Self Love and Social Media
Self love and Social Media...it’s a fine line.
While Social Media has had an incredible positive influence on our world (inspiration, connection, community, encouragement, awareness, careers), it’s no secret that social platforms have negative impacts as well (comparison, anxiety, depression, online bullying).
For me, like many others, I use social platforms as an opportunity to establish a personal brand. Social Media offers me so much inspiration, a creative outlet, and a way to share my passions; but it’s also an incredibly high-pressure environment, and it makes it easy to fall into the comparison trap.
So the question I have been facing is: How do we learn to care for ourselves, love ourselves, and be confident in ourselves, while being significantly active on Social Media?
While I’m not sure I’ve fully found the answer yet, here are a few simple reminders that have helped me to find harmony in loving myself and Social Media:
Remember that everyone is on a different timeline
This is a big one for me. It’s so easy to compare yourself to someone who is so much farther along on their journey than you, and I fall into this mind trap all the time. For me, it’s bloggers, fitness/yoga gurus, and zero waste/minimalist lifestyle experts - and they’re all people who have started their journeys long before me!
Don’t compare your Chapter 1 to someone else’s Chapter 10. You will get there. Have gratitude for where you are now, remember how far you’ve already come, and enjoy your own journey without comparing it to others.
Recognize the difference between positive and negative comparison
While I’m on the topic of comparison, I’ve come to realize that there are two different types of comparison: positive and negative.
Positive comparison is healthy, and encompasses people who you admire, get inspiration from, and maybe even see a little of yourself in. Following these people encourages you to unlock your own creativity and live to your highest potential.
Negative comparison, on the other hand, includes people who make you feel guilty, self conscious, or not enough. For whatever reason, coming across their content always makes you feel a little bit bad about yourself.
Be mindful of who you follow, and determine if you have been positively or negatively comparing yourself to them. Then, do yourself a favor and only fill your feed with positive encounters.
And remember: Not everyone is for you and you are also not for everyone, so don’t take it personally. We all have different triggers, and that’s ok!
Don’t forget it’s all a highlight reel
We all have bad days. Do we post about them? Usually not. Keep in mind that the majority of what you see on Social Media is a filtered highlight reel of people’s best moments/angles/lighting/content. And that’s fine! It’s what make platforms like Instagram so artistic and visually appealing. But, it’s essential to participate in Social Media understanding that you aren’t seeing the full picture.
Know that it’s OK to take a break
Sometimes you just need a break. Maybe it’s a busy season at your full-time job, maybe other commitments are requiring your attention, maybe you just need a little vacay from the ‘gram. Whatever the reason may be, be confident in doing what you need to do to serve you. It will all be waiting here for you when you return.
Stay true to yourself
Ultimately, stay true to your voice, your vision, and what lights you up - that will be what works for you. It’s so easy to look at what works for others and think that maybe you should be doing the same thing. There have been plenty of times where Social Media has made me second guess my clothes, my makeup, my hair, the way I edit my photos, the things I post about...the list could go on. But in the end the best thing I can do for myself and my brand is just be me.
Allow others to be true to themselves and share their passions, and curate your Social Media presence to sharing your passions. You will find so much more community, engagement, and purpose simply by being you.
I hope that these reminders can help you to show yourself a little more self love while using Social Media:) For anyone else out there leveraging Social to brand themselves, blog, influence, or start a business, we’re in this together!
And remember, we have the power to love and respect ourselves online, and also create supportive, inspiring, and respectful online communities in return.
So do yourself a favor and love yo’self.