It’s fair to say the beginning of this year has left me feeling a little blue. I thought it might just be the classic January Blue Monday feelings or the grey drizzly weather getting me down, but over time I realised that my slump in mood didn’t really seem to be shifting.
So I decided to do a little deduction and see what might be behind my morose feelings and after a few days I had identified the mood dampener: Facebook.
Now, this isn’t an anti-Facebook post, I recognise so many benefits of the platform and there’s so much good it can do for so many people (mummy included – mum and her friends just love Facebook). However, since I left university last year and faced the real world I realised two problems with Facebook; one social, one political. Neither of them equating to a smile on my face.
First let’s tackle the social. Facebook is a great way to keep up-to-date with what you’re friends are up to, and being able to keep in touch, but sometimes it can be a little too much. A friend at university once told me “You scroll when you’re bored and you post when you’re having fun. It only ever happens that way round.” This really stuck with me and it made me realise that whilst Facebook can be great for letting me know what people are up to it can also feed the classic insecurity: comparing your inside to other people’s outside. Never a recipe for a mood boost.
The second kill-joy of Facebook; the news. I wholly admire all the political thought shared on Facebook by my friends and their passion always encourages me, but when I scroll through my timeline I’m always going to be cheered up more by a French bulldog singing Rihanna’s Diamonds In The Sky. Especially when the news topics shared include:
- Donald Trump’s policies of ignorance and hatred
- The rights being taken away from women and minorities in America
- The looming cloud of Brexit & the weakening Pound
- The rising rail prices & strikes
- The Syrian refugee crisis
So, in an unprecedented step for a smart-phone owning millennial, I deleted Facebook off my phone. Gone. Poof. Much better.
And in all honesty my mood did rise. This doesn’t mean to say I never go on Facebook – primarily I have to make sure mum isn’t posting too many embarrassing childhood photos of me – but somehow not having it at my fingertips made me feel much more liberated and simply a lot more content. I was in my world and not Facebook’s. Aaaaaah bliss.
Over on Twitter, I decided to have a declutter of who I followed. I balanced my following between news coverage from The Times and The BBC alongside more uplifting sources of @HaveIGotNews, @PositiveNewsUK and @HuffPostGoodNews.
For an immediate burst of positivity, I look back on this article that showed SO many good things happened in 2016 because there is good news out there, we’ve just got make sure we can find as easily as the rest.