Today I am kicking of YA month.
Last year I did a horror month in October and it went down so well I wanted to do something different. YA books are my all time favourite books and they're the ones that got me into reading so why not have a month of celebrating! So, kicking of this month is Chloe Seager author of Editing Emma which comes out 10th August and it is so good! Really funny and has it's drama-the perfect book for any YA reader and, I have a proof copy of this book to giveaway so check out my twitter to find out how you could win.
In the age of social media, we all know the online/offline balance can be a difficult one to strike. Not just in terms of time we’re dedicating to our phones, but in terms of our own personal boundaries and what we’re choosing to share/present. It’s such a common fact of life now that even as I’m typing this, I feel a bit clichéd and boring - yeah, it’s difficult, we all know it’s difficult, what’s new? But given that I grew up on the cusp of ‘the social media age,’ the fact this has become such a common problem will probably always continue to be amazing to me, no matter how normalised it has become. So that’s why I chose to talk about internet honesty for my guest post (and why it’s such a big theme of Editing Emma.)
I thought I’d talk a bit about the different social media outlets you can find me on, and how I stress about the representation of myself differently with each of them
I suppose, by comparison, good old FB is the most ‘honest’ of all my social media accounts. It’s my only ‘closed’ one left, for one thing, so not everyone can see it. It’s also somewhat an accumulation of good photos, embarrassing photos, drunk photos, ugly photos - I choose what I share on there less, because people upload terrible, unflattering photos of me all the time.
Obviously, though, I still stress about how I’m coming off on FB. I just stress about different things, like:
How many friends said happy birthday to me on my wall? How much does it look like people like me?
Two weeks ago, I turned 25. Whilst spending the day enjoying/freaking out about this milestone age, I was also intermittently checking my FB to see who’d said ‘happy birthday.’ I’ll tell you who - mainly people I literally never, ever speak to anymore, or was barely ever friends with. Most of my actual friends sent me a personal message - but did this assuage my anxiety? No. Because they didn’t do it publicly.
Who clicked ‘attending’ on my event?
Even if I know that people are coming, and logically I know that my friends do like me, if people don’t instantly click ‘attending,’ I am still anxious because it looks like no one in the world likes me. (Party for one?)
By comparison to Insta, my Facebook feels positively comforting and homely. Damn, a lot of thought and time goes into Instagram. Here’s what I stress about:
What about this filter? Or this one? Or what about this one that looks exactly the same as the last one? This one really looks better with the photo, but should I consider my overall aesthetic?Agidgdfgjkfnbjgfbnnjbjnnn NO ONE CARES. EXCEPT ME. TRAPPED ALONE IN MY HORRIBLE INSTAGRAM PRISON.
What’s my ‘theme’? WHO AM I?
Books, obviously. Books, phew. Books are my thing. Yep. Except… obviously I don’t just want to be books, I mean I want people to see I’m having a life too so sdjsnfjkjnfdjvndfjnjfj NO ONE CARES.
How many likes did I get? Do people like me?
Yes, because everyone knows the amount of likes you get directly corresponds with how many people actually like you.
How should I balance my tweets so that I come across professional and capable but also like a relatable human being?
God, you know what, let’s not even get started on the strange blend of personal and professional that is Twitter.
In conclusion, I think it’s hard sometimes. And to make it all a little easier for ourselves, we’re obviously all guilty of the odd white lie.
The other day I saw a picture of my friend, all dressed up to go out somewhere, and she looked AMAZING. It made me - in my giant pyjamas, watching Love Island alone on a Friday night - feel quite pathetic. Another friend recently told me the person she had plans with had cancelled on her and that night she was feeling really lonely, but posted a picture anyway. I will never get over how strange it is, how TOTALLY BIZARRE, that this is normal. That this is what we all do sometimes. Of course she took a picture of her hot self when she was feeling really lonely and down and uploaded it on Instagram, making it look like she was having a great night - why wouldn’t she?
There’s so much more to talk about here than I can in a short guest post, and I don’t want to blather on so, I’ll just say that my own, sometimes fraught relationship with social media is why I wanted to write Emma; someone, who, quite literally, has no filter. I wanted to let readers in on the truth of all the insecurities that were sitting behind my screen as a teenager, and hope they might relate to it. Because in amongst the strangeness of everyone becoming celebrities within their own social groups (small scale celebrities, but celebrities nonetheless) it’s been really important for me personally, to step back now and again and laugh at the whole thing, and remind myself this isn’t the complete picture.
So, to practice as I preach, here is a picture of me ‘having a whale of a time,’ when in reality I was having an awful day and feeling incredibly insecure. I admit it: THIS LAUGH IS FAKE.
Here is the photo that got posted of my scenic rowing with my boyfriend, on Lake Bled:
Here is the sweaty, grim reality:
Here is a photo of me that I shared on a night out:
Here - in the spirit of total, COMPLETE honesty - is a drunk selfie of me on the same night, crying my eyes out because I had a massive fight with my friend.
Oh and this one JKS. Clearly I was planning on threatening her with this:
Obviously like anything, social media can be wonderful and sometimes give me a much needed boost, but I think regularly reminding myself that it’s only one aspect of life has helped me to use it in a much healthier way. And a HUGE part of that has been learning to laugh at how fake it can sometimes be, and at myself for joining in with it. Laughter has helped me in low moments, reminding me who I actually am and what I actually care about, when perhaps I’ve let the anxiety of social media take over. I’m crossing my fingers that laughing at Emma might make someone else feel (at least momentarily) less fixated on their social media profiles, too :)
According to Netflix, this is NOT how my teenage life is supposed to look.'
When Emma Nash is ghosted by love of her life Leon Naylor, she does what any girl would do - spends the summer avoiding all human contact, surrounded by the Chewit wrappers he left behind.
Seeing Leon suddenly `in a relationship' on Facebook, however, spurs Emma into action. She vows to use the internet for good (instead of stalking Leon's social media),chronicling her adventures on her new Editing Emma blog.
But life online doesn't always run smoothly.
From finding her mum's Tinder profile, to getting catfished and accidentally telling the entire world why Leon Naylor is worth no girl's virginity... Surely nothing else could go wrong?!