I have a love hate relationship with social media.
I love it because I have genuinely networked and met people I would have never been connected to otherwise. I hate it because it gives a false sense of everything to everyone using it. I have a confession, I used to be a social media addict. I used to have it bad and it started to interfere with my daily life. I wasn’t even aware until my boyfriend forced me to pay attention to my habits over a year ago. I also must confess that I used to compare and contrast my life, myself and my belongings to everything I saw on social media. I was making myself sad, angry, worried, stressed out and overall unhappy and slowing down my own progress over people, places and things that were completely intangible to me. I know it’s absolutely crazy but I had to log off and in one case completely delete my account to get back to the center of what’s important in real life….in my real life. NO this isn’t a blog about my accomplishments and where I’ve traveled but it is a blog about how looking at something so irrelevant like a photo of someone else will have you questioning if you’re even on the right track in life.
My self-esteem is great. I have highs and lows just like the next person but overall I’m pretty good on most days. On a bad day, social media is
NOT THE PLACE TO BE! I genuinely enjoy the success stories of entrepreneurs who’ve built their brands from the bottom and are simply sharing their day-to-day endeavors on social media. Those accounts motivate me when my own path as an entrepreneur is rough. I appreciate the advice many business leaders, financial advisers and motivational speakers offer on a daily basis. I even love the FREE fashion tips and hair styles I find when I’m stuck in a rut at the hair salon or when I need to dress for an event. Its like having a free fashion stylist or personal shopper in many of the detailed accounts I’ve found. The accounts I don’t enjoy as much are the ones that have given me anxiety and self-doubt. You know the girls who take perfect selfies with perfect makeup, perfect hair at any time of day, perfect bodies in the most amazing dresses, with a Birkin or Chanel bag casually draped over the chair in the background. You know the girls who seemingly go everywhere and do everything in body-con dresses, two piece sets, designer heels or just full-blown red carpet ready all the time and all of their pictures are editorial HD quality. All of their photos suggested how great life is poolside, sea side, court-side, sitting pretty in private jets or nestled comfortably behind the wheel of an expensive car that costs more than my parents first home.
Those kinds of pictures and those accounts used to keep me scrolling on tumblr and Instagram for hours on end, never double tapping just cyber stalking.
Sigh….I’m know I’m not alone here but I realized I had a problem when I developed some sort of emotional opinion about these women whom I didn’t even know. It’s common, it’s reasonable and it’s unhealthy when YOU start to question the positive path you’re on. One day I literally had a laugh out loud moment when I took a selfie and I hated the lighting so I just went into an app and changed it. It was like a light bulb went off and I realized something, social media is an entirely made up world. You can be whomever you want. You can look like whomever you want. You can say whatever you want and no one will really be the wiser. The people who really know and love you won’t “out” you online if that isn’t your real life or what you truly look like, so you’re safe to pretend online. All of the people we envy, either for their body, their money, or their lifestyle may or may not truly have those things. People borrow clothes, pose in their friends houses and cars and simply Photoshop themselves if they want too.
I’ve known a few people with a few hundred thousand followers on social media. Only two of them truly have the money, fame, credentials, material wealth or even the means to have the things they showcase in the life they portray online. One of the people I’ve met online, I hung out with a few times before finally realizing that they were simply crafty at creating and branding their online image. This late 20s person still lives with her parents in a not so nice area. She person doesn’t drive a nice car but she has lots of material possessions, dresses well and is always jetting off to an exotic location. I don’t know the details of how she gets money or how she pays for anything but I can see for myself that people only show you, the viewer, what they want you to see online. Nobody is going to show you their dirty house after not feeling like cleaning up for a week. Nobody is going to show you what their body really looks like after not working out and eating takeout food for a month is like. You’ll only always see the perfectly snatched, blended, cut, curled and slayed to perfection version of everyone on social media. Don’t ever doubt that you are doing something wrong in life or not focused on the right “hustle” because your follower count isn’t that high and nobody is sliding in your DMs. Stay focused on your goals. Stay on your path. If all else fails….log off!
It’s ok to be motivated by someone else’s success just don’t make it your blueprint without reading their fine print.