Although I have always used social media I'm not sure that I have ever really 'got' it before. For the blog I absolutely live on it and even before then I ran a social media marketing company - it's something that has always been a massive part of my life but something that I actually didn't think necessarily affected me. In fact, I ought to be really, really good at it as a 'blogger', but there has always been something missing it.
I didn't really follow any celebrities on Twitter or Instagram and therefore only really used it as a way of keeping up to date with my friends and connecting with the Pretty Normal Me followers. But then the other day I found myself fan-girling over Blake Lively's hair (as you do) and as I scoured google and her Instagram I saw a photo of her engagement ring, I then scrolled down a little further and found a photo of her in the most beautiful dress. It was then that I found myself wishing that there was a way to keep up to date with what Blake and her awesome life, and then it finally hit me, after all of these years, that there was a way, that THIS was why Instagram is the success that it is.
I was then hooked. Ariel Winter has become another favourite and, as of this weekend, I've totally got the Zoella thing - she's adorable and funny and I now won't hear a bad word against her, just in case that's what you had in mind. I've actually become a tad obsessed with her life which I suppose accounts for the 10 million Youtube subscribers that she's acquired.
Now the other thing that I've never really got is fashion. Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE nice clothes and like to think that my wardrobe is filled with at least some nice basics, but I've never been crazy into it. I couldn't necessarily tell you what's 'so hot right now' and even if I could, I certainly wouldn't have it.
It was more or less the same story with makeup. I could apply foundation relatively well, I quite liked to put some eye-shadow on when I was feeling fun and I own a couple of lipsticks. But I genuinely couldn't see the point in wearing lots of makeup or spending a tonne of money on beauty products that I didn't really understand and would be taking off at the end of the day.
But as I have started to follow celebrities, I have noticed all sorts of things that are totally changing my perspectives. In fact, my new found social media stalking skills are changing me, and I don't hate it.
I just spent the last couple of hours scrolling through a company's Instagram page and found myself lusting over a clutch bag (something that I have NEVER done before) and since my sister and I did the contouring vlog last week, I've actually looked into buying proper grown up makeup with which to do it.
I am getting excited at the idea of being a bit more fashionable and fun with my own social media accounts, which is a huge turn around for me. I have always, very happily, been the type of girl who would much rather spend her hard earned money on food than fashion and have never understood those that would sacrifice a supper to pay for shoes. Carrie Bradshaw here's looking at you. (Having said that, in response to the comments made by a 'rich kid of Instagram' today, defending why she spends all her [parents] money on clothes, 'you have pizza, I am pretty', I say fuck off. You can and do have both.)
Social Media gets a LOT of negative press, and most of the time I can't even be bothered to defend it. Actually, quite a lot of the time I'm the one doing the heckling, but for the first time I really do feel like I'm starting to get it.
It always baffled me that someone could make a career out of social media, and it does still annoy me that there are certain people doing so - those ones who shame me as I eat said pizza and only share photos of their diet pills - but as for the rest of them? The Zoella's of the world? The Ariel Winters? I think they're wonderful.
Most girls like pretty things, we're not so different from magpies or pirates in that sense, if something sparkles, we tend to want it - there's no shame in that. And now I am finally beginning to understand that shop windows and magazines aren't the only place to see these pretty things anymore. For the first time we can see them on real women, and it's great.
The 'skinny' models used on websites such as Asos have, in recent years, actually put me off shopping with them. I can't see the point in buying something that will look totally different on me as it does advertised on the wafer of a woman online. But when I see the clothes on people that ACTUALLY LOOK LIKE ME on Instagram? I'm sold.
So companies, take note. If you're not going to start getting women of all sizes on your websites, at least send your clothes to these women, if you want to stand a chance of selling anything to people like me in the future, this is the only way it's going to happen.
Anyway. The point is, social media is bringing me out of the bubble that is my life and I'm excited. I've always said of the online world that it's not going anywhere anytime soon, so we might as well learn what we can now, accept it and embrace it. And that's exactly what I'm doing, I'm practising what I preach.
No, I'm not going to be the dickhead who ruins everyone else's view at a concert by snapchatting the whole thing, I am not going to miss deadlines so I don't miss the release of a new vlog and I certainly won't be everyone's least favourite dinner guest who can't look away from her phone.
But I am going to take social media into my stride and starting allowing it to make me feel good, to make me feel a part of something and probably to make me better at doing my hair. It's a win win really.
So the next time you find yourself missing out on valuable sleeping time because you're stalking Sarah Hyland back to 2009, worry not, you're not alone. I'll be right there with you, dreading the moment that I accidentally click twice on an image in my exhausted state and let her know that she was at that time, the object of my obsession and much more important to me than sleep, which was until recently, my favourite thing in the world.