Social Media our Frenemy
Whether we like it or not, social media isn't going anywhere. If we are going to make the conscious decision to stay “connected” than we need to get real with each other and most importantly, ourselves.
We need to pause and recalibrate.
All this stimuli we’re consuming is a distraction from what is real.
It’s food for our egos.
It’s making us feel as if we need to do more, and be more.
It's making us think that we aren't enough.
We need our lives to look like the beautifully curated photos that fill our feeds. Not only do we need a full time job, we need to have a side hustle. We need a talent, we need to be clever, we need to be funny, we need more likes and validation.
No. What we really need is to evaluate what we’re sharing, and what our real intention is by doing so.
If you read my last post, I'm sure you gathered that I recently hit a rough patch in life...
Long story short,
suddenly everything that had been fueling me, dissipated. I was left uninspired, unmotivated, and disgusted with myself.
When you're in that mindstate, social media can be a very dangerous place to be. It's quite the minefield of triggers for someone feeling shitty about themselves.
It's hard to remember that your looking at a highlight reel and not real life. It’s hard to remember anything. I’d see my friends and former trainees, taking all the steps that I had hoped to be taking myself, and it felt like another reminder of how my mental illness has held me back my whole life.
This is one of the many reasons why I frequently need to pull the plug and disappear.
I simply gotta go.
Somewhere in me an alarm goes off.
I find the portal back to the real world,
barefoot and dragging my ego behind.
Searching for a reprieve, and some clarity.
Without all the distractions, I can think more clearly
and focus on what’s most important in my life.
Compare and Despair:
This sharing framework of throwing our happy, perfectly curated pieces of life in everyone's face and hiding all your dark real life problems out of view, isn't working for anyone. I’m talking about the “highlight reel”. It feels like a competition in which everyone is cheating.
When we judge ourselves against this kind of scale, we set impossible standards for ourselves.
Any comparison you make, whether you feel better then or less than someone else, will make you feel crappy. In other words, no ones #winning. Everyone is a mess. No one has it figured out. Don't let anyone try to trick you into thinking they do. And don't fall into the trap of thinking you need to portray that image to the world.
Its loud AF online without making a sound. It's hard to tap into your quiet inner voice when there's so much outside distraction. These constant screens, feeds, videos, notifications and other noisy, bright distractions are made to grab your attention, and usually to manipulate you into buying stuff you probably don’t need.
It feels like one of those dysfunctional family dinners, where everyone is talking over each other, shouting to be seen and heard.
Our brains get addicted to the dopamine hit we get everytime we get a notification, and this leads us to constantly looking for those rewards. Before you know it you’ve been on the toilet for an hour staring at your phone, something's burning on the stove, and your dog is staring at you, wondering if your still alive.
Because time is precious, be honest with yourself. If your phone the first thing you check in the morning and the last thing you check at night? How is that serving you?
Ever find yourself creeping on your own page like a stranger, analyzing yourself from a third person perspective? No, just me?
Can we even tell what’s real and what’s fake anymore? Everywhere I turn it feels like someone is trying to sell me something under the guise of connecting. When did authenticity became marketable trickery? Who’s following me for follow backs, or only liking my pictures so I return the favor? Side note- why does my phone have a built in editing feature to make my eyes bigger, or my face thinner?
What is this world?
There's a open dialog online about mental health these days, and I'm into it.
The stigma still exists, but not in the way it did before and that’s thanks to millions of brave souls opening up, being vulnerable and sharing their stories. I love seeing accounts and reading posts where people are just telling it like it is, and being open about their mental health.
I understand the importance of talking about these things.
Sharing your truth is terrifying yet liberating.
Every time I share darker piece of myself, I clear some space inside. It’s not just about fighting stigma, it’s about striving to make my feed more balanced and less of a highlight reel. It’s about being responsible for what I’m putting out there.
Speaking my truth in an online space, however, is a delicate balance between fighting demons and feeding them.
I want to be a crusader, an advocate, but the very methods to do so threaten to bring me down if I don't keep a careful eye on my mindstate.
Sometimes emotional safety is more of a priority then being vulnerable with everyone and anyone. Sometimes you don't want to be inspiring, or motivational. Sometimes you just want to wallow in your sorrows, eat taco bell and watch teen mom, no shame.
When I went through that last storm, I thought of sharing my anything online made me cringe. I recognized that social media was no longer a safe place for me, so I did what I needed to do, and took a break.
My message is in my mess.
I know a lot of you can relate, and that is why I share.
I'm sure there are some who will judge me because they are too cut off from their own emotions, to understand what I’m talking about. They will misinterpret my words as a cry for help, or an attention seeking behavior instead of an attempt to connect.
But I don't share for them.
Taking a break, and focusing on yourself, can be inspiring all on its own.