I have and most likely always will be a huge fan of social media. I have absolutely loved being able to connect with friends (and celebrities) while also sharing some of my favorite moments and memories with my audience. I will admit though, social media became a toxic burden to me, instead of a magical opportunity to learn and grow.
The Toxic Mentality of Likes & Comparison
Comparing myself to friends (and strangers) online became an obsessive pastime of mine. I was so fixated on how many likes I was getting, or how I compared to so&so. Having body dysmorphia certainly didn’t help my obsessive behavior: I would see thin, beautiful women in bikinis receiving hundreds & thousands of likes while my “wholesome-smiling” photo would barely receive 70. I felt like I wasn’t good enough for social media; like my body and personality could never measure up to that of instagram models and popular personalities.
I took a break from posting, feeling like no post could ever measure up to the practically impossible standards I was setting for myself. I started a new diet/juice cleanse, I pinned every vsco filter known to man, and I began to craft an entirely new appearance and personality. It wasn’t until I was hungry all the time, and taking a Brand Social Media class that I realized how ridiculous I was being.
I was comparing myself to complete strangers. I was measuring my worth in the amount of likes I was getting. I was looking at my photos and hyper-analyzing every little detail. I didn’t share some of my happiest moments because “the bags under my eyes were too big”, or “my arm looks too fat”, or “this would never get as many likes as so&so”. How dumb is that?
More than Likes
Social Media was designed for connection and opportunity. Unfortunately over time it had become the exact opposite for me. I would scroll past job opportunities just to see how many likes so&so had on her latest post. I would complain about the latest accomplishment so&so posted while not doing anything to further myself. I was so busy fixating on the toxic tendencies of social media that I didn’t embrace the opportunity it was providing me with.
I’ve since reflected. My worth and happiness will never be defined by how many likes I have on a post that makes me happy and can help me connect with opportunity.
A new leaf (and instagram aesthetic)
I took a break from posting to social media, but not because I was on a juice cleanse (which I don’t recommend by the way), but because I wanted to make a plan to maximize my time on social media. I decided that I want to spread happiness through the platforms I have. We see enough bad news on social media, so kindness and happiness is pivotal. I used to only post photos of myself (that I felt were “good enough”). Now I post graphics w/ tweets and messages that make me happy, photos that make me happy regardless of how I look in them, and stories that express how I feel.
Since this new lease of life (well, social media, so basically life), I’ve made SO many connections and embraced more opportunities than I ever thought possible. I’ve pursued job opportunities, made so many friends, and created content for ME.
I challenge you to post for you. Create a brand you’re proud of, one that’s entirely YOU. Join me on my journey as I navigate Social Media & spreading happiness through an otherwise toxic platform.