Once in a while, I find myself scrolling through my Instagram feed, watching as every other woman’s lips get fuller, chests get perkier, and closets get more full, and I catch myself starting to doubt my own looks and my own closet. It seems that after any of these “social media purges”, I feel worse about myself, and next thing I know I am researching the best place for lip injections in the city (ok, not that extreme. I’ve never done the research).
Whenever this happens to me, I like to really reflect on what made me think or feel a certain way, and what change I can make to not feel that way ever again (because why would I want to?) I’m a strong believer in taking control of my life, and if something isn’t satisfying me, to change what I can. I’ve come down to three conclusions and changes that would need to be made to avoid these thoughts and feelings:s
Guilty: Social Media, Solution: Delete the Platform.
I can blame social media as a whole, and just say that the creators of these platforms have ruined humanity by creating a place where people can filter their imperfect lives, make them seem perfect and jealousy-worthy, and that without social media, we would not have these problems. I could say that, and I could delete every app off my phone (and ultimately have nowhere to promote this blog, oy), but I know that this is not the true root of the issue.
Guilty: People on Social Media, Solution: Unfollow Said People.
There’s so many people, ironically bloggers and content creators mostly, that filter their lives sooooo much, that the rest of us have unrealistic expectations of how we should be living life and balancing everything on our plates. People talk about how they balance so much on their plates, but never refer or credit the people who help them in their lives, and it makes other people feel down about themselves because they can’t master the balancing act others have filtered and shown on social media. I can think of a perfect example of a social media personality in Toronto who has two nannies that were taking her outfit photos, and never mentioned them (and all the help they provide in her busy lifestyle) until my original version of this blog post called her out (and she accused me of “mommy shaming”, which to be honest, I think she just didn’t read the article properly).
I gotta give it to creators like Krystle of Dine & Fash, who shows us the realities of her blogging lifestyle in her Instagram stories. From visits to the grocery store for recipe ingredients, to making the food, and to the part most people don’t show – the crazy amount of staging that goes into the photos that end up making it on her blog. Cooking is messy! Staging is necessary, and it’s unfair for other people to make us believe that their white tablecloth stays clean all year round.
The solution? Unfollowing everyone who makes you feel bad about yourself, and following more people who show their #RealAndRaw lifestyle. Though this could be a temporary solution, before you know it, the next super-woman will show up on your feed, someone else will trick you into believing what they show is the real truth, and you’ll be back at zero – and let’s be real, it’s fun looking at filtered, pretty photos.
Guilty: The Demons Inside My Brain, Solution: Self-Discover And Improve
It all comes down to one simple thing: I am the one who allows myself to get affected by what I’m seeing on my teeny tiny phone screen. Mark Zuckerberg is not to blame, the Toronto YouTuber is not to blame, nobody is to blame except myself. I am lucky to understand that most people are filtering what they post, and if all of us could understand that, we would have a different appreciation for our own lives, and even a different appreciation for what we see online.
Instead of looking at someone’s feed and thinking, “her life is so easy, I wish my life was like that,” if we could just rephrase it as, “I don’t know the whole story, but damn, that outfit is nice,” or “I love how she staged that photo, it looks great,” we could all live a more positive and fulfilling life for ourselves without the social media envy and jealousy.
What are your thoughts on this questionable debate about the true root of the social media epidemic and what it has done to humanity?