Can a Career in Social Media be Damaging to Mental Health?

Recently, I’ve found myself wondering whether all this social media stuff is really for me. don’t really know what my goal was when I started my Instagram (my blog was – and still is – more of an outlet, but my Instagram was just something I started alongside my blog for the sake of it, I guess), but I do know I’m not sure where to go from here.

Ok, I’ll admit it.. becoming an influencer was always the main goal. In this day and age, what twenty something doesn’t dream of having products sent to them and brands paying them to do sponsored posts? It’s the ‘new’ thing, and I don’t think it’ll be going away any time soon. However, now I’ve been taking social media more seriously for a while, I’m not sure if having a more business orientated mindset has taken away my enjoyment of social media.

Don’t get me wrong, most days I LOVE waking up and writing a blog post, replying to Instagram comments, and generally engaging with other bloggers. However, some days it can all get a bit too much. The pressure to comment on other people’s posts in hopes they’ll comment back on mine, the pressure to post on Instagram every day, the pressure to constantly share every single blog post in a Twitter comment thread, the pressure of having to quickly return replies to people so they don’t think I’m rude. I’m not sure if this just comes across as one huge moan, but it really isn’t meant to. Everything in life has it’s pros and cons, so WHY are people seemingly so worried about discussing the cons of having a career in social media. Oh, and by the way, I don’t have a career in social media (at all) but I’ve decided to start approaching social media as if it is my business because, well, that’s probably going to give me the best results, right?

ANYWAY, I feel like I’m going off on a tangent here… Back to what the blog post is actually concerning: Whether social media ‘influencing’ is really the road I want to go down. The honest answer I feel is yes, it is. However, I think what needs to change is the way I’m approaching it. Everything seems so fake with the comment threads and Instagram pods, but maybe I’m just viewing it in a negative way. Is it really ‘fake’ for bloggers to support bloggers? I actually think it’s a pretty wonderful thing, and it’s probably a large factor towards this industry continuing to thrive the way it is.

In an ideal world, I’d love for everyone to post organically on Instagram and write authentic blog posts. I’d love for people to make genuine friendships and relationships, rather than ‘networking’. I’d love to not worry about whether my blog posts gets enough comments or views. I’d love to not constantly be trying to build up my Instagram followers. However, that’s just the way it is. It’s like this in any industry/business – it’s simply the way the world works.

Does anyone even slightly understand what I’m talking about? Because, honestly, the more I write, the less I even understand what I’m trying to say myself. It makes way more sense in my head than it does when I write it down.. I’m also feeling slightly anxious about posting this, as I’m worried I’ve come across the wrong way. I definitely don’t want to rub anyone the wrong way.

I started this blog post wondering if I’m too soft for the social media world, but maybe I’m just too soft for the world in general.

53 thoughts on “Can a Career in Social Media be Damaging to Mental Health?

  1. I think a big part of whether engagement feels genuine or fake is the mindset you’re in, which in turn is affected by a lot of other things. When it starts to feel like the main driving force between it is numbers, that’s not a good feeling. I’m not on social media much, but in the blogging world sometimes I get myself all worked up because I’m engaging with so-and-so’s posts but they’re not engaging with mine, and it definitely takes some figurative slapping across the face to bring me back to my senses.

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  2. This a million times over!! I’m trying to go into it with an ‘I’m networking but only because I genuinely care about what this person is doing or creating’ attitude. That way even if I am doing it ‘mostly’ for growth purposes then I’m also making cool connections and friends because it’s not just networking to me. I doubt that made any sense but loved this post so much and I hope you figure out your balance soon💛

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m going to give my blunt and honest opinion, and I want you to get really honest with yourself. Here goes:

    Are you making money from doing this, or is it a “one day I will make money” kinda thing? If you aren’t making money from IG or from blogging (most of us don’t make any money), think about “why” you want to turn this into a business. Is this really a business oriented blog or is it actually a hobby blog? What is going to bring you the most enjoyment overall? The amount of time spent curating IG photos and blogging with a business oriented mindset must be extremely time consuming. I can’t even begin to imagine the time and energy that is spent reaching out to other brands, collaborating with them etc. In this way, it is like a full time job, and in that case, you should be getting paid something it. Otherwise, for now I would suggest blogging for the sake that it’s an enjoyable hobby.💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. honestly, i think it’s a bit of both. it’s a hobby but the idea of making money from a hobby is obviously amazing. but even if i do never make any money, i still will continue to blog because i love it so much and the supportive people around me. i feel it’s instagram i mostly feel negative towards, rather than actually blogging. it’s so competitive and i just hate the idea of ‘networking’ instead of making genuine friendships. thank you so much for being honest, that’s what i need! x

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  4. Food for thought here!

    It is easy to get lost in what other people want use to see when online. With too much of that and not enough consciousness, I think we start seeing that in life to, and begin to miss what is often right before us.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This blog is great. I think you have to do what is really best for you – you’re onto something for sure – supporting writers isn’t fake as long as you’re supporting who you love and not who has the most followers..Good luck, love!🖤✨

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  6. Perhaps think of it as just a game. It’s good to play sometimes, other times I just can’t be bothered. And that’s fine too, none of this is really life or death. Maybe we should borrow that slogan from the gambling awareness adverts – when the fun stops, stop.

    If it is still fun though, go for it!

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  7. Tbh if you’re happy blogging and doing what you’re doing as hobby then if you make money from it then it is a bonus, if it’s what you want to do for a job then it’s a whole different kettle of fish and any freelancing based job is hard. This was such an honest post I really enjoyed reading it x

    Kayleigh Zara 🌟 http://www.kayleighzaraa.com

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    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it because I wasn’t sure if it was a little *too* honest and was going to rub people the wrong way.. tbh i’m happy having it as a hobby and possibly earning some money along the way – who knows?! x

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  8. I def go through phases like this and I go back and forth with using comment threads on Twitter. For me, those threads were pivotal in forming friendships with other bloggers – and same with my IG pod. Sometimes it can feel transactional, but I love having a community that is so supportive!

    I’ve def taken breaks when I’ve needed them and that always helps me to feel more refreshed and less cynical. … except regarding IG because that is the most cut throat platform to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad I’m not alone with this horrible feeling! At the moment I’m feeling so happy with comment threads & IG pods etc, but whenever they get too much I always try to take a little break to refresh. I definitely agree IG is the worst for wearing me down, blogging is so much more positive and supportive usually x

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  9. I 100% understand the way you’re feeling about this – trying to pursue a career in social media can be so overwhelming and time consuming. I often feel that with all of the hours of work I put into trying to build something out of this, it often times isn’t reciprocated (in terms of engagement, Twitter comment threads, likes, etc), which can be frustrating. I’m glad to hear that someone else has had a similar experience! Thanks for sharing and being so honest! 🙂

    melissakacar.blogspot.com

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    1. I completely agree! I often wonder whether all this will be worth it and if I’ll actually even ‘make it’ in the end, but to be honest it’s pretty enjoyable along the way most the time so who cares?!x

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  10. Love this post! Social media can be so exhausting and overwhelming. I sometimes just have to take a step back and stay off for a day or two. I love your views on this, and I personally think it’s important for bloggers to support other bloggers! x

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  11. I 100% get where you’re coming from as that’s currently my train of thought/mood right now.
    I can get so lost in the amount of comments or I feel pressured to post on comment post as soon as they become live so etc. Somedays it’s I really enjoy waking up to network with other bloggers and other days I feel like the energy/effort I put out isn’t reciprocated so what’s the point of trying

    I’ve just learnt to take breaks or step away (just a little) when it feel like it’s become too much and just trying to shift my mindset from a negative one into a positive

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Keep going! It’s normal to feel pressure when we approach our blogs like a business, but the reality is you’re allowed time off & should take it when you need 🙂 x

    MB
    meaghan-bethany.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  13. “I started this blog post wondering if I’m too soft for the social media world, but maybe I’m just too soft for the world in general.”

    Dear, Darling, you have summed up my life. Your post makes sense. Don’t sell yourself short.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. The pressure of social media can definitely get overwhelming sometimes & we all need time off & breaks etc. It’s hard to still view it as a hobby when you also have to view it in a business way! My Instagram grows pretty slowly, I don’t post every day and I struggle with content on there sometimes.
    I don’t think I could cut it as an influencer as a full time thing, but I enjoy being a blogger massively & I do enjoy Instagram too! Xx

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  15. This is such a great blog post and I definitely agree that I felt the same towards Instagram and my blog! Instead of treating it as a business I’m not seeing it as a visual diary as I enjoy insta and blogging way more like that!

    Ayse x

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  16. It can definitely be a negative and I totally get where you’re coming from, but I think a lot of it can be down to mindset too. If you genuinely share posts you’ve enjoyed writing or about a subject you care about etc and really love ‘working’ on your blog, I think the whole process is a happier one. Even if a post you love flops (it happens), genuinely believing in what you’re doing will keep you motivated to want to grow. And it doesn’t hurt to take a bit of time away if you’re ever overwhelmed x

    Sophie

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  17. It can be so easy to get caught up in other people validating your posts. You can pour your heart into a piece for it to not do as “well” as a piece about a slice of pretty cake and it’s soul destroying (at least for me!) But we have to remind ourselves why we write what we want at the end of the day, it is our corner of the web and we can’t let other people’s opinions validate or dictate what we write 🙂 x

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  18. I definitely understand what you mean. I think you just need a break, a chance to refresh your mind and spirit. Sometimes, I get overwhelmed with commenting back, reading blog posts, writing blog posts, promoting on social media, taking photos, etc. If you don’t step back, it’ll all feel like a daunting task and the enjoyment for everything is gone. So you definitely make sense. Don’t feel bad for not responding in a timely manner, don’t feel guilty for not posting on Instagram everyday, just do what’s best for you and what keeps you happy in this environment. Great post with healthy points! Thanks for sharing ❤

    Natonya | https://justnatonya.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Very true! In this day an age, having a platform that’s yours and a way to generate income without having to sit at an office working on someone else’s dream from 9-5 sure is the dream! I don’t think it’ll be going away soon, but I do think a lot of influencers are turning their focus from their blog to instagram.

    I really love comment swaps, but sometimes people don’t return even if they say they will which can get a bit frustrating! In terms of Instagram, I’ve been trying to put more effort into it, but not sure if I could ever post once a day, I always post once and then maybe 2 days later post again – not sure I have THAT many photos on standby.

    I completely get what you mean about comment threads and instagram pods – although a great way to get engagement, in terms of instagram pods I’ve heard that many left theirs because of the obligation to always comment or like a persons photo which means it’s not real engagement just returned engagement (not sure I made sense here!) But comment threads on the other hand, I genuinely love to do because I come across so many amazing bloggers and I genuinely love commenting on posts – I am trying to comment on posts more regularly not just when there’s a comment swap happening.

    YESS to making genuine friendships and not just networking, I love chatting to other bloggers – not because I’d want something in return.

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  20. The way that social media receives so much hype these days is enough to stress anyone out no matter if you have a mental illness or not. It’s hard to keep up with social media and blogging, honestly, so I just focus mainly on my blogging and when I find time to market on social media I do that. Balance. keep doing what you’re doing and it will work out the way it’s supposed to. Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts about this!

    Kendra | Self-Care Overload

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I think social media is a great tool for connecting and sharing content, ideas, and even our lives. But it can be so overwhelming! Posting, liking, commenting. Even just keeping a blog afloat is hard, let alone promoting it on social media! Sometimes I take little breaks, maybe a day or so, from social media. At first it feels like I’m missing a lot, but you’re really not. It’s such a great mental health break from that constant connection and need to always be on it. I loved reading your thoughts about this, because I’ve often had some of these thoughts myself!

    Emily | https://www.thatweirdgirllife.com

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Wow.. this literally could have been me writing this. Every single word is exactly what has gone through my mind on a daily basis over the last few weeks. There’s definitely a balance you have to navigate through & figure out a happy medium for what fits you and your life. It can take the fun out of just the joy of writing, but spending the time to get all your shortcuts down to where it isn’t as much work all the time (copy/paste has become my bff).. little things to make it a little easier but yeah, it can become a drag after so much of it over and over again. Well. Ya got a new subscriber here! 😁😆💋❤️ xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I definitely think it depends on the individual as to whether social media is damaging to their mental health! Although if you really want to be a blogger / influencer and make a full time go of it, social media is always going to be a part of that. So it’s something you’ll have to navigate in your own way! x

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  24. I know what you mean about social media overload but it’s a necessary tool in any blogger or influencer’s arsenal, there’s no getting away from that. I think you need to have a fairly thick skin, or at least a very clear sense of who you are, and accept that there will be people who disagree wtih you (at best politely, at worst trolling) or who even ignore you if you’re not their cup of tea. But as long as you enjoy what you do, and continue to do you, that’s the most important thing – good luck! Lisa x

    Liked by 1 person

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