So with all the talk about how fake social media is I thought I would put together a series on how I survive the social media minefield.
How to smile without selfies
How do you break the “I feel shit – post – get attention – feel better” cycle?
Okay this one was a big one for me. It’s still something that I have to be very aware of and make sure I keep under control constantly. One of the triggers for my depression was that when I was feeling down I would lift myself up by posting on Instagram or Tweeting. Usually it would be a pic of my butt or my bulge and the response would make me feel better. It became my default go to fix whenever I felt shit. What happened was that my sense of self esteem and self worth became more and more attached to how I looked and how many “likes” I got.
This isn’t healthy.
It’s a tough cycle to break when you are so attached to your social media public life, but learning to smile without needing to take a selfie is hugely important.
We need to attach our sense of self to things that come from within us and things that we have control over rather than the fickle praise of people who like to see us in our underwear. I’ll admit I love the attention but I constantly remind myself that I am more than just a skin pic. Focus on what you are taking the photo of, not what the response to it is. Take a gym pic because you’re proud of your progress, don’t take it because you lost 5 followers and need to sex it up again.
Next time you are feeling down and reach for your phone to post a “pick me up” selfie stop for a moment and look out the window, take a deep breath and think about one thing that day that makes you smile. Learn to find happiness for yourself by looking within rather than relying on followers to provide it for you.
I still have good days and bad days and I’m well aware of the irony that I have created the very social media identity that I struggle against, but life is about balance and so long as I keep the scales in check I’m happy.
Putting the camera down and actually enjoying life rather than worrying about taking a selfie all the time is the next key thing to surviving social media, and the topic of my next article.