Social Media Breaks

Social Media Breaks

And Why I’m Taking One

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

Lately, (thank you depression), I have found myself spending more and more time on social media, not actively commenting and talking to people, but simply passively reading posts.

It has become somewhat of a time killer for me, and I have far too many things that are important to me that I need to spend time doing, so I am taking a forced social media break.

I have three deadlines coming up at the end of the month, and I have a LOT of work still to do before they are ready to submit. I also have writing ideas actively flying around my mind, which I really want to be able to focus on, and I know that if I don’t cut off my social media time, then I won’t get anything done, because sometimes, it is simply less painful to read about other people’s lives, that in is to engage in my own, but this is not something that I want to do.

I’ve also found myself becoming very jaded about social media. While it can be used massively for good, I have also noticed that so many people seem to simply play lip service to others, and this isn’t something I want to be a part of. It is fake and untruthful, and not for me.

As an example, in the last week alone, I have witnessed people leaving friendly comments on others’ posts, even though I know that they don’t get on, or even like said person. This is not for me. If I can’t say anything nice, then I will not say anything at all, but I won’t say something nice in public, simply to stab the knife into someone’s back in private. I will not do this, and I have seen it one too many times lately, so I am going to take a break for a while. I am still going to post my daily photo journal, which I named #myy33project, because that is a year long project, which I don’t want to lose. I will post this on Instagram and share it to Twitter and Facebook as normal. I shall also share my blog posts, but that’s all.

To be honest, and without meaning to sound maudlin, most people won’t really miss me anyway. I’m okay with that. I am used to being fairly invisible, and it makes this transition far easier for the moment.

So, I guess, unless you read these blogs, this is goodbye for the foreseeable future.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Trolling

Trolling

The Keyboard Warrior Variant

Photo by Sergi Kabrera on Unsplash

People have always found making hurtful comments to others a part of life, but since the advent of the internet, and particularly, social media, it has become all too easy for people to make even more comments, and to potentially make someone’s life a misery, even to the point when they can see no escape other than death.

So many young people, in particular, are brought up to believe that being liked online is one of the main goals of life. They spend hours and hours trying to take the perfect selfie, that will get them the most likes, loves, shares, and retweets.

In our culture, we also now have a new breed of bully. The people who, if you’re trying to be nice, you would call ‘keyboard warriors’… These people could be the most shy, quiet people in real life, but give them a computer, and they can become the biggest bully in the whole world.

People don’t seem to realise how much the odd mean comment can hurt, particularly if the person it is aimed at is young and vulnerable.

I am so glad that social media wasn’t a thing when I was at school. I really don’t think I would have dealt very well with the criticism at all.

Thing I’m trying to get at, is that it’s easy to say things from behind a computer screen, but would you say them to the person’s face. If the answer is no, then maybe those comments would be better kept to yourself.

When deciding whether to make a comment, there is a simple acronym… you’ve probably heard it before…

THINK

T = Is it TRUE?

H = Is it HELPFUL?

I = Is it INSPIRING?

N = Is it NECESSARY?

K = Is it KIND?

This is an excellent way for us to make sure that we are only putting out positivity into people’s lives. There is so much hate in the world already, let’s not add to it…


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Over Filtration

Over Filtration

When people look nothing like their photos..

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

All the more, I am finding that the photos my friends post on Facebook and Instagram look nothing like them. Their skin is smoothed out, and they have also made their faces thinner. Their complexion is so white, it looks like they’ve put face paint on.

This, coupled with some twinkles, and a halo, garners such comments and praise:

“You’re so beautiful!”, and “Gorgeous!”

I mean, these people are not unattractive, far from it, so why do we feel the need to change how we look online. In a society that is so focused on body shaming, why are we, as women, feeding into this by pretending to be something that we’re not?

I’m being serious here! There are so many posts online about how we should be building each other up, but then we post these pictures, which look nothing like us.

I absolutely hate most filters. I mean, I get the adding dog ears, etc, but not the total manipulation of a face beyond the point of being able to tell who that person is.

I can honestly say that I have never used one of these filters, and nor do I intend to. I have a long term project that I have been working on, where I take a selfie a day, so that I can document how I change. I have been doing this for about four years, and I have not used one filter, or edit on these photos.

In some of them, I look fat; in some, I look like I’ve had a breakout; in some, I look tired; and some are okay. The thing is, I’m not saying that I like all, or even most of these pictures, but at the same time, the project is not about making these images look better, or acceptable. They are an honest account of me through the years.

In the past I would often try and pretend to be something I’m not, in order to fit in, but I have learned that this is not me. I don’t fit it. In fact, I don’t think I ever have, and I am learning to be okay with that.

What I’m trying to say is, people; ladies; you are beautiful, just as you are. You don’t need those temporary images that don’t reflect the real you.

Let people like you or dislike you as they want to, because they will do that anyway, no matter how hard you try to please them.

Post your real photos proudly, because when it comes down to it, if someone is only liking you for a doctored photo, then are they really someone you want in your life?


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Social Media

Social Media

And how it makes people brave…

by William Iven on Unsplash

We’ve all done it, haven’t we? Said something on social media that we would never even consider saying to another person’s face. We do it all the time. Sometimes, this is a good thing, and can be cathartic, but other times, it can be not only negative, but detrimental to our, or another person’s mental health.

We’ve probably all experienced it, the feeling that comes when we read something online about ourselves that isn’t very nice. We see it all the time, particularly when it comes to celebrities.

This seems particularly true when there is an event on, which a number of celebrities are attending. Best dressed lists? Worst dressed lists? I wonder if the person that decides who is going to be on the worst dressed list would actually go up and tell those people to their faces that they were going to be on it.

The internet (and while I’m not knocking it, because it isn’t the internet that is bad, but the way that some of us use it), has spawned an entire generation of keyboard warriors, all intent to have their say on this issue, or that.

The thing is, that this form of communication removes the human aspect, reducing a large number of people to disembodied screens with no real feelings, and this simply isn’t true.

When we can’t see the person behind the screen, we can’t see the tears, or the look of hurt on their faces. We don’t see the hours they will spend awake at night, worrying, and we don’t see any of the after effects of our words.

This, essentially, is encouraging us to feel like we can say anything we want, regardless of the consequences for another person, and that’s not right. If this were happening in a school ground, it would be defined as bullying, and yet, in the adult world, it is perceived as okay, and anyone that might happen to get upset, is told to toughen up and that they need a thicker skin.

Of course, there is also the flip side of this, where people can use the internet to feel braver, because of anonymity, and here they are able to share things that they might not ordinarily feel able to share.

Things like the #metoo movement, have given people of all races, genders, cultures, and orientations, a voice, which they might not otherwise have had. And you only have to go to Post Secret, to see a place where people feel safe enough in their anonymity, that they can share some of their deepest, darkest secrets.

The thing is, that the internet, and social media in particular, are not inherently bad things. In fact, it reminds me of a slogan used in the US a lot. “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”, and while I’m not going to get into the gun debate here, because that is an entirely different post, I can see the truth in the statement.

A gun will not, on its own, engage and discharge itself. To do that, it needs a person to perform an action. It is the same with the internet. These sites do not generate and post their own content; a person is required for that, and herein lies the problem.

A friend and I were talking yesterday, and he said something to me that he’s said many times before. “It’s just a case of being a nice human”, and this is so true.

If we were to focus on being a nice person, then none of the hateful messages, articles and posts would appear online. The cycle of abuse would stop. And yet, it carries on, because somewhere along the line, getting likes, shares, and retweets, somehow became more important that just being kind to our fellow human beings.


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.