I was really disappointed that the only way to find this community was on Facebook as social media really isn't good for my health. It should definitely come with a warning!
So, I reluctantly reinstalled facebook on my phone to take a look. There was some useful stuff in this group but actually not enough to keep me. By chance I found another group, Sustainable-ish, that spoke to me a lot more. There are a lot of overlaps between living sustainably and living a low toxin life as toxins are, more often than not, bad for the environment too.
|The pretty colours of autumn. #simplepleasures|
I have really enjoyed chatting with like minded folks and learning new tips for a more sustainable life. Even better, this group has a no judgement policy and acknowledges that everyone is somewhere different on their path to a better life. It's all about supporting each other. I've enjoyed the group so much that I'm now back on facebook, in a somewhat limited capacity.
I have been giving my social media accounts another overhaul. I seem to need to do this regularly. I have deleted toxic people and unfollowed two thirds of the groups and pages I had acquired over the years. I'm pretty sure I never even signed up to some of these!
I've oddly got into instagram a bit. Missy now has an account where she shares her art work and follows creative groups. Given her tender age I insisted that she had me on her account 'just in case'. This meant that I was periodically checking comments on her posts for potential bullying. So while I was there I cleaned up my account as well.
Again, about three quarters of all those I was following (years ago) were deleted. A lot of these for spouting too much toxic positivity. That's no good for mental health either.
Missy showed me that I could follow hashtags as well. I didn't know this as I hadn't logged in for many years and haven't seen how it's evolved. I actually quite like instagram now, dare I admit. My favourite hashtag is #simplepleasures.
|Gorgeous blue sky through the trees. #simplepleasures|
For a few years I've made a point of trying to spot the simple pleasures of life. I read it in a book in France 4 years ago and loved it. They call it something like, Le petit bonheur de jour, the little joy of the day. When you get in the habit of looking for one each day, you then find yourself seeing more and more of them without trying. It's true. It really works.
So in my guise of responsible parent (checking on Missy's account) I found myself posting these little joys of the day just for fun with the hashtag #simplepleasures. Now I also follow that hashtag and see lots of lovely things posted by others who are on a similar mission. This makes me smile to know that I'm not the only one trying to simplify and slow down. For the first time I think I've actually found a plus side to social media.
I now find myself snapping a pic of something that makes me smile during the day and sharing it. It was to share with Hubby and Missy at first but now I feel like there might be a community somewhere out there for me.
|Calm reflections. #simplepleasures|
I had given up on trying to find community online earlier in the year. I'm pleased that I have started to find some. This really shows me how I must take responsibility more for social media. Just because I know someone doesn't mean I have to follow them. In fact, on Instagram I hardly follow anyone, just hashtags.
Social media has been really hostile in the last 10 years since the 2008 crash. There's so much bitching and arguing compared to when it first launched. Or maybe I was just seeing more of it. So much fake news and sensationalised clickbait, it all just riled people up and made everyone turn nasty behind the protection of their computer screen.
I've unfollowed everything political and everyone who spreads rubbish without thinking. The result is that I'm seeing a better feed and no longer want to cry. I'm seeking out the nice groups and like minded people while deleting those who are toxic. Bit by bit, my social media anxiety is improving. I'm now able to share with true friends and family without being overrun with things I don't want to see.
I realise now that I needed to set boundaries. Now I have to stick to them.
My aim is to carry on looking for the simple pleasures and to share in the joy of those found by others. Oh, and to keep Missy safe online, of course!
|Painting together. At least until the rain came! #simplepleasures|