this day and age has been consumed in the expectations and unreal reality displayed on social media. Being a teenager it truly absorbs your whole mind, twisting your views and your own perspective of the world. I really enjoy reading your posts and admire your views at lot as it impacts mine in a very positive way.

    Keep doing what you love! I truly hope it leads you somewhere great xx

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