Updated: Mar 5
If someone asked me to make a list of everything I like about myself versus dislike about myself, I'm confident the dislike list would be much longer. Why does my mind feel everything is a competition? The question "Am I good enough?" runs through my mind more frequently than I'd like to admit.
If you know me then you know I'm addicted to social media. I love how social media connects us with family members and friends, and gives everyone a platform to share moments of their life with those around them. I remember when social media used to be fun, stress free, and relaxing, but if I'm completely honest its not that easy for me anymore. I can't quite pinpoint when the change was made, but whether you'd like to admit it or not, social media has become a contest, and it's not one I love competing in. "But you post all the time?" is something I hear often. Just because I post frequently doesn't mean its all fun and games. I try so hard to look perfect online just to "fit in" with what feels like the social norm. Does this post fit my aesthetic? How many likes do you think I'll get? Do I look good in this picture? Should I delete this? Why isn't anyone commenting? Should this just go on my story instead of my actual feed? Is this filter good, or should I use a different one? These are comments I've used at some point or another when making what should be a simple post.
"Nobody cares what you post" is another phrase I often hear from those who don't use social media that much, or from those who just don't care themselves. You know... I really wish I had that same mindset but unfortunately I don't, and the pressure to look and act a certain way online is something I struggle with.
I'm not sure why I feel this pressure but for me it goes deeper than just pictures, and that's the reason I feel a need to write about this. I hate to admit it but I've had days where I'll get all dressed up just so I can go out and take pictures to post on instagram or facebook, purely for instant gratification and to boost my confidence. I didn't realize what I was doing to myself in the moment, but as I've taken a step back I've realized how toxic that truly is. I was putting my own self worth in the hands of an app.
Why is it that I don't seem to care what others post, and actually envy those who post whatever they want when they want? I think it's the same concept when we feel like we're having a bad hair day and we think everyone is noticing, when in reality no one can tell other than ourselves. I have to realize that no one pays as much attention to the way my posts look other than myself, and I need to stop worrying about those around me.
Social media can be such an amazing tool, and even empowering to some, but I know for myself I can't use it solely for personal gain, because all that'll do is let me down when I don't measure up to my own standards. As I've been on this journey with social media and how it works with me I've learned a few things that I'd love to share.
Don't allow your worth to be defined by your social media. Take time for yourself and discover what gives you confidence and makes you happy, without feeling a need to post about it. Keep that thing or hobby (whatever it may be) special for you without having to share it with the world. This will allow you grow the relationship you have with yourself, without needing the validation of others.
Remind yourself that no one cares about what your posting other than yourself. I can guarantee you're the only one fixated on whatever it may be, and no one else even notices.
Almost everyone struggles with self confidence in one way or another, so trying to look perfect all the time isn’t realistic for anyone. People actually prefer those who they feel like they can relate with.
Notice how much time you're spending on social media, and try to reduce that time everyday even by just a few minutes. When you’re actually apart of the world around you, you start to realize how little importance social media really has.
Post whatever you want, whenever you want. It's actually very liberating.
I'm not trying to say social media is all bad, but I do know theres good and bad to all things. Social media is such a good way to connect with people, and share your life, but always keep in mind the effects it may have. Will I keep using social media? Absolutely. Will I still allow it to control me and affect my emotions? I'm striving for it not to.
I know it seems like such a silly thing, but media is ever changing and evolving, and if we don't have a handle on who we are as individuals, I'm worried social media will take over. Nobody is perfectly happy 100% of the time, nobody looks like a model 100% of the time, and nobody has a perfect family life or relationship 100% of the time. It's a false illusion, and doesn't make you or your life less then anyone else's. People don't like to admit when they have struggles, and thats okay, but we need to remember that everyone does. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even Snapchat are all just apps that we have control over, so don't let them control you.
I still need daily reminders, but I'm learning everyday that I am good enough, and don't need others to tell me what my worth is.