With the advent of social media and vastly improved technology, we have reaped many benefits. Consequently, we have access to unlimited amounts of information at our fingertips. For instance, we get an insight into people’s lives – from Insta worthy celebrations, home decorating, fabulous outfits, holiday pics, and toned bodies. We see it all!
Unfortunately, most of what we see on social media is skewed. The happy snaps and special moments are wonderful to see, but we don’t see the difficult times. For example, the disappointments and monotonous aspects of daily life usually do not make an appearance, apart from a rant here and there! Furthermore, the use of filters on images can create an illusion that we ourselves cannot achieve. Most importantly, it is important to remember that you are beautiful as you are and Insta worthy – #no filter needed.
No filter here!
What happened to the simple birthday cake, celebrated with family and friends? Where the highlight was the fairy bread, pass the parcel and if we were lucky a lolly bag! We didn’t all receive a prize when playing pass the parcel!! And we lived to tell the tale! Yes, this is photo of me at my 5th birthday party! It was the most memorable party from my childhood. I even remember the taste of the icing and how happy I felt on that day, just to celebrate with my extended family.
Sure, there are many people that continue to have simple birthday parties. Many of the images that we see on social media are extravagant birthday parties, avoid feeling pressure to keep up with the Joneses or the Kardashian’s! For many people, it can cause depression, self-loathing, anxiety, inattentiveness and feelings of worthlessness.
Similarly, are you worried about your teenagers on social media? Check out this article from the Wall Street Journal regarding the differences between teenage girls ands boys regarding their use of technology. Surveys have found that boys are drawn to gaming and girls are drawn to social media and it could all come down to the differences in their brains! In addition to this, girls experience the ill effects of too much social media use (depression and anxiety) more than boys. See my tips on tackling screen addiction and cyber safety.
Likes and our self esteem
Instagram recently removed the visibility of the number of likes a received by a post. Giving users poor self esteem and feelings of negativity, are apparently bad for business! We are comparing ourselves to images that aren’t even real, every day and usually when we are alone. Perhaps there were many attempts to take that perfect shot, or a filter may have been used, the lighting may have been created with a special light, or a lot of effort went into taking that image. Have fun with social media and don’t take it seriously! Be whoever or whatever you want to be!
How can we make ourselves feel Insta worthy?
Firstly, set time limits for your use of social media and stick to it. Most importantly, you will be role modelling this behaviour to your children. Unfollow people or pages that give you anxiety or uncomfortable feelings. Similarly, talk to your partner, friends or family if you feel like you aren’t enough. They will remind you how wonderful you are and what you mean to them.
Secondly, try not to compare your life with others online. We see the best parts and not the worst parts of their day. Be you! Don’t bow down to pressure to conform to a ‘norm’. Similarly, celebrate differences and know that there is only one ‘you’ in the world.
Thirdly, get a reality check! For example, talk to your grandparents or parents about how they grew up. For instance, how they celebrated and what they did or didn’t have. It’s a reality check we all need sometimes.
Lastly, above all enjoy the simple things in life and spark joy for yourself everyday. For example, eating dinner with your family and swapping stories about your day, smelling flowers on a spring day, basking in the heat of summer, spending time in nature and cuddles with your doggie. These sensations cannot beat what you see online.
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Embrace imperfection….in all of its beauty.mum from down under