We are not a number

photo: Kerry Curl

I have a love/dislike affair with social media right now. In fact I have for a while. If you've ever worked in an environment where you are pretty much feel like a number, perhaps on your log-in, your work pass, a target etc you might have found yourself getting annoyed at being treated like a number. I know I did. 

Then along comes social media and that's pretty much what it can feel like sometimes. This post is sparked by an overheard conversation in which a teenage girl was full of angst because she didn't have enough followers, wasn't getting enough likes on her pictures and she was obviously genuinely concerned about this. 

Now I'm not mocking this in any way, in fact I'm very glad to be of an age where that pressure wasn't on me as a teen. Some of the people I went to school with were utter ****** and I can only image the havoc they would wreak if they'd had this stick to beat those on the unpopular list with too. 

I shared a version of this video on my MV Facebook page recently and I'm not some one who shares loads of positives messages in my social media accounts and I admit that sometimes when my feed is full of images with glitter and swirly writing which bombard your eyes with positive mantras sometimes I roll my eyes.... I'm all for positive thinking but sometimes the sheer volume of these messages just feel a bit too much and can have the opposite effect? However this video really stood out to me. Food for thought from Taylor Swift.

"You need to look into the mirror in the morning and not tell yourself that you’re not special, or you’re not good enough, you’re not pretty, or you’re not awesome. I’m gonna tell you right now the things you actually are not. These are the things you really are not. 

You are not the opinion of somebody who doesn’t know you. You are not damaged goods just because you made mistakes in your life. You are not going nowhere just because you haven’t gotten where you want to go yet. Those are the things you actually are not. Now, I want to tell you what you are. You are your own definition of beautiful and worthwhile, that’s what you are. You are someone who is wiser because you made mistakes, not damaged, wiser." - Taylor Swift 

Social media can be a wonderful thing. It can be great way to interact with people and businesses. It can be a super way to stay in touch with people. It can be a great way to learn - I'm sure it's changed the way many of us use makeup for example and how we style ourselves and our homes. 

But social media can also make you feel bad about yourself and your life and so sometimes having a re-look at how your using social media can help shut up those niggling voices of self doubt you have in your head.

Photo: Kerry Curl
I think it's worth remembering that often the selfie/outfit post you see as you scroll through your news feed is likely to be the best of a bunch that person took. Digital means we can all take a photo and check it there and then, re-take, change the angle look for a better light, add a filter, crop etc etc etc........

Personally I've always been more comfortable behind the camera and on my Missy Vintage instagram account I don't post that many full face selfies because I never really like my face that much....which will sound really strange if you follow me on my photography account because I do take a lot of self portraits and I feel much comfortable with those - I don't know why, maybe because I'm more comfortable in who I am as an artist than I am in a 'look at my selfie' type of personality.

It's okay to unfollow people. If someone you follow is making you feel bad about yourself (and they are probably not meaning to) however inspiring their image/words are to others, if it's not having a positive effect on you then unfollow. It isn't mean, doesn't make you a bad person and it doesn't mean the person you're unfollowing isn't lovely or likeable. It simply means that the content they are sharing isn't for you at the moment/anymore. That's all. As people we change and evolve and the unfollow might just be temporary or it might be permanent and that's okay.



  1. Good advice here Kerry. I really need to look through my accounts, it's easier to hit follow based on a couple of pictures but then be in a different space at a later time and find that feed not relevant anymore.

  2. Oh god I needed to read this right now. I feel so pressured to share share share and buy stuff I see other bloggers have and this has made me realise I need to step back and keep it real!

  3. Hi Kerry, one of the best written posts on social media I have read for a long time, you discuss both the positive and negative side and do it in way that does makes so much sense. I work in marketing and design i am very aware how important it can be commercially but it can over occupy people lives on a personal level. I used to have my own photographic studio specializing in advertising and had to cope with a lot of superficial attitudes about appearance etc so I really liked the Taylor Swift words. Interesting what you say about back at school, I am with you on that one, Great advise Kerry.


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