It’s a bit like marmite

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long time so I’m sitting down today to actually do it. I think what has spurred me on is a film that I recently watched, ironically, on Facebook, that partially covered the impact of social media on all of us, but especially on the youth of today (god that makes me sound like my parents!).

Facebook especially, is something that has quietly overtaken my life since I first started on it, probably nearly a decade ago. It started small and with my friends, and grew into something much, much bigger. I got back in touch with old school friends. I found a new way to communicate and share experiences with other myeloma patients, who then became friends. I used it as a massive tool in my fundraising goals and could never have raised all I did for Myeloma UK without it. I love it.

However, for all that good, it has also proven to have a fairly negative impact in my life and I am rethinking it on so many levels. I find myself really struggling to keep up with everything that now comes up on social media and actually feeling quite anxious and depressed about what I might have missed about friends, who I might upset and whether I could be contacting someone else for my fundraising. It’s mad. I hate it.

So recently, I took the first steps, (having watched the film I’ve attached below), to make some changes. Rightly or wrongly, I have started removing people from my Facebook page. Not because I don’t like them or they have done anything wrong, but just because I need it to go back to being about my family and friends, and those who support me. I’ve stopped accepting people just because they know my name….and if that’s you I apologise, but I need to find a way to look after my close friends better, and I can’t do it when I’m consumed by everyone that I’ve met. It sounds selfish and I suppose it is a little bit.

I know quite a few people who have come off Facebook altogether. Nick won’t even give it the time of day. I’m not quite ready for that though and I suppose if I’m totally honest, I’m using it. It helps me to share this blog and help people who find it of interest. It helps me to raise invaluable money. And I’m pretty nosey if I’m honest! I want to know what friends are family are up to and it helps me to do that a little better. But I’m trying to rethink how I use it a little bit. I’m trying not to share irrelevant posts too often…especially those pictures etc that just block up timelines these days. I want to share important things with people who care. (Hmmm, that said, I’m just remembering my last post on driving on tramlines…not that important….work in progress I suppose!)

We’re also rethinking ‘devices’ in the house! We’ve just ordered a charging station and we are going to set up a place where all gadgets get left in the evening. None of us will have our phones and tablets by our beds anymore. I hope it will help us all to relax more and focus on each other. (It does mean people will have to realise we aren’t permanently attached to them though and if they urgently want us, they may have to phone our….yes we do still have one…..landline!)

I’m going to keep assessing the Facebook thing. I think I need to take it off my phone again too so that when I’m out and about I’m focused on what I’m doing without this need to be permanently up to date with Facebook trivia and the news. Everything can wait. Nothing is that urgent. If I want to teach my kids that life is about living and socialising with people and not screens, I need to lead by example!

I would definitely recommend you taking the time to watch the film – go to youtube and search for Simon Sinek, millennial (it won’t let me post it on here!)…for me it was 15 minutes very well spent, that has changed a lot in how we are living with social media now. It’s not 100% accurate and I don’t hold that all ‘millennials’ are lazy, unsociable people who don’t know how to relate but there are some good points in there!

So, I love social media…and am even thinking of working more with it, but I also hate it! That said, I just love marmite!