Don't Judge an Instagram by Its Owner
Did you know people suffering from a mental illness are more likely to post on social media? According to a US Study that The Guardian shared, posting large numbers of pictures on social media could be a sign of depression. The study also finds these posts are more likely to contain the users face and contain the colour blue.
This isn't a blog slating amigos with egos that are fishing for likes on
social media. This is a blog to make some people aware that the
rose-tinted filters they apply to other peoples social media accounts aren't
always as peachy as they seem.
I Forgot to Wear My Armbands
People who are severely oppressed or depressed feel like they are drowning very very slowly.
Picture being in the middle of a vast ocean where you’ve been struggling for years to keep yourself afloat, there’s no help anywhere, nobody can hear you scream, and you’ve lost all motivation, hope and energy. The water is gradually rising above your neck, you’re struggling to breath and it's only a matter of time before you’re completely submerged. You’re ching chang done son. Waves of self-doubt are smashing against your poor auld wobbly noggin and you’ve no hope. Somehow, somewhere, the branch of a tree appears above your head that is just within your reach. That branch may not be the sturdiest or safest device on the planet but by fuck will you grab onto that branch with white knuckles and nothing will stop you. This branch is happiness and it can be anything; it can be food, it can be drugs, it can be a person, or it can be likes on social media; anything that can keep you afloat while you're struggling with a mental illness.
Now, you could've probably guessed or might know from your own previous selfies that 'likes' on social media release an insy winsy hit of dopamine. Nothing like the dopamine release when Wexford won the All-Ireland in 1996, or the high of being pushed down a big hill in a shopping trolley; but it releases enough of a high to keep you addicted. Social media can be that branch that helps people escape from drowning, but if you are putting all your weight onto one branch and solely depending on likes or acceptance on social media, and not spreading your weight across multiple branches of happiness, that branch will snap and you'll be raging you didn't bring armbands.
All I wanna do is bang bang bang bang, cha-ching and take your mooooonay
Different strokes for different folks but every time you enjoy a lovely Benson, eat a 99, get a hug, or receive an interaction on social media you get a little dollop of dopamine. Social media is a bit more addictive though as you don’t know whether you’re going to get them likes or not, so to make sure, you post shit that you know people like. (I am guilty as charged)
For years I’ve struggled to understand why I feel compelled to like a photo that I don’t actually like. I’m yet to print off one of these photos I ‘like’, frame it and hang it up in my bedroom. I’d definitely have a few selection boxes of barring orders if I did. Bar all the Nat Geo photos, photos of lovely hoops, or some magical/funny photos that I genuinely really like; every other ‘like’ or ‘follow' I dispense is just to let a person know I ‘like’ them as a person. This is why photos of faces get more likes than beautiful scenery.
So then I’ve been wondering why do I bothering posting on social media? I do post quite a bit compared to others actually and unfortunately for some, I’m not sharing photos of my lovely hoop. I think I now know that sometimes I need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance, I need your likes to think or hope that I’m accepted or liked.
So if I'm feeling like a really crap person and I don't know how or why I'm partaking in this whole existing malarkey and I really really need acceptance, then I might post a photo of my face, or maybe some art I've made, just to verify I'm a real person. You'd think us introverted insecure little lost-souls that find ourselves v unattractive might steer clear of putting your hated face out on display to the world?
(Good time to go into Body Dysphoria, but not a good time either - check it out, a lot of people suffer from this unbeknownst to themselves)
Look back at my Instagram (@conko) and see if you can pinpoint where and when I’m severely depressed. You may or not be able to see where I was desperately drowning and reaching for that branch of happiness which was subconsciously grovelling for you to accept me. If you can locate where or when I was severely depressed since my Instagram feed began, excellent, because I suppose that's the entire point of this blog. To try get you to look beyond the facade or 'highlight reel' of online personas.
I'm not going down to dogtown on myself or anybody else on social media, (except for people with 'influencer' in their bio, go climb a mountain of dicks). A LOT OF PEOPLE USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO BE SOCIAL, you legends. Jesus yes there are some narcissistic bebo amigos with the egos just really want to be told 'you look stunning hun x' by their worst enemy. But I think what a high-percentage of us Homo-Sapiens are using social media for is to live a life that we're not actually living. A life where you're not wearing the same boxers for 5 days, you don't fart in your hand and smell it, and you're way more cultured than eating 24 Petitts Filous' for dinner. (L Casei Immunitas, 2017)
A life where you're confident, funny, and social. A life where holidays are the regular and you're not up to your eye balls in debt sitting in a caravan in Longford #travel. A life where your kid isn't actually a gremlin and doesn't stick mustard up your dogs arse #socute. A life where faces and scenery are always beautiful and golden #nofilter
A life where you're definitely liked
Shout out to my housemate David Kennedy (who also told me about the drowning metaphor)
for donating his big tick Wexford/English accent to the making of this video.
So there's two points to this blog
buy some fucking clothes:
1. Don't judge ANYBODY by their Instagram, Twitter or FB
2. If you are relying on Social Media to live the life you want to live, you are not going to be able to convert those 'likes' into anything valuable
1. The Facebook Balaclava
This has been heavily covered, but seriously; believe half of what you see (and nothing of what you hear).
Don't compare yourself to anyone else's social media account. More importantly, just because that person is constantly putting up photos of their face doesn't mean they actually believe that they're beautiful. They may just be looking for acceptance and just because people are posting on social media rampantly doesn't mean they're content. Some are, some aren't. Half of what you see is true. So that concert that was Snapchatted 50 million times might have been excellent, but now that person is eating Tesco Value Digestives for a week because they spent their entire weeks wages on one night. Maybe that holiday looks awesome right now, but deep down internally that person's heart is broken and they need to escape for a while. Maybe that health food snapper is making lovely meals but they're having an existential crisis and binge-eating down the sideline. That seriously talented photographer's Dad left (not right) when they were two and photography is their only means of communicating their feelings. Maybe that big bulk gym freak is bullied in work and exercise serves as their only stress release. Maybe that artist feels completely inadequate in every other aspect of life and art is their only way of feeling approved :) Maybe that Social Justice Warrior that portrays a life of constant suffering and oppression may actually be completely content with their life. You don't know. You don't know even if you have a conversation with these people in real life and you especially don't know by the balaclava these people wear on social media.
According to this study, there are little robot fellas that can study your Instagram and guess if you're healthy or depressed correctly 70% of the time around 100% of the time. The human psychologists tested could only diagnose correctly 40% of the time, which considering the percentage of people suffering with depression, is quite very whack. This also backs up my point of not judging books by covers. Anyway, the little robot fellas findings are interesting; some things like using the filter 'Inkwell' or the colour blue can be more prevalent when you feel blue too.
2. Keeping your Head Above Water
Now if you're one of the people mentioned above and you're using all your weight on one little twig of the happiness tree to drag you to safety well then this section is quite important. This also applies to anything if you are using any one solitary branch as an escape route for anything, be it playing video games, binge-eating, Michael Darragh MacAuley, exercising, a love etc. that one individual branch can't take the weight of you and you're heading back into the water with force bromeo.
We have a good few blogs on coping mechanisms, healthy alternatives and a happier lifestyle and I would LOVE there to be a few more, but I'm not sure if you should take guidance from someone who's put too much weight on some branches and is still learning how to swim. So take everything I say with a pinch of sea salt plz x
Stray Wooftas - If you are seeking acceptance, trust me you've been accepted in real life. The thoughts or chemicals in your brain may make you feel severely insecure and inadequate but trust, some one has accepted and loved you. You might think you're shite and how could anybody love you an atrocious human being like yourself, but if you died in the morning I can guarantee one person will turn up to your funeral. Someone loves and has accepted you, so you don't need everybody else's acceptance.
The Great Escape
if you just instinctively turn to your phone any time to avoid any stress or emotions, maybe try ditch the phone for a while. Mindlessly scrolling through the bog roll of a Facebook isn't going to fix anything and all your stress and ignored feelings will only further stretch your elastic band of sanity and increase its likelihood of snapping.
Followers - Not exactly a great way of gauging a persons surround-around-soundness. If Hitler was alive and well he'd probably have 50 or 60 million followers and everybody would tune in to twitter daily to see what madness he tweets #MakeGermanyGreatAgain
Fucking Olives - Some people really really love olives. Not me, I hate olives. I really don't like them. Little angry raisins with a seed get the fuck out of my area. They make me gag and wrench and I don't understand why they're allowed hang around -//- I really really love sparkling water. Soda Streams all day baybay. Weirdly enough some people don't like sparkling water. To me Instagram's full of sparkling water, and it's also full of olives. Some people love the taste of horse manure in their mouth, some people enjoy bubbles in their water. If you're a dainty little olive don't ever compare yourself to that San Pellegrino with their fantastic filtered selfies. If you're sparkling water don't ever think the olive is better than you because they've mastered a Snapchat filter or Photoshop. That may not even be an olive, it could be a little fat kid called Patrick. Either way, olives can be beautiful, sparkling water can be beautiful and after a couple of pints, they're all beautiful.
A world full of many branches on the happiness and fulfillment tree:
Lully Foods - AlmondsAvocadosBananasBeefChickenChocolateCoffeeEggs99'sGreen TeaMilkWatermelonYogurtLemonCheesecake - All contain tyrosine which makes dopamine
Interaction - Chat with some fellow humans if things get a bit overwhelming. Maybe a bit of intimacy if you're feeling raunchy bromeo.
Goalazzio - Setting yourself little goals and achieving them releases endorphins and dopamine. Goals that give you a sense of achievement. Go split the atom or see how many random dogs you can pet in a day, each to their own.
Exercise - Releases happiness chemicals. We have some other blogs on this and diet if you would care to read.
Laugh - Go to a comedy night or check out my favourite comedian Liam Nugent.
Dance - If there's no one in your gaff there's no reason you shouldn't be dancing around your kitchen bollock naked. Ignore the judging glares of your dogs, them little naked fuckers are just jealous.
Copying and Pasting - I'm really fucking tired and I haven't been getting mcuh sleep so I'm just going to copy and paste half of these from another blog.
Spicy Foods - Copying and pasting this. Hot peppers are hot because of the compound capsaicin. When you eat hot peppers, your brain perceives the heat they cause as pain (which can be totally true!). This causes endorphins to rush in to put out the fire. This endorphin-stimulating quality makes capsaicin a useful treatment for the pain of arthritis, neuropathy, and severe itching. Hot pepper enthusiasts find the “post-pepper euphoria” worth the pain. (4)
Meditation - If you don't know how to meditate you should download the Mindspace app. It's a nice accessible way to learn how to meditate. I cannot recommend meditation over medication enough. If you are suffering with serious anxiety or panic attacks there is a nice easy one where you sit / lie down, put your hands on your lap and just take a deep breath for each and every object that you can sense close to you. So a deep breath for each thing you can see, a deep breath for everything you can smell, a deep breath for anything you can hear, a deep breath for everything you can smell and a deep breath for those lingering tastes in your mouth. Before you know it you will have done 40 deep breaths and all those silly worries will be gone :)Creativity/Productivity
- We are simple old fools. When we create something, a painting, a person, a building, fill out a form, we feel better. I used to paint graffiti and share it on social media for likes to massage my ego. This is wrong. Don't do it for the Vine, do it for the result and reward.
Particular time of depression (not severe but approx 2-3/10) in my Instagram feed.
A lot more blue/purple tints and faces than usual. Note the sharing art for attention and affirmation
Reward - Facebook interactions may provide some sort of gratification but you don't get to actually use them out here on planet earth. Reward yourself when you can. A holiday, some good food, a session.
Nature - It's unfuckingbelievable what you have on your doorstep. If you live in Ireland or the UK you are never really further than half an hour away from a nice dollop of nature. I kind of already mentioned how breath taking this planet is and I could go on a spectacular yarn on how amazing nature is for the soul but thankfully someone else did. How Walking in Nature Prevents Depression Essentially we originate from wild animals and being in the wilderness is very good for you.
Help others - I feed the pigeons, I sometimes feed the sparrows too. It gives me a sense of enormous well-being. Parklife. For real though, you can gain an enormous sense of humanness by helping another human.
Vitamin D - I know we're in a shite country for sunshine but for the winter or SAD you can get Ultra Violet B lamps that they use in Scandinavia and other places with little to no sunshine in the winter. You can also get Himalayan Salt Lamps which are pretty sick
Music - Not Radiohead
Counselling or helplines - If you cannot extinguish these little fires on your own there is plenty of help at hand. I've found with myself and with many others that contacting your GP can put you on a much faster avenue to getting the help and therapy you need. Most GP's are ridiculously understanding and it is actually one of the professions with the most depression so don't be afraid to make the journey! If you are dire need of an immediate intervention please see below.
It's Black Friday tomorrow and I have a video to share but I don't want to be destroying your social media feeds :) but I feel like this blog is much more important. Maybe I'll share the two, dunno. Thanks for reading if you did. It's a roundabout way of hopefully making people I know and some people I don't know but care about to help themselves. I hope this has helped you look at people in another way, or if you're a bit addicted to social media hopefully this might influence you to change your passions a bit. If I offended influencers or bloggers I am sorry. I don't really know the real you so don't be offended.
Real recognise real.