Category: Mental Health.
Showing posts with label Mental Health.. Show all posts

Lets talk about the dark side of social media.

Ever since I was 10 I've had my own computer, at first it was an absolute tank that you could only use paint and word on, but it was my own computer and it felt great having this amazing piece of tech in front of me. I was 14 when I got my first laptop, the freedom to browse the internet how I wanted, creating those social media accounts, signing up to MSN, because everyone at school had it, and you wanted to be like your classmates, you'd ask for their 'addies' in lessons and write them in your notebook, and if it was someone you really fancied, you'd usually ask your mate to get it for you. I joined sites like Bebo, Myspace, Piczo and Facebook. Facebook was not even that much of a big deal back then like a fair few people had it, but Myspace and Bebo were the ones, sadly neither of them exist anymore. I became friends with many online people, those to this day I haven't met, we spoke about everything and when I was lonely, I always knew there would be someone online I could reach out to. 

I was 15 when Tumblr took off, I would spend hours upon hours looking at blogs that people had created, at first it was all of the bright coloured fun ones, I even went to a meet up with another friend I knew in rl, in Birmingham and we all took a photo together which I had in my room until I was 18. Although I found it hard to reach out to people at the meet as a lot of people were internet famous, I felt a part of something. Slowly I fell into a trap of the dark side of Tumblr, the blogs were less colour and more black and white. I watched Skins around this time too, and I was constantly reblogging quotes about Skins, which if you've ever seen it, you'll know the themes within it are hard-hitting. From following the blogs who were sharing these quotes, I'd fall deeper into their blogs, and looking back I wish I'd shut down the computer and stopped. There were blogs on self-harm, including how to do it, videos of people who felt depressed and suicidal and were sharing their thoughts online. My escape of online was becoming my worse enemy and I couldn't even see it. The people on the site were my friends, they felt the way I did, and nobody else did.

I felt myself being sucked into this online cycle of self-harm and depression. I didn't link the two until I was older, I started to use the site a lot less and things felt better like I could breathe again. But I kept going back, I was getting messages about down people felt in my ask box, and I knew I had to respond. My followers were growing and along with it so was my self-esteem, these people really wanted to follow the content I was posting. The quotes and pictures were eating away at me, but when I started college, I took a step back and began to realise how toxic it was for me. 

I joined Twitter in college and quickly became my favourite social media platform, I ended up talking to like-minded people, it made me feel a part of something again and I liked it. I became part of the blogging community and everyone was supportive. Taking part in chats, reading each other's posts and taking part in cute swaps. Although I still find myself a part of the blogging community, I don't think it will ever be like it was again. The social media I find myself using the most and have done for years is Instagram and as much as I hate to admit it, Facebook too. Even if I don't post anything on Facebook, I can spend countless hours of my team looking at my feed, half of the time just looking at the same stuff over and over and I feel like my brain is melting sometimes. Something doesn't really exist until it is on Facebook it feels sometimes. I am guilty of being a part of it too. 

As for Instagram, I love the platform as it allows us to be creative, I enjoy spending hours creating amazing content and putting it on a platform to share. But it can often take over real life, and as a fellow creator, I know my content is staged, and so is most other people. Nobody really sits on their bed with their toothbrush and perfectly brushed hair or in the park with their friends with a perfectly set up picnic, gazing into the distance. Plus the food you see on there usually has a million and one filters on. I love Instagram as for me, it's an escape from reality. It's great to see some bright and colourful pictures and who cares if they're edited and set up. Take them with a pinch of salt. 

In the current day, I feel like I have a better relationship with social media, but I do often wonder how I would function without it. In terms of blogging Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are something I feel I need. But if I wasn't a blogger, I would if I could take a step back. Food for thought on this one, could you take a detox from the social media? I'm not too sure I could. 

An Open Letter To My Bullies.

Dear Bullies,

It's been five years since we left school but the torment you endured upon me still follow me around every single day. The names, the way you would laugh at my 'hairy' arms, the way you would take it in turns to ask me out and have a laugh all of it is still vivid in my memory. I hated going to school because of you, I would pretend I was sick so many days so I wouldn't have to face the torment that was going on when I would enter that classroom or at lunch. Many nights I would spend crying over these horrible imperfections about myself that I could never fix, whether that be my nose, my acne, my skinny figure or even my hairy arms. 

I couldn't change those things you wanted me to, I couldn't be one of the popular ones because I was too lame, didn't like getting into trouble and found it hard to talk to new people. I would get ridiculed because I was quiet, but when I finally spoke up this made it all the worse. To teach me a lesson you drew my picture on the whiteboard during lunch and made it so ugly everyone couldn't help but laugh at. To this day I can still picture that image on that whiteboard, something that probably left your memory just hours after it happened. I'm sure you'll be pleased to know I now suffer from PTSD, which means I struggle just being in a large crowd of people, I hate looking in the mirror because I just imagine the horrible image of myself which you made me believe.

When I look in the mirror and I am having a bad day, I will remember all of those words and the way I feel about myself is a way nobody should ever feel about themselves but that was all down to you. The rumours you would start to get people to shout in my face, call me names and push me still ring in my ears. Starting a rumour about a popular girl I'd never even heard of and saying I said horrible things about her wasn't fair, I hadn't even heard of before that day. A whole school tormenting you for being ugly because you started a 'rumour' about a beautiful girl is not something anybody wants to happen to them. I spent most of my school days with my friends on the benches behind the language block, I felt safe. As safe as I could at that hell hole, others refer to as school. I would see so many people making friends but I knew I was different; my mental illness began at such a young age, I always felt like an outsider. I would go and spend hours punishing myself for not being good enough and not being the popular girl. Why couldn't I be blonde? why couldn't I be confident? why do I have acne?

The day I left school honestly was the best day of my life, I no longer had to deal with the evil torment which was given to me most days for 5 years. I went to college and my life CHANGED, people wanted to know me, people gave me the confidence and the love I was craving and I can say it changed my life. Even though it has been 5 years, I am still weak and have such a low opinion of myself and I am not sure that will ever change. I just have one more thing to say before I sign this letter. I hope you feel good for all of the hurt you inflicted on me, I hope it was worth it.

Love Olivia