top of page

The Dark Side of Social Media

It happened! I have THE.BEST.STORY to tell you to drive home an important point.

My husband's favourite place is the Australian bush. He loves a good hike and we have hiked a few mountains over the years we have been together. Most recently we climbed Mt Amos in the Freycinet National Park in Tasmania, and this view was well worth it!

So for his birthday, all he requested was a family day in the Blue Mountains for a hike. This must always include good coffee and a baked pretzel from the German bakery in Wentworth Falls. We told the kids in advance, because some of them require notice for a day without screens (God help me!) and because a Saturday without a sleep-in makes us the worst parents ever.

With the advance notice given, we had a pretty chill morning and drive to our destination. We grabbed our lunches and coffee and headed to the start of our path. Slight amendments were made because parts of the track were closed, but we worked around it. We were ready.

This is where what sounds like a nice happy family time story ends. In hindsight, the chaos that ensued was probably from a combination of things, like the end of the year approaching and that we had just moved house a couple weeks prior. People were not ok.

It started with the bickering. You know the bickering I am talking about.

There was whinging about how hot it was, the bugs, the sun, any sibling who dared to speak, got cut off by another with a smart comment.

It was in that moment that I questioned why we were here, and mentioned to my husband that maybe he should go walk alone in the bush for his birthday next year. 

There was a pep talk from me which included the classic, “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” but when you have the kids that I have, this just brought on questions about how important truth is in comparison to kindness and so on. Questions that I am more than happy to answer in a normal bushwalking situation with my kids. But this day, I had had enough.

It got worse.

By this point everyone was spread out, walking at least a few metres away from each other in silence and my daughter and I were at the end. So, apparently the way I bush walk is annoying (emoji) to my husband. He will trudge on not stopping much, but I walk a bit like I am interval training, which means I take more breathers. Our 9 year old was tired, so we were holding everyone up and this just added to this ‘family fun.’

We have been working through a Blue Mountain Guide Book and ticking off the walks we had done, so this was a walk with a goal.

All of a sudden around a corner we came upon a closed off path. We were not going to make our destination, the path was closed due to land erosion and we had to turn around and walk back the way we came.

Can you just imagine? The frustration that had been building hit a high and there in the peaceful quiet Australian Bush our family yelled at each other. This is what happens when you raise kids who will speak their mind right?! I can say this now while I am giggling looking back at this because my family is just fine. Just like every family, we all have ups and downs and times where we want to leave them in the bush.

So we were all cranky at each other, but when we came upon an outlook, and I told everyone to shut up and smile for a photo to commemorate this day! (And yes, that "smile" is my teenagers normal smile face 🤣)

After this photo was taken we all dispersed and made our way back to the car.

Don't worry, my family is fine. And since then we have taken another bush walk and the picture taken there was actually an accurate description of our day, unlike this one that is inauthentic because we were not having a happy smiley time. But you'd have thought we did.

This was a perfect reminder for me and educational for my kids. None of them have social media as yet, but one day they will, and I hope they remember my bush walk wisdom!

When we post pictures of smiling families, from the outside we look like we are having a perfectly jolly good time.

The summer snaps everyone posts of their perfect sun-drenched holidays that make us with our ‘real’ families jealous are not an accurate depiction of their every family life either. But we forget that.

YAY! Yay that they had a moment in time where they were enjoying their holiday, that they took pictures to remember that moment and that they shared them. And we, and they, should celebrate that. But when we take that glimpse, that moment in time, as a representation of their entire life, that can only lead to resentment of our own reality.

A friend of mine, according to her Facebook posts, had an absolutely terrific time on her family holiday. As we caught up after the break and debriefed, it was evident there were some ‘real’ moments that were quite tough. Now she shouldn’t have to share those private moments with the world, but the reality is, the onus is on us as consumers to be aware that what people are posting on Fakebook, yes FAKEBOOK is not their whole life, and assuming that it is, can do real damage to our own mental health.

Sometimes we just need to take a break from the things that look fun on the outside but can have an insidious long lasting effect on how we view ourselves.

If you feel like you are being negatively influenced by the things you see on social media - Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and whatever else is dreamt up next - and those comparisons are making your own reality seem awful and unique, here are some practical solutions for you.

Reduce your time on social media. If you have an iPhone, do this by using your screen time option. You can set a time allowed on specific apps per day, once you’ve hit your allowance the app can’t be used. Some android phones allow this as well, so check your phone.

The other timed option is for you to set a time each day that you will allow yourself to be on socials. Maybe it’s after kids are in bed, or in the middle of the day in your lunch break.

Another option is for you to move your app. I have done this one a few times myself. When it becomes a habit to open your phone and click on the icon without realising, maybe it’s time to move the app to the next window. It then gives you the opportunity to break a habit ask yourself, “is this what I want to be doing right now?”

A more hardcore option is to give yourself a digital detox. Pick a timeframe, it could be a day, a week or a whole month off social media. Unless you have a will of steel, you will need to delete the apps off your phone for this one. 

With any of these options, it’s always a good idea to ask yourself why you feel the need to scroll, often mindlessly. Perhaps it is filling a void, maybe you’re bored, or maybe you’re procrastinating. There might be an underlying issue you want to sort out. If you need help with that, send me an email and I'll get in touch 🤗

The real core truth here is that comparison kills. Love yourself a little and go and hang out with your real authentic tribe, People who can be real and honest with the ups and downs of family life. When you have authentic relationships it is amazing how refreshing it can be for your mental health, when you realise there is no comparison, every one is just doing the best they can. And so are you!

Look after yourself.

Nina x

Work with me!

I help mums find balance in their life through valuing themselves, setting boundaries, and finding solutions to their special family chaos! Get in touch by emailing .


5 Simple Steps Image.png
bottom of page