Social Media is Bullshit
Okay, so a few weeks back, I read a book with this title. It was actually a marketing book and was going over something completely different. But it got me thinking about how social media really IS bullshit on a different (non-marketing related) level....
Have you ever scrolled through social media and the more you scroll, the worse you start to feel? You know you shouldn’t be but you can’t help but compare your own life to the perfectly filtered, amazing lives everyone on your feed seems to be living. "Man, her body is amazing! How are they going on vacation again? Wow they’ve accomplished so much"...
And the thoughts just kinda start to snowball downward REAL fast from there. Doubt starts to creep in and you question what you’re really doing with your own life... How is everyone else’s life so amazing? What have I done? What am I doing? Why am I so far behind?
Woah! Okay time to pause, take a step back and realize what’s going on. This happens to everyone at some point. It's normal and no one's immune, but you have to start becoming aware when it’s happening so that you can stop the process before you end up in full fledge depressive state.
Don’t worry, I’m not gonna tell you to go on a massive account deleting spree. I mean, you could, but for a lot of people this isn’t realistic or ideal and it’s not what I’m suggesting. You still want to be connected to your friends and family, and for a lot of people now, social media is an important aspect of their job/personal brand. So stopping completely is an option, but not necessarily for everyone. I think that you can totally use social media and still keep things in perspective to keep you happy and anchored in reality. Because, spoiler alert, social media is NOT reality!
So here are some tips to get back to reality and back to your happy, amazing self:
1. Realize social media IS bullshit.
Social media is a giant highlight reel of a person’s life--NOT the entire thing. Only the best parts are shown. If you were to look at a person’s social media account alone, you would probably think just about everyone has the absolute best life ever! Not true. Social media doesn’t represent reality. It doesn’t show the struggles, the hard times, or any of the behind the scenes work that the person is going through or went through to get to where they are now. There are so many steps, mishaps, and "failures" that you never get to see. Don’t compare your behind the scenes to someone else’s highlight reel.
2. Unfollow or hide some peeps.
How do the people you follow make you feel? Are there certain accounts that just make you feel bad? Even though it’s not their intention, you can’t help but feel bad about your own situation, yourself, or where you currently are on your journey? If so, it’s time to unfollow, or at least hide their posts for now. You can always go back and re-follow later, but for now you need to focus on how you feel and your own growth and goals. Anything that makes you lose focus or feel bad's GOT. TO. GO! (At least for now)
3. Pause and interrupt.
Feeling down after scrolling? Bonus points for even realizing it! Now take a second to pause and interrupt the thought pattern that got you here. Did you just look at someone’s post who accomplished something you want to accomplish and now you feel like you’re not where you should be, or you’re behind, or you’ll never get there? Stop and create a new story. You’re not behind. You’re on your way, you’re moving forward, and the person you’re looking at most likely took a while to get to where they are now. Realize that it’s crazy to compare your first chapter to their tenth. Take a second to recognize all of the progress YOU’ve made. Whatever it is, find a way to interrupt the negative thinking pattern and bring it back to reality and back to the positive side.
4. Limit the time spent.
Limit the amount of time you spend on social media. Don’t allow yourself to always just mindlessly scroll at any point throughout the day, especially if you’re at a point where it’s having a negative effect on you. If you have to post for work/your brand, get on, post, give yourself a few minutes to scroll if you must and then get back to your day. You posted, you did what you had to do. Now don't linger. Get on with your day and the things that are going to move you forward.
5. Take some time off.
If you realize that the steps above don’t seem to be helping, it might be time to just take a break. I don’t mean for a few minutes, I mean an extended amount of time off of social media all-together. This is your mental health and well-being that we’re talking about. Take it seriously, and take that break you need. Decide how long your break will be and stick to it. Let close friends and family know the choice you’ve made to help keep you accountable. Now log off and don’t come back until the date you’ve chosen. When you do come back, use the tips above to keep things in check.
You can use social media and still stay in good spirits. You just have to monitor yourself, realize when things are going sideways, and take the time to re-evaluate. Hopefully the tips above will help you to have a happier, healthier time on social media.
Remember, this is a normal thing, you’re not the only one, and you’re doing way better than you think! Stay on course with your goals and keep pushing forward. You’ll get there. Don’t let comparison (or anything else for that matter) stop you.
Here’s to another happy, healthy week of killin’ it!
Until next time,