SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE MID-LIFE WOMAN - Issue #27
Because we're still running to keep up….
Hello there, dear readers
I hope you are well and managing to keep your head well above water in these difficult times in the UK - a corrupt government (don’t get me started!), the highest inflation rate in 30 years and horror as we helplessly watch the atrocious goings-on in Ukraine. As ever, our prayers go out to the brave people of Ukraine for a swift end to this devastating war.
However, as a foil to the bad things going on in life, I’m delighted to see you come back each issue and to engage with my mindless ramblings. It’s also an absolute thrill to welcome new subscribers and I’m chuffed to mint balls (I’m northern - can you tell?) that you’re here. I hope amongst these mindless ramblings you find something that resonates with you.
In this issue, I thought I’d take a look at social media and how it affects women of our age. Are you one of those women who can throw themselves into all of the social platforms without a backward glance?
Or, like me, are you one of those who is still a bit afraid of social media but know that it’s non negotiable if you want to maintain any kind of public profile or run a business/side gig etc?
I get you. Totally. The number of platforms is overwhelming and the pressure to post constantly can be exhausting.
It's not our fault, really. Unlike the Millennials and Gen Z's, we didn't spend our formative years learning all about the various channels and what you need to be oh so savvy with it. No, if you were anything like me, you picked up what was going on in the world from the likes of Jackie magazine each week.
But the teenagers of today cut their teeth on social media and so, by the time they are in their late teens, they are experts.
So, with not having all those years to perfect our craft on social media, is it any wonder our generation doesn't feel as confident as our younger sisters? Who else in their 40's/50's/60's has a nervy sweat when asked to post something on their social media platforms about themselves?
It just wasn't done in our teenage days and we've now got to spend months and years learning how best to represent ourselves - be that professional or personal.
Because the honest truth is, if you don't, you WILL get left behind.
So, what hacks can we employ to ensure we do ourselves proud out in social cyberspace without causing us to have a panic attack along the way.
I’m no social media expert, but here’s some tips I’ve discovered over the years to help keep my head above water when online.
Choose your platforms wisely. If you’re having to post for business purposes, then you’ll have to be lead by where your “audience” is, but if it’s for your own purposes, then look to see if you can find any like-minded users - your “tribe”.
Notice how you feel when you’re on the channels. If you find your mood slipping, come off and do something else to distract yourself. It’s very easy to slip down a depressive rabbit hole.
If you can, switch off the notifications of some interaction on your social media channels, permanently or for a short time, to give yourself a breather. Instead, rather than the notifications deciding when you login to view any engagement, YOU decide when you do it. I switched all social media notifications off on my phone over a year ago and I haven’t missed anything yet. Instead I log in roughly about 2-3 times per day - morning, lunch & just before I finish work for the day or just morning and evening if I’m having a busy day. It’s highly unlikely you’ll miss anything important, and if you do, you’ll only be a few hours in replying and nobody’s going to mind a reply a few hours later, are they?
Try not to compare yourself to the “perfect” life the influencer or account who you are following. Often these people who have perfect lives can take up to around 100 photos to find the perfect one to post of their perfect life. And the best quote I ever heard about this is. Sorry, I can’t remember who said this, but either way, it’s reassuring.
“Don’t be guilty of comparing your blooper reel to their showreel”
If you feel you need it, take a “digital detox”. This is a term for either reducing or removing your engagement with your social media channels. Even only a few days will make a difference.
As I mentioned above, these are just a few basic ideas that I’ve learnt over the years to help you stay “healthy” when surfing your social channels. I’m by no means a social media expert, but this is stuff I’ve used to try & stay sane when using the channels. And they’ve helped - a bit!
DOLLOP OF POSITIVITY
In keeping with the social media theme of this issue, unsurprisingly my “Dollop of Positivity” is a social media channel that imho is far less likely to cause FOMO or those awful moments of comparing yourself to the posters.
TikTok is one of the newest platforms made up totally of short videos and, dependent on the algorithms, chose your content from your likes & shares, it can be quite life-affirming. For example, I started with the “For You Page (#fyp) and my feed is full of people honestly talking about their lives - good, bad and indifferent - and, if I am feeling a bit down this is where I head to make me realise life could be hell of a lot worse. People are honest enough to post videos about the most tragic of circumstances.
And, if you do venture there and spend some time liking and following, you will soon build a channel with content fitted purely to your choices.
BUT, and as I’ve listed above, if you find your mood slipping whilst on here, then come off and give it a wide berth for a while.
So, as I step of my soap-box, that’s it for Issue 27. I hope it helped and you find something that resonated with you. I’d love to hear any comments you may have, and you can do that by replying to this email newsletter - it will find me :)
I’ll be back in a fortnight’s time as usual with a bit of an announcement (drum roll please), but for now - stay safe & well and I’ll see you in May