My journey towards finding social media contentment has been a twisty ride of one day pressing my foot firmly on the gas, then the next pulling up – exhausted and unhappy – in a lay-by.
I realise now that the problem wasn’t the route I was taking or the speed I was driving: I was simply travelling in the wrong vehicle.
Because there’s a big difference between a campervan and a caravan.
For a time, social media was my whole socialising world, my sole port of call whenever I was lonely, bored or depressed. As an introvert with a limited capacity for connection, those detached, sunny friendships suited me just fine.
Only social media can’t replace real life connection: that campervan just can’t become your whole world.
I needed to trade the camper for a caravan: a colourful, fun little thing that I could pull happily along behind the car of my real life. A cute place that I could dip into for the odd break: a place of positivity and life-affirming interactions.
Because the real me craved eyes that saw the discarded crisp packets and parking tickets and still loved me.
I craved hands that were happy to cradle flasks of steaming tea and listen as I shared vulnerable, messy stuff.
Hearts that saw past my cheery updates and asked how I was really doing, riding up front here in the car.