Back in August in the spur of the moment I was inspired to start my own hashtag, social media was getting a lot of negative press with talk of people falling into ‘the comparison trap’, people believing what they see on social media to be accurate representations of people's seemingly perfect lives. Working as a health professional for my day job my ears always prick up when I hear about anything health related and when there were so many articles and discussions around social media having a negative effect on mental health I wanted to be proactive in showing that it can also have a positive effect if used responsibly.
What we see people post on social media needs to be kept in perspective, like instaguru Me & Orla said in a recent podcast most of us only show around 1% of our lives on social media, (well, most of us!) I for one am not going to show you my messy house or my face first thing in the morning looking scary! (No one wants to see that!) Around the time a lot of this was coming to light time lots of amazing people launched their own campaigns to push against the seemingly perfect world that was often portrayed on social media; Lovaine's #liftthefilter was one of my favourites along with Allison Sadler's #freeupmyinsta to encourage people to post whatever makes them happy, to step away from super curated feeds and find the 'insta' in instagram again. Pretty Not Included embraced the beauty of imperfect moments like crumbs on the kitchen counter with #capturethemessy.
This is where I came up with #reclaimthehappy - I wanted to remind people that not only are you in control of your feed but you are in control of what you see when you scroll - you can unfollow, tell Instagram to show you less of what you don't want to see and curate what you do see so your scrolling makes you smile - not frown!
Here is a selection of the Happy squares that have joined in with this hashtag that have really made me smile. Originally I was just going to share my top 9 but there are so many amazing photos the absolute minimum I could bear to share was 12... I sense a few more posts sharing more of my favourites in the future! Click through the photos to find the original post for each image.
I hope these images have made you smile too! Thanks to everyone who has joined in with #reclaimthehappy so far, I can't wait to see future posts!