My name is Giles, and I’m an addict. Not to drugs, alcohol, or sex (God forbid) but to something almost as damaging to one’s family life and all round mental health. Social media. And judging by the fact that you’re reading this, I’m guessing I’m not alone.
For me, Instagram is my weakness. It’s the first thing I look at when I open my eyes in the morning, and the last thing I check at night, not to mention all the times in between (which are far too many to admit).
And while I often tell myself that my data usage is entirely normal…that social media – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc etc – is helping me stay connected with the world, it increasingly feels like a losing game.
With complex algorithms taking over, deciding who they want us to see and when, while plastering our feeds with adverts and sponsored content, this so-called social media is feeling less and less social every day.
Which is why I wanted to share with you all the following poem, which really struck a chord with me – Social Notworking – written by my pal and fellow dad blogger, Matt…otherwise known online as Rad Young Things, daddy of twin girls, Insta Dad extraordinaire, prolific Twitter fanatic, esteemed artist, and all round wise sage.
Because, like all good poetry, it got me thinking…
Is social media still actually social? Or is it time to take a break from it all, put down our devices and return to the real world?
I am not a slave to this,
Some days I post, some weeks I miss.
I won’t dance to algorithm,
Beat your drum and stick it to ‘em.
I don’t bow to toughened glass,
Life’s too short to let it pass.
I’m not convinced that it is right,
To waste all day and spend all night,
Liking things that are quite nice,
Bathed in the glow of this device.
Let’s be honest, let’s be real,
This platform only wants your feels,
To sell you things you don’t quite need,
Every time you load your feed.
I’d like to think that we can turn
Back time, do the things we yearn,
Hold and hug the ones we love,
Left, right, down and up above
The screen that you are wired into,
Put it down to re-find you.
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s guest poem by the brilliant Matt from Rad Young Things.
For more from Matt (and I realise the irony of this recommendation given the above message), you can follow him on Instagram and Twitter via these links, check out his brilliant blog here, and if you’re an art fan (think David Shrigley, Anthony Burrill, Banksy and Damien Hirst, all rolled into one) you can peruse his growing collection here!