• nicole calder

sparked by my thoughts the other day about the reason for sharing things on Instagram, i started to question why i follow the accounts i do. the purpose of my instagram is not to see what others are doing, but to express what i'm both thinking and feeling. so why then, did i follow 300 odd accounts?

how many times have you logged onto facebook or instagram, only to spend hours scrolling mindlessly? and how many times have you seen something someone else is doing, or has done, and it made you feel like shit?

the latter happens to me frequently. i'll see what friends or acquaintances are doing and it'll either make me jealous, deflated, bitter, or annoyed. i had no qualms about muting friends' stories and posts - and i found this helped. it allowed me to create separation between the things that triggered me (things i am still healing from) whilst still 'following' those people. despite this, there were still hundreds of accounts in which i was filling my brain with mindless information that i really didn't care to know.

so, i unfollowed all of my contacts.

instagram for me is not a social platform - my life is. instagram for me is a form of self-expression. it's a platform for me to share my thoughts and feelings with others in the hopes that they might be able to relate. and now that i've unfollowed everyone, i know that those who are following me are doing so not because i follow them back, but because they're genuinely interested in my content.

so be intentional about who you're choosing to follow. do you really care what your friend from high school is doing with their life? or are you allowing social media to distract you from what's important, from being present with those around you? from those whose lives you do care to know?

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  • nicole calder

i quit my job.

i'm turning 29 this year and i keep asking myself; what the fuck are you doing with your life? how long are you going to continue working in hospitality for? when are you finally going to do any of the things you've talked about doing? so i quit. i quit to pursue something i've been wanting to do for the past seven years: write a book.

at first glance, quitting felt exhilarating. writing a book felt exciting. but as i've been stuck in isolation for the past week, i've found that i've been more than just a prisoner in my own house; i've been a prisoner of my own mind.

i've been writing every day. but everything i've been writing is shit. it feels forced. nothing i'm writing has been capturing the essence of what i wanted this book to be about; connection. you might think, well, just start again. but it's not that simple. i have so much in my head that i've wanted to say, that i've been saying over the years, but i have absolutely no idea how to articulate that in a way that is linear. in a way that is captivating for 150 pages. i've altered my writing over the years to accommodate our declining attention and now i'm supposed to write a book?

everything that seemed so exciting last week now seems so daunting. quitting my day job to pursue my creative ambition seemed like an intelligent decision, but it's something Liz Gilbert in Big Magic strongly discourages. now i'm left with nothing but my thoughts; all day every day. taunting me to write the book i don't know how to write.

i feel conflicted. i know i need structure, purpose; all humans do. but i also know i don't want to go back to hospitality. i want to be doing more with the skills i have. i need to be doing more with the skills i have. but i don't know how. i've never known how. and instead of having work as a distraction, i have nothing to hide myself from these realisations. i don't want to be consumed by things i don't want to do, but i also don't want to be consumed by the demons of my mind, tantalising me every day.

the novelty's worn off. the excitement's faded. i now have to figure out how i keep myself sane when all i want to do is scream.

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  • nicole calder

looking through my facebook memories over the past couple of weeks, i've found it interesting to see the development of social media over the years. ten years ago, we would share fleeting thoughts and feelings or random photos of something we thought looked pretty. all with the intention to do just that - to share. now? now we post polished pieces, edited photos, highlights and achievements. so what's changed?

our why.

social media has no longer become a platform to share your inner, mundane thoughts. it's now a platform to share what will garner a reaction; a like. a comment. a follow. and if it doesn't garner the reaction or likes you desire, many will delete the post. it's as though the validity of a post is no longer about your experience, but about the approval from others.

so why are you posting your post? why are you sharing your story? what are you wanting others to think and feel when they see it? joy, for your happiness? excitement, for your achievement? jealousy, for your life? attraction, for your photo? no longer are we posting for ourselves; but we're posting for others. do you really need to document every highlight of your life? is the mere experience of the highlight itself not enough? for many, we share consciously, but unconsciously.

we're conscious of the photos we choose - being sure to only choose the best of the many we've taken. we're conscious of the captions we write - being sure to make it catchy or enticing. but what we're not conscious of is our why - why do we feel the need to share these photos online? what approval are we seeking? what image are we portraying? what do we want others to feel?

social media steals us of authenticity. everything is polished. edited. that's why i like film cameras so much - you take one photo and you have to wait for it to be developed before you can revisit that moment. and the best part? only you hold those photos; sharing only with those you actually see in person.

so i ask, why are YOU sharing that post?

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