INSTAGRAM VS REALITY
Social media is stealing our happiness and many of us don't seem to give a f***
Instagram vs Reality. LOL.
Oh stop it. We all do it. Smile for a minute, then go back to frowning, add a filter, pick the right moment, stage the background. Not every time, but enough for our feeds to be half-truths. It's kind of fun living in this fantasy land. Where all my friends are supermodels and everyone has picture perfect coffee and wine. I'm not trying to be a hypocrite, I engage in, and quite enjoy the filtered life - however, I am starting to see the impact it's having on my life. My expectations, my motivation, my relationship, my happiness can be boosted, or torn down based on what and who I see. I know I'm not alone on this. I'll wake up and see a post from a woman the same age as me, who has just launched a business after winning 10 journalism awards, lives in a dream house and looks like a million bucks, and for the rest of that day - I feel worthless and defeated, and the most idiotic part is, I have no idea if ANY of the content she posted was true! Even if it is, we're not the same person, success is not the same for everyone and neither is happiness.
Theodore Roosevelt said "comparison is the thief of joy" - no f*****g kidding! They knew this a century ago, and we are re-learning the same lessons. I guess history repeats itself. An article that discusses the "6 ways social media affects our mental health" says more use of social media - triggers sadness and less well-being. Isn't that hilarious? Honestly, imagine someone told you, something was going to make you sad, and feel mentally unwell - would you make it a regular habit? Decide it was something you wanted to do daily?
Now I get it, for a lot of us, regular use of social media, to an extent, is sort of part of the job. For example, politicians regularly send out messages on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. It has become the biggest marketing tool - right at our fingertips. Statements from sports stars and companies are posted to their social media feeds. It has no doubt, become a main source of information with rapid speed. But without acknowledging the good with the bad, we'll be vulnerable to the pitfalls these platforms present.
I'm sure, if you know me well, or follow me, you're thinking, 'ok so - you, YOU the posting addict is just going to stop?' No -seriously - don't be ridiculous. I still see the purpose, and there are positive attributes to social media. But, what I am proposing I do, is take deliberate social media breaks, unfollow accounts that don't bring out the best in me, and take what I consume with a grain of salt. Reminding myself perfection is impossible - even with all the filters in the world.
So... baby steps - here's what I'm going to try to do:
I'm going to start to put my phone away and out of sight for 2 hours a day (besides when I sleep and workout) in order to focus all my attention on something else. Yes for those not as attached to your phones as me, this probably sounds ridiculous, but trust me when I say for me, this is a detox ( a much needed one!) I won't check social media until after my morning coffee and news podcasts, no more morning scrolling in bed. Just some small baby steps for me to shift my attention, and hopefully improve my well-being instead of destroying it. Everyone with an addiction needs to start somewhere, so here's my beginning. Who's in?