“There was a moment during my senior year [of college] where I had a huge reality check,” Larissa May, the 23-year-old founder of #HalfTheStory says. “I was running to watch Diane Von Furstenberg speak during New York Fashion Week, and I fell and broke my phone and my knee was bleeding I realized: I’m only telling half the story.”
A real moment during one of the most glamorous events of the year is what drove May to create #halfthestory, an initiative that encourages people to take a photo with the hashtag to signify they’re sharing another piece of their story that’s not necessarily just the highlights. Realizing that social media only tells one story, the movement encourages people to bring to life their “real moments” onto their feed along with the positive ones.
“I wanted to create a space where people can talk about things like mental health and depression,” May explains. “It’s a great place to take a hot second to breathe, and share how you got to where you are or another piece of your life that your audience may not see.”
The idea caught on quickly, and people began sharing their struggles with mental health and depression, or even using the hashtag to come out about their sexuality. For May, it’s as much about celebrating the good moments as well as being honest about other pieces to create more realistic expectations of what you see on social media.
“I began experiencing fatigue from creating content to put on social media when I felt it wasn’t coming from an authentic place and it starts to show with my work,” she says. “I think the struggle for most people is that you have to keep up with it.
Acknowledging that social media can be overwhelming, May says she practices a few things to prevent herself from falling into social media fatigue:
1) Do a “social media reality check.”
“I sit down and write the five most important things to me at that moment, and then I’ll look on my social media to make sure it’s reflecting that.”
2) Wait 20 minutes after you post.
“After I post something, I usually leave it and won’t look at it for about 20 minutes, because it’s really easy to get into this space where you’re checking your phone every few seconds [for likes and comments] and it tends to get very consuming.”
3) Put your phone on airplane mode when you’re with friends.
“It takes away from your present moment, and I think that’s a big distractor.”
Preventing social media fatigue takes practice, but implementing a few of these tips will help you re-focus on something we all tend to forget to every now and again: the now. -Shyema Azam