The Pressures of Social Media & Burning Out

Now, from the title, you’re probably thinking “What the f*** is Ed about to go into an unnecessary amount of detail about right now? What does he mean by the pressure of burning out?”. Pre-warning: this is one of those rambling posts that I do from time to time to get something off of my mind. So, if I don’t make any sense at times, feel free to tell me, I’ll try and explain what’s going through my weird mind.

Throughout my life, I’ve always been hard working and constantly wanting to achieve the best things in life, right from an early age. I used to be that kid that sat at the front of the class, listening and learning away whilst being pelted with scrunched up balls of paper. Admittedly, my grades in school did not showcase that in areas but I’ve always had that urge to learn and do more. As soon as media came into my life, I put my heart and soul into it. I achieved the highest grades in my year and went onto college to further study Media Production. I then went to Coventry University to push my capabilities in the media landscape. You could say my life is revolved around media, even more so with social media.

In today’s society, there is this unrelenting pressure to be seen as active on social media. A lot of individuals become successful from the way they use different platforms. I’ve grown up watching stupid amounts of YouTube and seeing people become influencers on Instagram and Twitter. My job involves looking at different social media strategies for high profile celebrities, it’s essentially a dream job for me at this point in time. I looked at my watch times on my phone recently and I spend 22 hours a week, 3 hours a day to be precise on social media. That’s nearly a whole day a week staring at other peoples lives instead of looking at my own.

Reading that, you’re most likely thinking “f*** Ed, get a life”, but I’m happy doing that. It has got to the point in where I’m now trying to build my social profiles; my friends and I are creating a YouTube channel together, I write up film reviews on here and for other blogs, I actively go out and practice my photography to then post on social media. I’m constantly creating for my own benefit and I love it. I genuinely do. If I spend so much time watching others do what I want to do, why not get on with it and do it myself, right?

This is where the burnouts come in. For a long time, I didn’t give it a name but it wasn’t until I read and watched others experiencing similar situations and calling them “burnouts”. A burnout is when you put so much pressure on yourself to perform on social media that you run out of energy to do any of the tasks. These aren’t tasks that you can pass onto someone else to complete, these are tasks you have set yourself personally and you have to complete in order to feel the benefit. However, when they build up, your energy for what you once thought would benefit you becomes non-existent. From what I can tell, it happens to a lot of creators. I want to become successful on YouTube, I love film so much to the point I dream of becoming a reviewer and I want my photography to be seen by everyone. Putting that pressure on my back however isn’t the best for my well-being clearly.

This is why from time to time, I don’t post anything. Nothing. I look at others and dream of becoming that successful influencer but struggle to see how I can get there. I know I can do it but it builds up to the point that I can’t handle it, hence the burnouts. I do experience every now and then somewhat social anxiety. I’m constantly paranoid of what others think and are thinking of my work. I sweat and fluff my words under pressure in different situations, I know it’s there but I never actively say I have it, until this post. I’ve never been diagnosed as such but, looking at the symptoms, they sound very familiar to what I have been experiencing throughout my life. In school, I would go red from the pressure of everyone looking at me to answer a question. In college and university, I would stumble over my words in presentations in front of the class whilst sweating profusely… maybe not profusely, but you get the point. I remember these times so vividly that it’s all starting to make sense now. It’s even come into the work place, I try and hold it back but it’s impossible to control.

I’m adamant I will become a successful director, writer, reviewer, social media influencer. I will be stubborn about it and make sure I get there. This is me admitting though that there will be blocks, walls, bollards, whatever you want to call it, in my way. I’m not ashamed to admit it but it has taken a while for me to blurt this out and face the facts. I can’t do everything and I shouldn’t put the pressure on myself to do so. I need control the madness that is going on inside my mind. I am very lucky to have the job I have, my friends are great and I have an amazing family. With all that in mind, I put this unneeded pressure on myself to gain more, whatever that may be in the form of. I need to gain more in where I want to be in life, but I need to process that it’s going to take time to get there.

This might be the most long winded excuse for not posting anything for ages but I don’t talk to anyone about this. It’s not until I’ve put all of these words out on paper that I start feeling better. I might not be able to talk to someone about this face to face but a post like this helps me unleash my thoughts. If you managed to make it this far, I applaud you, you must have had a pretty boring evening/whenever you’re reading this. Until next time I feel like getting deep and personal…

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