Lock down 1 taught me many things but mainly it taught me that I am, without my routines and my predictable daily rituals, I am simply a big bag of water banging into things with a vague air of confusion.

Others, apparently, they were loving life, sitting back, chillin…. I spent 5 months and 12 days feeling like I was attempting to, psychologically and metaphorically, herd mice. I just couldn’t quite get a handle on it all.

In a vain attempt to keep myself on the OCD straight and narrow I vowed to eat well, exercise more often than not and, more relevant to this, write daily…. by week 16 however I was eating Cheetos for breakfast, perfected the art of 7 minute yoga and, most worryingly, was scrolling through Instagram every 12 minutes in an attempt to cure my writers block – my daily blogging had wrung out my brain and left it hanging out to dry like a old mans’s scrotum.

Then it happened.

I got sucked in.

Head first.

I became obsessed with the followers, the likes, the comments …. the recognition and reinforcement that my picture was nice or what I had written had prompted someone to want to hear more. One minute I was writing an honest blog about life through a middle aged lens and next I was weighing up the possibilities of dressing up my dog in various ensembles surrounded by edibles (think “Dogs Dinner”). It’s not just the dopamine hits though, 100,000 followers can make you an eye watering £150,000 + so you need a good hook. Being on the A (-Z) list though undoubtedly helps:

Actor Dwayne Johnson is the current top earner with $1,015,000 per sponsored post and 190 million followers – this is a man who used to wear a leotard for a living. Kim Kardashian, she has 180 million Insta followers which makes her $858,000 per sponsored post and how did the clearly talented KK gain notoriety? A leaked sex tape in 2002 and a meganormous, brine filled arse. The best part though is they pay someone else £10 an hour to run their social media accounts for them… they can do a spot of cleaning for you after they have made you a few hundred k. What a gig.

You don’t though have to be famous to play Instagramonopoly. Just have a good idea an run with it…my top 5?

1. Breadfaceblog. Think young Asian adult tentatively pressing her face in a variety of baked goods. I’m not signing up but I did lose 10 minutes of my life watching in total fascination

Ms Breadface (not sure if that should be hyphenated) has 191k followers.

2. Baddiewinkle. A 92 year old medicinal marijuana smokin nanna who must literally glow in the dark. Note to self – find out acceptable time frame to adopt Helen Ruth Van Winkle’s style cause it’s happening kids. Helen earns enough to keep her in fixodent and weed for the rest of her days – 3.6 million followers

4. Digbyvanwinkle – 2 dogs, 118 followers each, 4,933 photos of said canines. …each photo very cute ….. and very lucrative.

3. Miserable_men. 353k people follow this one … dedicated to the poor sole whose woman has insisted they come shopping with them. Make like Zammo fellas and just say no.. actually say yes because this is comedy gold. Bless their miserable bored hearts.

5. Beigecardigan- the name alone made me laugh. Full of banal life incidences that you don’t know are funny till you see it in the cold light of day

Luckily though I could feel myself becoming lost in a world of narcissism that my lazy arse couldn’t keep up with. The primping and the selfies and re takes and the filtering …. never mind the weird daily messages from sad strange and deluded men with a variety of strange propositions… all too much bother. All not what I’m about.

But now it’s December.

Its lock down number 2.

Now where is my dog …. and pass me a some glasses.

By Kim Hawley

I’m a mum ... 48 years on our glorious planet and I have got some stuff to get of my chest!


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