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Help I’ve got social media campaigning fatigue…

1
Is it veganism or body positivity today?

Oh, shit I shared the wrong cause on the wrong day.

It’s nine thirty at night. I’m sitting in bed scrolling through Instagram (it’s hard to wean myself off this bad habit). I check my messages. One is alerting me to the fact that there’s a campaign starting at two the next day. To take part I need to use a specific set of hashtags, accompanied by a specific photo of myself doing a specific thing. No pressure!

I feel conflicted. I believe in this thing. I also don’t want to let this person down

SelfishMother.com
2
and besides…Instagram is all about supporting one another! (on a good day). I have a horrible feeling there’s another campaign scheduled tomorrow. How do I choose between the two? What if I get the hashtag wrong? Actually, come to think of it I know NOTHING about this and won’t I be a fraud to talk passionately about it out of the blue?

I switch the light off. Flashes of angry faces dance before me. Placards with different neon hashtags. Wasn’t tomorrow the day we shared posts supporting veganism? After a lot of tossing around, I fall into a

SelfishMother.com
3
fitful sleep.

Now let me be clear by saying I’m not someone WITHOUT A CONSCIENCE. I’m a feminist. I believe mental health is something we should talk about, that it has nowhere near the amount of resource needed to treat people in the grips of it. I am against prejudice in all forms – sexism, ageism, size-ism, discrimination.

I am against all bad things.

I just have a problem with how some of these campaigns (not all of them, some really do have an impact) play out. It feels like the issue burns bright for a day (or week) and disappears. The

SelfishMother.com
4
people who are in the grips of that thing have a giant spotlight shone on them and shrink into obscurity. We then pat ourselves on the back because we’ve shown we care.

Raising awareness is important – it’s better than sitting with your head buried in the sand but how much are we changing things? And what if we have a detrimental effect and people get bored?

I feel like I can’t be credible unless it’s something I have first-hand knowledge of, I’ve researched it, and know my stuff. I’ve been burnt by trying to feign knowledge. It comes

SelfishMother.com
5
across as insincere or that you’re somehow trying to find the ONE time in your life when you went through a similar experience.

Also, you’ll notice in this piece that I haven’t mentioned any specific campaigns. The reason is a) I don’t want to slag anyone off b) I don’t want to receive lots of hate mail and people telling me how awful I am because I’m complaining about something which is good right?

I’ll come back to my previous worry. Let’s say mental health is THE THING. Many people suffer with anxiety, PND, depression, suicidal

SelfishMother.com
6
thoughts, panic attacks…the list goes on. So, we choose a period we’re going to share posts. What happens next? What about the people who are still dealing with those feelings? And what if the hashtag- sharing overshadows the fact that you meant to call your friend? The friend who’s just had a baby, and you suspect has PND? What if you’re retreating into a self-absorbed bubble? Putting a filter on the selfie whilst you decide what kind of comment feels authentic?

What if it’s essentially about YOU?

Also, it’s easy to make a long list of

SelfishMother.com
7
reasons about why the thing is BAD. Women are judged because they’re a particular size…BUT WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT IT? Taking selfies? Agreeing with one another? Unless it’s backed up with tangible action (that isn’t about uploading a motivational quote) it’s just right-on people in an echo chamber giving one another high fives.

I’m sorry if I sound jaded. I want to be the best I can. I want to be responsible. Kind. Recycle more. Watch less reality TV. I want women to be paid as much as men. I also want to do more stuff and talk

SelfishMother.com
8
less.

So, where’s the hashtag I need for that?

 

 

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Anniki Sommerville

By

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- 19 Oct 18

Is it veganism or body positivity today?

Oh, shit I shared the wrong cause on the wrong day.

It’s nine thirty at night. I’m sitting in bed scrolling through Instagram (it’s hard to wean myself off this bad habit). I check my messages. One is alerting me to the fact that there’s a campaign starting at two the next day. To take part I need to use a specific set of hashtags, accompanied by a specific photo of myself doing a specific thing. No pressure!

I feel conflicted. I believe in this thing. I also don’t want to let this person down and besides…Instagram is all about supporting one another! (on a good day). I have a horrible feeling there’s another campaign scheduled tomorrow. How do I choose between the two? What if I get the hashtag wrong? Actually, come to think of it I know NOTHING about this and won’t I be a fraud to talk passionately about it out of the blue?

I switch the light off. Flashes of angry faces dance before me. Placards with different neon hashtags. Wasn’t tomorrow the day we shared posts supporting veganism? After a lot of tossing around, I fall into a fitful sleep.

Now let me be clear by saying I’m not someone WITHOUT A CONSCIENCE. I’m a feminist. I believe mental health is something we should talk about, that it has nowhere near the amount of resource needed to treat people in the grips of it. I am against prejudice in all forms – sexism, ageism, size-ism, discrimination.

I am against all bad things.

I just have a problem with how some of these campaigns (not all of them, some really do have an impact) play out. It feels like the issue burns bright for a day (or week) and disappears. The people who are in the grips of that thing have a giant spotlight shone on them and shrink into obscurity. We then pat ourselves on the back because we’ve shown we care.

Raising awareness is important – it’s better than sitting with your head buried in the sand but how much are we changing things? And what if we have a detrimental effect and people get bored?

I feel like I can’t be credible unless it’s something I have first-hand knowledge of, I’ve researched it, and know my stuff. I’ve been burnt by trying to feign knowledge. It comes across as insincere or that you’re somehow trying to find the ONE time in your life when you went through a similar experience.

Also, you’ll notice in this piece that I haven’t mentioned any specific campaigns. The reason is a) I don’t want to slag anyone off b) I don’t want to receive lots of hate mail and people telling me how awful I am because I’m complaining about something which is good right?

I’ll come back to my previous worry. Let’s say mental health is THE THING. Many people suffer with anxiety, PND, depression, suicidal thoughts, panic attacks…the list goes on. So, we choose a period we’re going to share posts. What happens next? What about the people who are still dealing with those feelings? And what if the hashtag- sharing overshadows the fact that you meant to call your friend? The friend who’s just had a baby, and you suspect has PND? What if you’re retreating into a self-absorbed bubble? Putting a filter on the selfie whilst you decide what kind of comment feels authentic?

What if it’s essentially about YOU?

Also, it’s easy to make a long list of reasons about why the thing is BAD. Women are judged because they’re a particular size…BUT WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT IT? Taking selfies? Agreeing with one another? Unless it’s backed up with tangible action (that isn’t about uploading a motivational quote) it’s just right-on people in an echo chamber giving one another high fives.

I’m sorry if I sound jaded. I want to be the best I can. I want to be responsible. Kind. Recycle more. Watch less reality TV. I want women to be paid as much as men. I also want to do more stuff and talk less.

So, where’s the hashtag I need for that?

 

 

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Anniki Sommerville

I'm Super Editor here at SelfishMother.com and love reading all your fantastic posts and mulling over all the complexities of modern parenting. We have a fantastic and supportive community of writers here and I've learnt just how transformative and therapeutic writing can me. If you've had a bad day then write about it. If you've had a good day- do the same! You'll feel better just airing your thoughts and realising that no one has a master plan. I'm Mum to a daughter who's 3 and my passions are writing, reading and doing yoga (I love saying that but to be honest I'm no yogi).

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