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Nature is blooming on social media, but not in the wild

Life and style | The Guardian

A stroll through the woods is instantly mirrored by a scroll through social media

It’s bluebell season and the dandelions are full. The woods near my house are dense with the last wild garlic. Tulips in the garden are blousy and drunken, and nature is everywhere. I’ve long identified as someone who casually spurned nature, agreeing it was too green and badly lit, but this year something appears to have shifted. Now I spend evenings coaxing strawberries to grow and weekends at garden centres the size of new towns, nodding knowingly at strangers over their hopeful magnolias.

A stroll on Sunday through the woods is mirrored by a scroll through social media, where blossom and the greenness of plant life is as ubiquitous as a fancy latte, and signifies similar – moments treasured, a spiritual glee, a display of healthful joy. In a recent Atlantic piece about influencers, they explain that the Instagram aesthetic of pink sofas and artful avocado toast has quietly gone out of fashion, to be replaced by more “authentic” feeds – private moments, stories about mental health. So it makes sense that green spaces (as opposed to staged sets) are accruing likes online as spring births summer and bluebell woods stand strong under trampling picnickers. Green spaces, of course, are proven to boost mental health. “Having access to green spaces can reduce health inequalities,” says the World Health Organisation, “improve wellbeing, and aid in treatment of mental illness.”

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May 12th 2019, 4:38 am
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