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Navigating the pressures of social media

Titi Finlay talks about the ups and downs of living life through the internet

By Ally Faughnan

For Mental Health Awareness Week, we are opening up conversations around burnout, loneliness, self-love, and more in our burn baby burnout series. Check out Mind for more advice and support about mental health.

It’s hard to imagine what life was like before the internet, let alone what it was like pre-social media. Having taken over the ways we communicate with others, share our experiences, and work on literally everything, social media has become an integral part of many people’s lives.

It was even through social media that I came across Titi Finlay, an artistic, creative, social media wiz with a passion for sneakers. If she’s not hosting ASOS’s Sneakers in 60 Seconds, she’s working on content creation for the company and sharing her flare on her own IG. Let’s turn to Titi now to hear more about what she has to say about how we can navigate the pressures of social media during the crazy times we are living in.

It’s the age old debate: is social media the best or worst thing that has happened to our generation?

As active as I am on social, honestly I think it has more negatives than positives – but that’s coming from an old soul who wishes she was born in the 70s haha! With social media, I feel people have become more self involved and hungry for fame, as it’s so much more accessible – which means ‘normal’ life no longer seems good enough, and that in turn can spark insecurities, comparisons, and ultimately unfulfilled lives… which is really sad!

On the flip side it’s such a good business tool, and if you want to succeed in this day and age you kinda have to be on it. If you use it responsibly as a business tool rather than for personal gain, I think you can stay relatively unaffected by its negative side effects.

“The best thing to see on social is someone speaking openly about their own insecurities or mental health and just being honest...”

Social media is encouraging people to constantly show themselves ‘living their best lives'. Do you think we need to be more transparent online?

Absolutely! The best thing to see on social is someone speaking openly about their own insecurities or mental health and just being honest – it’s so refreshing because it reminds people that someone else out there feels just like them. Of course it’s lovely to share your best life highlights but you also have a duty to be transparent, especially if you have a big following.

How do you think we can use social media in a more positive way?

I think we just need more people being real and honest! If we could just be more mindful instead of the mindless scrolling and getting lost in the rabbit hole of comparison it would be a lot better.

Do you have any tips for managing the pressures of social media?

My usual protocol is to switch it off anytime it starts getting to me. I recently had a viral video that gained me 2000 new followers overnight and it weirdly made my mental health plummet due to the pressure of all these new eyes on my account, and the only way I could deal with it was so take some time off and reset my perspective. Just getting out into real life is all you need to remind yourself social isn’t that important.

Are there any accounts which you think are creating more positive, safe spaces online?

My friend Chloe runs a platform called @thy.self which promotes self care and transparency about mental health and she lends it to people in her community to openly share opinions and advice which I love. I also love @nobullschool which is a business platform my friend Sarah runs and it gives out no bullshit advice to women who run their own businesses, it’s just a really refreshing take on how business can be done and has become an amazing community.

Keep up with Titi on her Instagram for all things social, sneakers, and more.

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