Blog post 1 = Thing 1: Social media, a complicated relationship.

I have chosen to undertake 23 Things for Research over the next few months, a self-directed course providing tools for researchers. There may be posts that seem out of place or irrelevant but bare with me through those.


Social media has become a part of our everyday lives, it makes sense for it to be a part of the PhD/research process. Unfortunately, I spend too much time on my phone and in-turn spend too much time on social media. Social media is a useful tool (in moderation), otherwise, it adds to the ever-mounting pressure of self-criticism and comparison. 

For example, scrolling through Twitter on Christmas Day or over the Christmas break, there were far too many people explaining how they had no time to stop, they spent Christmas day working or reading *only* 12 journals #badstudent. I understand that if they do not celebrate Christmas then go ahead and work, but we need to learn to rest.

There is a culture of publicly declaring how hard one is working, I don’t know whether this is to make themselves feel better or to create a community that encourages one another, to work.

I use social media too much, I go into social media comas of liking artsy photos on insta or reading terrible tweets on twitter. I also enjoy a good youtube blackhole where I end up watching the weird and wacky. Facebook I reserve for friends and family, here I watch terrible cat and dog videos or read some questionable journalism from a random facebook group. I am no saint when it comes to social media use, I enjoy it but do not enjoy the anxiety inducing bouts of self-doubt and questioning my every move. Am I good enough? Am I worthy? Are my pictures nicer? Why have I only got 3 likes? Should I be doing a PhD? Am I clever enough?

Social media can and I would argue is amazing but like all good things, must be enjoyed in moderation.




3 thoughts on “Blog post 1 = Thing 1: Social media, a complicated relationship.

  1. Hi Dean! Thanks for opening the blog with an interesting (and anxiety inducing?) set of reflections. Uncontrolled comparison stress is a definite feature of the social media landscape, though keeping an eye on what our purposes are in using the tools can also help avoid getting sucked in, I hope. Definitely recognise the ‘twitter coma’ of scrolling through angry dross to find just one more funny post to like…
    Good luck on this expedition!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I saw an article the other day where they were talking about an app that grew a tree on your phone and when you checked your phone you killed the tree – maybe we need a “thing” on how to give up social media! Sam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s ‘Forest’ – I’ve tried to “detox” from social media and tech and it never lasts long. The most I’ve achieved is 48 hours on a camping holiday… that was a struggle 😉


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