Is Social Media ruining our lives? (take 1000)

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I’m sitting in my room on a Tuesday evening watching The Bold Type (I highly recommend) with thoughts running through my head. I’ve seen 1000 posts about “Social Media Ruining Lives” and they all say the same thing- social media is bad for you. Insecurities, pressure, cheating, the list goes on… so it got me thinking- what is wrong with it, and how unhealthy is my obsession with Instagram and blogging?

Insecurity

It’s no secret that seeing pictures of size 6 models on Instagram daily with the perkiest bums and abs to die for is pretty demoralising sometimes (especially when I’m super bloated after stuffing my face with a pick n mix). My girlfriends and I will often talk about how pressurising it can be and ‘depressing’ it is too. We don’t want our boyfriends or crushes thinking that we have to look like that everyday and have the exact same bodies and faces as VS models. We beat ourselves up over the little things too- the hair colour, the handbag, the shoes. But is it really social media that is the entire issue or is it our own personal insecurities? I found myself in step class a couple weeks ago looking around at all the girls there, admiring their bodies, their faces, their skin- wishing I looked like them. They were all so petite and athletic, and I was standing at the back feeling like I was sticking out like a sore thumb as my giraffe-esque stature couldn’t really hide. I wanted to look like them, I wanted their toned arms and petite waists, and it had nothing to do with social media- it was my own insecurity.

Personal insecurities

Don’t get me wrong- I am not blaming peoples insecurities on themselves, it is not your fault if you are insecure about something- its human! However it got me thinking- as far as Im concerned social media ain’t going anywhere, and neither are the six foot, slim models. I’ve realised that the issues I have in my head are yes, partly to do with what I am seeing online everyday, but they are also to do with my outlook. I have talked before about changing my outlook on myself, and becoming more confident being me, and that is true, but I can’t help but have days when I take a huge step backwards. So maybe there should be a different way to deal with these insecurities without having to deleting and reload the Instagram app 3 times a day.

Dealing with insecurities

Social media is a great way to find out about the latest media buzz, the latest fashion trend or just to watch puppy videos all day long (guilty), but it does have its pitfalls. I think you can have insecurities before hand, but social media with enhance them, or it can simply create them. Even before social media however there were magazines like Playboy, films with the most beautiful actresses and music videos with toned, fit singers and dancers. Clearly, we will always be surrounded by pressure- so there needs to be a way for one to deal with this pressure. Recently I have found myself in a little rut with body confidence- I don’t feel as confident as I used to and am finding social media more and more challenging, having to scroll through endless pictures of girls who I think are prettier, slimmer etc… I really don’t want this to continue so I have come up with a list of reasons for myself and my friends to not get caught up in social media. Anyone who knows me, knows I love a list so I thought I would share it with you all if you are going through the same thing right now.

  1. Instagram is not reality- it is an image of your best self. Sometimes I forget that it’s a models job to workout twice a day and eat healthily the majority of the time because basically their job depends on it. But for the rest of us, that isn’t realistic (unless you are an athlete of course). I have a university degree, a blog, a family, social life and not to mention a new part time job to juggle- so if I make it to my step class twice a week- great! If I want to eat a pizza and watch tv because I’m shattered- great! The reality- I simply do not have time to get a six pack right now- I have other priorities which I am really content with, and its not the end of the world if I don’t look like a VS model in my underwear.
  2. What you see on social media is not everything to life- yes having that handbag is a great asset to your wardrobe but is it really life changing? I think I am beginning to realise that these little concerns about whether I have the same shoes as my favourite fashion blogger or as toned arms as Adriana Lima are very minor issues, and I probably will have forgotten about it in an hours time, so try and focus on the big picture, and not the superficial small issues.
  3. No one cares that you don’t look like that person on Instagram apart from you- It is probably disheartening if you see your other half liking pictures of models or actresses on Instagram, but your boyfriend or girlfriend doesn’t expect you to look like the person in the picture they liked (and if they do, screw them), and you shouldn’t either! Everyone is different, you have your own attributes that make you, you. You simply can’t compare yourself to someone, because you can’t mould yourself into the 400 people you follow!
  4. Stop scrolling!! I am so guilty of finding myself scrolling through Instagram and I just can’t make myself stop. Therefore every time I go on the app, I’m going to limit myself to 5 minutes, to stop myself getting carried away.

 

As much as I love social media and everything its done for my blog, there really are pitfalls. I think I am one of many who feel under pressure to conform to what everyone else is doing, and what everyone else looks like, but its just not possible.

We are all unique, and wonderful in our own way, and no amount of comparison will ever change that.

All my love

Rachael

 

 

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