'Fitting In' online: a blog post for Mental Health Awareness Week by Cristina, HeadStart Ambassador

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91% of 16-25 year olds use the internet for social networking. This can be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and various other apps.  However the use of social media for children in primary schools and young people at the start of their secondary school lives has gone up dramatically too. 

It’s the first thing we check when we wake up and the last thing before we go to sleep. Let’s face it, life on social media looks perfect. You don’t see the ins and outs of people’s lives. You see friends out enjoying themselves, people on holidays and it can give you FOMO (Fear of missing out). This then can create a spiral as you start to feel your life is so boring compared to others. 

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Each day we see hundreds of new photographs, people with perfect hair, skin, bodies. The latest on-trend items, the must have things. This can wreck your mind. Seeing all these pictures can have a negative effect on your own view of yourself. It can make you feel worthless, hate yourself and want to hide from the world. Trust me on this one, it is a horrible feeling. Look back a few years and I was trying to make myself look like those ‘insta famous’ people. I was always conscious about what I wore, how I looked to the point where I was scared about putting on weight. That was scary as I was tiny as it was, but it shows the effect social media can have on you. 

What we don’t see behind all the images we see are the filters, the 100 takes, the life these people have. It might seem all fantastic but it can be just a show. 

You have your whole life to create and get the things you want. Don’t be so focussed on what other people are doing and do what you love! Be yourself and don’t change for anyone.

Cristina Wilde, HeadStart Ambassador