Social Media and the pressure to keep up

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Social media avenues like Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, e.t.c, provide us with a platform to connect with people and help us to keep abreast of events happening around the world. While these platforms have a positive impact, social media brings with it unnecessary pressure.

Take, for example, my country, ask any Kenyan woman, and they will tell you how they desperately need an iPot or quality cooking pots (read saladmaster 🙂 ), courtesy of popular Facebook groups. We also have a new trend of recliner seats in our homes; we have to save every coin to have these seats. I would also love to have recliners, they are very comfortable, but can I afford them? This is the question we should ask ourselves. We are taking loans left, right, and center to furnish some of these ‘needs,’ and that is why there is an increasing number of popular loan platforms where you can buy televisions, seats, latest cloth labels, and home products and pay for them over one year. The monthly payments are low hence attractive, but the interest is not anything close to attractive. With the Covid-19 pandemic, what happens to the monthly payments? People have lost their jobs, yet these product loan platforms will not let you breathe in peace.

Not everyone can afford to buy products in cash, which makes loan platforms or higher purchase terms ideal for these situations. HP is a good avenue of acquiring items, but only if thought through. I have bought some things through loans and Hire Purchase, which has been quite helpful as I would not have managed to buy them in cash. If you have to acquire items through loans, especially things like home products, it should be something you need to have thought about and not just an abrupt decision. You have to weigh many things before deciding on acquiring these home products such as budget, interest rates, income possibilities in case of job loss, etc. Please do not break your back because you saw an item on Facebook groups or because it is trending, and you feel the need to have it, without carefully considering your situation. The person who posted the items may be financially stable and can, by all means, afford these items. What about you? Can you afford the same things without breaking your back or bank?

Social media sometimes has a way of making us feel inadequate. We look at the broadcasts on Facebook status updates on people’s achievements, and we end up getting that feeling of inadequacy. I am a mother, and when on social media, I look at photos, videos, and selfies of how my fellow parents look well put together with the hashtags #outandabout #strongmama #family. I can’t help admiring these photos, and I suddenly want to march my family to a studio for a photoshoot, perfect presentation. While daydreaming, I then remember these photos have left off the bad hair days, the baby tantrums, the kitchen mess, etc. I go through social media posts, and I will look at the photos and appreciate them then move on. I do not feel the pressure to keep doing what everyone out there is doing. If i can afford it, then well and good, if not, i am comfortable with what I have right now, but I will strive to get the best in the future. Once you reach this line of thought, then social media will just become a mode of entertainment without raising your blood pressure.

Social media is not all about bad influences or negativity. It has quite a lot of positive impact. It has made businesses thrive, has led to a variety of good cause movements, ensures connection with family and friends, and while at it, there is a lot to learn through these platforms. It boils down to how you utilize your social media platform.

Our thought for today is by Susan Cooper, who is a social media enthusiast and strategist ”Engage, enlighten, encourage and especially…just be yourself! Social medial is a community effort, everyone is an asset”.

© Shoeanna

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