Tag: social media

Is Social Media a Thief of Joy? – or is it Comparison?

When I compare myself to others, I always seem to come up lacking.  I suspect that this is the same for many of us.  Is comparison the thief of joy? And what role does social media play?

Before the advent of social media (and I am old enough to remember it) we went about our world fairly oblivious of what other people were doing.  What they looked like.  What event they had attended.  How cute their kids were.  Somehow or other we managed, and I suspect that we were happier.

I actually love social media

This blog post isn’t all about slagging social media off.  Not at all.  I really value social media and can list numerous ways it has made my life better.

  • I have met such amazing people through social media who have become firm friends. When I was moving town, a wonderful woman I had met on a group promised to bring wine and cake on the day I moved.  And she did.  I really value her friendship (you know who you are – thank you)
  • I have been able to share my blog with people all over the world. I have also used social media to meet so many other bloggers who have inspired me.
  • I have reconnected with so many people from my past. Long lost cousins, school friends and numerous other wonderful people who I might have lost touch with.  Especially as I moved from South Africa to Ireland.
  • I have been gifted this window to the world. There are times when I have been lonely and knowing that I could pop into Facebook and connect with friends has been a true gift.
  • I have gained knowledge. I have joined groups that deal with issues that I face such as arthritis and pernicious anaemia (which I knew nothing about).  In these groups I have met fellow sufferers and we have lifted each other up.  We have answered questions and explained the unexplainable.
  • I have connected with hundreds of people through my own and have had the privilege of taking these online relationships offline through meet-ups and events.
  • I have made a little money. I have sold art, found people to work with and met up with brands who wanted to work with me.

There is a big but though ….

There are two real negatives for me relating to social media.

The first is time.  When I am online – either at my laptop or gazing at my phone scrolling or chatting, I am effectively disengaged from the world around me.

I know I spend too much time online.  I know this because I scroll, and scroll and realise that I am seeing nothing new.  I know this because I have to go back and ask what is happening because I missed a vital part of the conversation.  I have literally been missing in action.

When I do ‘forget’ my phone I am far more productive.  I get things done.  I listen to music, clean the house and find my creative juices flowing.  I love the practice of daily painting and I can’t paint and scroll at the same time.

I am really trying to limit my time online.  Those that know me are chuckling and rolling their eyes and saying ‘yeah’.  I promise though – I am trying.

The main reason why is that I am finding that comparison is indeed a thief of joy for me.

Comparison is my thief of Joy

My situation is unique to me.  And let’s face it each of us has a unique situation.  I am 54 now, and I suffer from severe arthritis which limits my mobility and in fact everything I do.  Most days pain is my companion and I am always tired.

I struggle with my weight as well so I am no svelte size 10.  I have wrinkles, and rolls and that is just the start of it.  Working full-time is no longer an option – as I simply can’t.  I also struggle with overwhelm and anxiety. There are weeks when I don’t post on my blog because I haven’t been able to write, or photograph anything.

On the positive side I have wonderful friends who support me. I have a good life. Fashion and beauty inspire me.  Travel delights me and I am determined to do more (albeit on a strictly limited budget).  There is nothing I like more than sitting down with a friend drinking creamy cappuccino.  I find my true bliss with a paintbrush in my hand.

I am not writing this for sympathy, but merely to give you a true picture of where I am in my life.

Even though I am intelligent I am still drawn in to this dreadful comparison trap.  I watch through the lens of social media as others attend events, go out for gorgeous dinners I cannot afford and seem to have endless cocktails with friends.  I feel real envy when I see people progressing in their careers when mine is in a sort of standstill state.  A cruise – oh I wish I could afford a cruise.  Skinny Jeans and high heels – no chance Kerry!

I know that there are many people who are too sick to go out.  People suffering from depression who cannot comprehend the goings on of others.  Your child might be kicking and screaming and very dirty and you cannot help but compare with the angels you see on Facebook.

Real Lives versus Facebook Lives

A very wise friend and mentor once reminded me.  Beware of the difference between real lives and Facebook Lives.  We all put our best foot (or face) forward on Social Media.  If I take a selfie and I look too tired and sick I don’t post it.  Perhaps I should.

I think that there are a couple of things I need to do for myself to put social media in the right place in my life.

  1. Monitor my time spent online
  2. Remember the difference between real lives and Facebook Lives
  3. Don’t compare. Comparison is the true thief of joy.
  4. Be grateful for what I have!

Truth or Lies?

We don’t know what really lies behind those beautiful images and even if we did, do they really change anything?

If there was no social media, then I wouldn’t know about these things.  I would simply be going about my day living my life.  And perhaps being more joyful.

 

Thank you for reading

Kerry xx

Fabulous Woman – #bizpartyinspires conference and the power of twitter!

Photo credit: Rafal Kostrzewa @dublinheadshot

I went off to the Bizpartyinspires conference in Dublin not really knowing what to expect.  I came away with so much, having learnt, networked and become inspired.  Especially by lots of fabulous women.

As you all know I am fascinated by fabulousness, and meeting fabulous woman was a real gift.  I attended the conference for work, but was gifted with so much more.

Let me start my story with the night I arrived.  I reached the hotel and was so very very tired, with sore feet.  After checking into my room, I sat on the bed and realised that my first priority was to quench my thirst and eat something.  I wondered about going down to the bar area on my own.  Being a new twitter addict I checked twitter, and there it was, a tweet from the Tweeting Goddess herself, along with a photo of smiley people inviting anyone arriving to join them.  How nice is that?

I was welcomed warmly and made to feel like I had immediately made good friends.  That evening I met three woman who inspired me right off, and continued to do so the next day.  I would like to tell you about these fabulous ladies.

Samantha Kelly, the founder of Irishbizparty is so down to earth and genuine.  After a few minutes in her company, and you know that Sam has great empathy.  She is a connector, and has helped so many individuals and companies.  I know this, not because I read it on the website, but because I saw it in the way Samantha interacts with people, and in the amazing success of the event.  A fabulous woman who started a twitter tidal wave in her pyjamas!  She truly is a Tweeting Goddess.

Mairead Healy, the second of the fabulous woman I met is a singer extrodinaire!  I didn’t know this when I met her, we started chatting, and then she mentioned that she sang.  Nice, I thought in my head.  Mairead is a wonderful woman, a teacher and a monther, who started using Twitter before allowing her daughter a twitter account.  Just after lunch, a new Mairead appeared, beautifully dressed in singing clothes, she stood before us. The most magnificent soprano voice filled the room, and transported me.  I always say that art and music is judged on how it makes you feel.  This touched my heart and soul.   Take a listen here.

Carol Brill, was the third fabulous woman I met.  I could probably dedicate a full blog post to Carol’s story and how inspirational this lady is.  When I met her in the pub, I simply met a beautiful woman.  As the evening went on, I discovered that Carol has Usher syndrome – Usher syndrome is a genetic condition that causes both hearing loss and progressive deterioration in vision due to retinitis pigmentosa (RP).  Over my visit I got to know Carol and although at this stage I hadn’t heard her presentation, I was already inspired by this brave woman who put her daughter first.  Carol only has 3 percent of her vision left, and the Irishbizparty has raised funds so that Carol and her daughter Sara can see Disney in July this year!

Carol’s presentation at the conference blew me away.  In fact it blew everyone away.  As she spoke about being diagnosed with Usher Syndrome and the journey she has travelled on, there were a few sniffles around the room.  Carol does not ask for sympathy or attention, she simply tells a story with sincerity, humour and humility.  Please visit her website at Seeing Disney.

I went to the conference to learn about social media and especially Twitter.  I learnt all of that but I also came away inspired by these woman.  Being honest, there were many other fabulous woman too, but these three stood out for me.

Thanks for reading, and please visit the links.

Thanks for reading

Kerry

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