Are Social Media Platforms Driving Us Mad?

Social media has become something we are always using and interacting with wherever we go and has become a large part of our daily routines. We are always being bombarded with tweets, Facebook notifications and Instagram posts every minute and every hour. Most of us probably can’t live a week without updating people on our lives through social media but is social media driving us all loopy and into madness?

In 2015, research carried out by Statista highlighted that there were 1.5 billion active users of Facebook users and 400 million users of Instagram alone. Then in 2016, they found that there were approximately 320 million users of Twitter; this is set to rise in upcoming years with more and more people joining social media sites.

According to Social Media Today, the average person spends nearly two hours on social media each day which translates to a total of 5 years and 4 months over a life time.
The site estimates that the number of worldwide users of social media is expected to reach 2.95 billion by 2020 and 650 million of these users are expected to be from China alone.

Blogger and Politics Student Charlotte says that she is guilty of “being on her phone a bit too much” and spends her evenings roaming and reading through content posted on social media. However, though she is constantly updating herself with news and blogger content, she never spends too long on it at a time. Charlotte thinks that social media can impact someone’s way of viewing themselves and has admitted feeling the same.

“I look at a lot of successful bloggers than myself who are travelling and working with every brand under the sun and sometimes I do feel a little insecure, however, I understand that it does take time and it makes me super happy to see so many people be a success and do what they love.” she said.

Also according to Statista in 2017 the number of users of social media worldwide is estimated to be around 2.46 which is estimated to increase every year following up  to. 2020 with it being 2.9 billion users then.

“Social media is great sometimes, especially for bloggers and journalists. It’s changed our world view and it’s keeping us updated constantly with all the celebrity gossip but also important things such as hard core news” a Student Journalist from Sheffield said.

Student Lizzy from London says that she deleted her social media accounts when she was studying for her A Levels but started to use them again as it is a great way to talk to friends and see other people going through the same struggles she was going through.

In May, The Royal Society for Public Health found that Instagram was the worst social media platform on the impact it has on young people’s mental health. The report also identified that about 90% of young people use social media (more than any other age group) making them more vulnerable to its effects, though there is no evidence for this.

“A blogger or journalist is no longer confined to only posting their content on a blog or newspaper, but they are able to post their work on social media sites such as Instagram and even Snapchat”. a student from Manchester described.

When asked if social media ever makes them loopy (to a point where they feel they over use platforms) seven out of the ten people asked said that they sometimes do need to take short term breaks. Some said that they felt that the pressures especially from Instagram posts sometimes do make them think they need to be a particular way. However, they all said that they never let it affect them too much and feel that they can control their use of social media platforms.

I carried out my own twitter poll to see how many hours people spent on social media platforms a day and here are the results:

References –
Social Media Today: http://www.socialmediatoday.com/marketing/how-much-time-do-people-spend-social-media-infographic
Statista: https://www.statista.com/statistics/278414/number-of-worldwide-social-network-users/

Blogger/Student Charlotte’s blog & details:
Blog – http://www.simplylottie.co.uk
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/simplylottie
Instagram – http://www.instagram.com/simplylottie

Let’s Talk About Confidence and Self Love

So I’ve been meaning to write up this blog post for a while, I just didn’t know where to begin or how to go about it or just whether it should be written at all. I usually don’t post anything that is personal to me nor do I want to make myself look like I’m preaching something when I’m not completely aware of everything within the subject area. However, with this, I think I know myself well enough and here it goes.

For a few months I’ve been quite conscious of myself and how I present myself to others around me (though it only really started coming up-to the end of my first year at university). I was feeling very low about myself, looking at models and people within the media who are so much more ‘prettier’ or ‘skinnier’ than me. Though I don’t put on much makeup, I was going through a phase where I believed that without any makeup on whatsoever, people around me would judge me or think I’m just not pretty and all the rest of it that comes with a human’s insecurities. I’ve been at the gym quite regularly recently, waking up at 6, 7am in the morning to get there and get myself at a position where I feel that I’m no longer ‘ugly’ or ‘fat’. This week it finally caught up with me and I told myself I was going to get over this phase and push myself to believe what I used to believe and was very passionate about. I never believed in the ‘perfect woman’ or the ‘perfect shape’ so why did this come about anyway? We ALL come in different shapes and sizes and if we’re healthy and happy at where we are, then does anything else really matter.

So the journey continues, I’ve made myself understand that as long as I’m happy, I’m able to continue going to the gym but still believe that I’m going because I want to go and become a healthier version of myself, not a ‘less uglier’ version of myself. I don’t think it’s been very healthy thinking the way I have been, I’ve always thought that the pressures from the media would never get to me, as I’m a firm believer in self love and being confident in your own skin. I’ve always preached this idea of being confident in yourself but I’ve suddenly been caught up within the crowd believing these stupid ideologies of ‘perfection’.

There isn’t anything better than realising that you are so much better than you credit yourself for (wow, I’ve reach a new level of corny-ness). We shouldn’t ever feel like comparing ourselves to others around us, especially friends (guilty of doing that too!). Being confident in your own skin doesn’t make you egotistical or full of yourself, it’s something good and you should continue loving yourself, (though that sounds uber cringe). We all come in different blobs and that is perfectly fine. I’ll spare you any further cornishness or cringe, hope you’ve enjoyed, comment your thoughts and views about this, have you ever felt the same?

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New Year’s Resolutions, Have We Kept Them?

You’re probably reading this and thinking “Why on earth is she talking about New Years when it’s July?”. The blog title gives it away. Most of us have probably forgotten that we made resolutions for 2017 or we just don’t even think about it. You’ll be surprised (not really) to know I haven’t kept any of mine, well consistently anyway. Every year I tell myself I’ll aim to make realistic goals yet somehow they don’t become reality (probably because they are way beyond my abilities to take on anyway). Half way through the year and let’s reflect on how I’m doing with these resolutions.

SPEND MORE TIME BLOGGING:

I think everyone who read’s my blog and keeps up-to-date with it will probably know this is an absolute shamble. I’ve not spent much time blogging since January, I seem to always go through phases where I’ll blog a lot but then have a long period of not blogging at all. I need to find a solution to this problem ASAP. (If anyone has any suggestions on keeping the ball rolling with blogging, please hit me up, thanks). I say all that but I have been able to continue blogging and I’ve not given up – which is good for me! Let’s get this motivation back and we’ll retry this resolution again next year but do it MUCH better. This time next year, I aim to have at least 200 posts. {Side note – I made a blog post on 19 Things To Do Before I’m 19, to have 200 posts but it has NOT happened (was I a bit too big for my boots?)}

JOIN A GYM:

Well, this has not happened. At all. I did plan to join one after my exams had finished but this went down the drain after losing the motivation and not having a gym buddy. How do I go about gaining the confidence to join a gym by myself and look like a moron using the equipment for the first time?

STRESS LESS OVER LITTLE THINGS:

Now actually, compared to this time last year, I have been less stressed. Maybe because I’ve only actually had one exam so I’ve had less stress over little things such as “am I revising enough?”. However, I have still stressed out over little things such as stressing over whether I’m good enough to blog? I think we all stress anyway, it’s natural. I think I am doing well with this resolution though it is probably a general thing anyway.

BE LESS DEPENDANT ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

This has not worked in any shape or form. This is probably the most unrealistic resolution and goal for me because I seem to always be on it unless I’m asleep or too busy. Social media is a huge part of my day to day life and I do depend on it, for my news, updates etc. I think can be good and bad. Being dependant upon it may not be too good but I have been able to reach out to potential interviewees through social media.

SPEND MORE TIME OUTSIDE – IN NATURE:

This is probably one of the only New Years Resolutions I have actually kept coherently. I have definitely spent A LOT more time outside, instead of being at home watching Netflix. I hope this continues throughout the year because being outside according to psychologists and experts does actually mean you’re more likely to be happier.

Let me know if you’ve kept up-to-date with your resolutions and if you’ve been cheeky and not even bothered with them!

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World Baking Day: I bake without measuring my ingredients!

Though this blog post will go up after World Baking Day, when I’m typing it up it’ll be World Baking Day so I’ll type in present tense pretending like today is the day. To celebrate, I decided to take on this challenge and see how I get on.

Now I am not a very good baker, I don’t bake often and usually when I do, I tend to either put too much salt in or I end up ruining the mixture by adding too much sugar or flour. This was actually meant to go completely wrong but it didn’t actually go that bad (yes, I have convinced myself).

Anyway, I didn’t use any measuring cups or even a recipe; I just went with my common sense and off I went shopping for my ingredients. Cakes aren’t actually hard to make and if you’ve ever watched the Great British Bake Off then you’ll pretty much know hOW to make them.

For this recipe I used:
– Self raising flour
– Sugar
– Pinch of salt
– Asda’s baking butter
– 2 eggs
– Pinch of baking powder
– Icing/sprinkles

Once I started, it was actually quite easy. Add the sugar and butter, wait till it becomes light and fluffy. Then add the flour, eggs, baking powder and salt. Stir it all together and add vanilla essence or anything else that takes your fancy. You’ll now have a mixture and now you can put them in some cake cases and pop them in the oven; wait about 15-20 minutes and you’ll have them!

Below are a few photographs some of the steps I took to bake these cupcakes.


Basic ingredients: Eggs, flour, sugar and butter.


Mixture made, placed in cake cases.


In the oven, 200 degrees for 15-20 minutes.


Out of the oven, let it cool down.


Let it cool down, decorate with frosting and sprinkles.

Below is a short video of how I went about making the cupcakes –

Overall, I think the challenge was a success, I didn’t ruin the cupcakes and the amount of sugar and salt was actually okay. For someone who didn’t measure the ingredients or even follow a recipe, I did myself proud. I also enjoyed baking so I think I will definitely bake more. It is fun as well as a way to relax whilst ending up with some delicious teats with a cup of tea.