The boldness of Essena O'neill has us all in a social media backlash. Essena was brave and bold, getting rid of her social media accounts at 19, and revealing that it all wasn't as it seemed. Her response is leading a lot of people to question their own motives and the accounts they follow.
Is "social media" to blame for our disillusionment and insecurities?
Do we need to disown our accounts and live a more true, disconnected life?
Does posting our "highlights" make us fake?
While it is a hot topic, I think it is good to assess the role WE play in the social media realm as well as how it impacts our spirit. Keep an open heart today, to reflect and get a good inventory of your relationship with social media.
I want to share with you 10 ways to take back your power from social media and use it to benefit your life.
Although social media is a great tool to communicate, share, document our lives, and even inspire others, when I talk to women about their lives, what “other people” are doing usually is center stage in conversation. Dissatisfaction with their own life, clothes, lover, or home quickly reveal the underlying issue.
The real issue of social media lies in our hearts. Sure, people are posting things that aren't real. Maybe YOU are posting things that aren't real or accurate. But the issue we all deal with daily, is our comparison. It is us trying to BE someone else instead of just BEING who we really are. It's our desire for what we don't have and the inability to stay focused on ourselves. It's what drives us to post false images of our lives and it's what drives us to be insecure about our own.
“What is the worst possible thing you could do with people who struggle with comparison? Give every one of them a phone with a camera in it.”- Matt Chandler.
WOW. Let’s all just let those words sink in for a moment... Maybe it's time to stop warring that social media is the problem and grab hold of our power to change our mindset and change how WE use social media.
If you struggle with comparison, use social media as a way to gratify your ego, or find yourself feeling inadequate after scrolling on instagram, here are 10 tips I have tried on my journey to peace.
Media cleanse. Cleanse out the junk. Cleanse out the cause of the jealousy, resentment, and all the gunk. If this means un-following negative people, people who are great but cause that root of bitterness to creep up, someone you don’t even know but envy, maybe it is time to un-follow them. It might not be forever, but for now.
Log out and live in the present.
Change your perspective- It may not be your media habits, but rather your heart that needs to change. Take time to self evaluate and reflect on your own life and patterns of thinking.
Take pictures of things you are grateful for and DON’T share them. Keep them for yourself as a reminder. Print them. Frame them. Make a tangible photo album. (remember those?!)
Search for beauty every day. It doesn't need to be captured or shared. Sometimes the beautiful moments are for YOU.
Keep a list in your phone of things that you love about yourself, your family, your friends, home, lover, even your work. Keep the focus on how good YOUR life is. Gratitude is the key.
Share what inspires you, not what you think is cool or trendy. Chasing the next trend will leave you exhausted and disappointed.
Be you! Your friends and family DESERVE the chance to know and love the real you. People can sense the online phonies anyway.
Ask yourself "what is my motive?" when posting a picture. Are you searching for gratification? Are you hoping to give off a certain image? Intent is everything.
- Spend time doing what you love. If you envy someone for baking home made meals, try some out yourself. If you long to go on a fancy date, go on one! No one is stopping you from doing the things you long to do!
BONUS** Ask yourself what it is you DO want to share with the world. I personally do not subscribe to the belief that my social media should be 100% vulnerable. Only certain people in my life have earned the right to that space. We CAN protect our privacy while being authentically ourselves. So make a list, what is acceptable and worth sharing, and what should be private? What message do you want to send to the world? To me, that is a mature take on managing your social media.
All in all, YOU and only YOU hold the power to choose in your life. Social media is only a tool, and the only power it has over you is the power you attribute to it. So today, check your heart and see where you may shift blame to ownership, where you may tweak your perspective or change your habits. It's your life. Make it what you desire.