Positive Social Media
We all know it, we’ve all seen it. The truth is we might not always realise, but most of what we see is staged. It has taken a million photos and hours/days of posing to get that perfect shot. We only see what others want you to see, what they want their lives to be perceived as, and let’s face it you might have even done it yourself. We as humans want to be liked; we want to be accepted, and we measure our self-worth against likes and comments. Being your authentic self, saw you get forty likes and seven comments, but that photo of you all loved up in Mexico under the stars looking like you are in staring in a Hollywood movie poster got you over 500 likes and 140 comments. Everyone wanted to know more, people you didn’t know started following you, and you felt like a superstar! You can see how this can start to affect your self-esteem and happiness over time and could even push you yourself to post unrealistic staged photos for further social acceptance.
Now I am not saying that everything we see is fake. Those couples staring lovingly at each other are probably in love, but what you don’t see, is the normal bickering behind the scenes. Those kids looking delightful and perfect making you feel like a failing mother, are definitely not a true representation of the mother who was tearing out her hair for 5 hours trying to get the kids to stand still, smile, and generally stop fighting with others. That girl you went to school with seems to be looking younger and younger, her body seems to resemble that of Kim K’s, whilst you are growing older and rounder by the day. The truth is she actually is actually the same size as you and has the same number of wrinkles as you too. The only difference is she knows how to photoshop and airbrush her photos. We need to remember that we only see small snippets of what people want us to see because we all want to be liked and accepted by society.
Now if you saw a picture of the couple bickering, or the mum in tears as the kids are fighting in the background, and the woman from school is unfiltered and un-photoshopped, would you have stopped scrolling and liked and commented??? Probably not…
Practicing self-care on social media.
How do we change our mindset to allow us to stop worrying about what others think about us, and stop ourselves comparing to our self-worth against the unrealistic images that so many people portray to the world?
Here are a few little tips on how you can look after your own well-being on social media.
Remember that not all is what it appears to be.
If you find you are comparing yourself and your life against those you see in an idyllic setting on social media, remember to tell yourself that no one has that ‘perfect’ life. Even the rich and famous have issues, hang-ups, and flaws.
No one cares.
Now this may seem harsh, but most people won’t care about your posts or spend the whole day thinking about what you posted, how you posted, or why you posted. This isn’t because they don’t like you, it is because they just don’t have time to obsess about other people's lives. Truth is that little voice telling you are being judged, and everyone's laughing at you, is just your own insecurities, not anyone's actual opinion.
Post because you WANT to post, not because you think you NEED to post.
Many people can spend hours of their day taking pictures of them living their best life. Clicking photo bursts of themselves outside a coffee shop, having lunch with a bestie, walking through the falling cherry blossom. Then spending hours editing the right photos for social media because you think you need to post for your followers to ‘experience’ your life. But when you do that you, miss out on those experiences yourself because you aren’t really in the moment. Don’t let life pass you by; you might have that photo, but did you actually get to fully experience the cherry blossoms falling or enjoy that 5-star meal before it got cold??? Ask yourself, do I really need to post or can I just enjoy the experience myself and post another day?
Take note of your own feelings and emotions when scrolling.
If you are feeling negative, comparing yourself to others, and just getting an overall sense of self-doubt and worthlessness. Step away from social media and reflect on why you feel like this. Maybe even consider unfollowing accounts that continuously make you feel negative. But ask yourself what did you see that made you feel low? What triggered these feelings? Knowing what and why you think and feel a certain way can assist you to identify underlying issues, so you can start working on your own self-esteem and self-love.
Don’t ignore abuse or cyberbullying.
In a world of blocking, reporting and removing followers, it has never been so straightforward to stop those trolls from putting you down and abusing you. But why is it that so many of us feel like we can’t block, report or remove those who target us for their own amusements? Prevent the pain and hatred, don’t interact instead, remove, report and block. NO ONE should accept or tolerate cyberbullying.
Happy Self-Care Sunday Everyone!