Our blog post earlier in the week, featuring the wonderful 'Dom's Digital Hugs' got us thinking; could we all do with a digital detox to help our mental health and wellbeing? Life in the digital age is full of challenges. Most of the ROR Team grew up before the internet (oh yes, no camera phone or anything!) and we feel pretty lucky that we didn't have our lives on show 24/7 with the pressure to compare and compete. But with over 1 BILLION people on Facebook and 800 million on Instagram, it's not hard to see why people can get a little obsessed. We can catch up with our friends, keep in touch with those who don't live close and on the surface it always will be a fantastic tool that really does make the world a smaller place.
However; over the past 18 months sponsored posts from diet drinks, slimming tablets and photoshop apps have more than doubled. What does this say about our society? It's crazy to think that 16 year olds are now being bombarded with media ads that tell them that essentially, they are not good enough; they need to lose weight, or if they can't, then at least they can pretend to the world that they're in shape with a photo altering app. We've all spoken about the Kardashians, and love them or hate them, they are the most followed family in the world. They get paid up to 1 million dollars for their sponsored posts. Money really does talk, and the fact brands would pay that much money for just one picture of their 'slimming lollypop', sadly means their influence works.
We've discussed the highs and lows of social media here at the ROR office, and truth be told, we don't know how we would have survived if we had grown up with it. With "Instaqueens" giving the illusion they're living their perfect life; with holidays, luxury handbags and the "best boyfriends", it's only natural to look at our own life and compare. As you get older you realise everything is different is behind closed doors. People aren't always as happy as they appear. It's never been easier to make people think you are living the dream life.
Even here at ROR, we try to give our workshop a 'quick tidy' before we share a snap online (we don't you guys to think we're total slobs!). Our instagram is curated to make sure everything looks positive and fun. We like to share posts of our trendy work space, cute stories of Ruby and how we girl boss it through the day.
In reality, our office looks like any other busy office, mostly not IG worthy the majority of the time, and sometimes we doubt ourselves and our girl boss plans. This is a job! It's stressful!! But why would we show you the bits we don't like? That wouldn't look great on our pink themed instagram page of course! The same goes with people. They may have had a massive fight with their partners, but post cute and loving couple selfies. Sure they've got their 3rd Gucci bag of the year, but what if behind the 'gram they're up to their eyeballs in debt?
2018 seemed to be the year we became slightly more woke (yes we said it!) to the whole situation. #frenchgirlstyle which promotes unedited, natural makeup and no filter photographs started trending, and there seemed to be a little revolution starting. One of our favourite bloggers, @chessieking posted 'Reality Vs Instagram' pictures, which had an overwhelming response.
She highlighted the fact that the pictures you see on your feeds can be misleading; with simple things such as lightning and posture making for drastically different outcomes. The comment sections were full of praise and admiration that someone would share their 'real' self on social media. So if we all love 'real' people, muffin tops and all, then why are there only a select few girls showing this side of themselves? Can we start a bigger revolution in 2019, or as we first thought, do we need to remove ourselves completely from the online world and false 'realities'?
At the end of the day you have to look at the pros and cons. If you enjoy social media, monitor your use and feel happy scrolling, then that's great! However, if you feel down, constantly compare yourself and lifestyle, and generally feel crappy after an evening on IG, then we suggest you embrace the detox! Appreciate all you have, not what you have't got. The family, friends, life you have. If you want to make improvements, do so because YOU want to, not because you feel you have to, to make people envy your life on social media.
For us, as a business, we couldn't come of social media. However, this year, we've decided to really concentrate on what we put out there. The messages we share, the lifestyle we promote. We are all guilty of posting before thinking, but we're incredibly passionate about all of us, especially women, getting out there, being empowered and most importantly loving ourselves. So, we may not be able to do a digital detox ourselves, but we're sure as hell going to try and make a difference!