SOCIAL MEDIA PRESSURE: WHY WE CARE + HOW TO DISCONNECT
I’m getting really sick of what social media has become TBH. It’s really annoying to constantly see a fake reality, you know?
So, let’s do story time and allow me set the scene for ya.
( and I’m not mentioning names because that would be totally rude )
Last month we went to Aspen to escape the horrendous beaches of Miami ( only kidding ) and ski! A little relaxation. A little shopping. It does a lot of good for the soul. Breaks are necessary, right?
Pedro and I have a timeshare, so it’s always nice to take a few friends. More action happening and more drinks. Which we love.
My friend who I will be referring to in this post is going to kill me for writing this, but I hope that this puts life in perspective for her because she really is amazing.
We are going to come up with a fake name for my friend, k? Let’s call her Grace. I’m feeling it.
It’s me and Pedro, another couple, Pedro’s best friend and my best friend, Grace.
We are in this beautiful resort in Aspen, Colorado and I am STOKED for the vacation to begin. I have my ski clothes all perfectly planned out and unpacked. I have my wine. The fireplace is going. Mood is set. Like, I desperately this vacation.
You get my drift…
Grace is so trendy, stylish, into fitness and wants to start a blog. I told Grace that I would help her start her blog, give her some pointers. Obviously I was going to go above and beyond for Grace to help her because she is my best friend.
So, I told Grace a few weeks prior that when we are in Aspen I want to be present, NOT talk about social media and enjoy this trip. Explore the town. See some celebrities.
The whole to do.
I wasn’t opposed to a few cute photos ( I’m not psycho or anything ), but the trip wasn’t going to revolve around taking photos, posting and work, k?
This is a vacation that we were so lucky to go on, so I really made that clear like wayyyyy in advance.
Now we are in Aspen and the social media talk literally does not stop. I’m always going to support my friends, give them my feedback and be their biggest fan.
That’s not the issue.
The issue is that we discussed that we weren’t going to be consumed by social media this trip. I almost wanted this trip to be like a little wellness retreat, you know?
This is day one. [ Picture it ] You tell your best friend for WEEKS that you need a mental break. That you are on the verge of a break down. That you are so excited to just be present and enjoy the beauty of the mountains in Aspen.
And then, your best friend basically ignores what you said.
Everywhere we went I needed to stand and take 100 photos of her. Obviously exaggerating, but this is actually what it FELT like.
She was constantly asking me about whether or not the caption she was writing was ok and what to write.
After calmly expressing that I really want to be present and disconnect from social media, she said ok and totally understood, but then continued.
( BTW guys, I own a marketing agency so I needed this break )
Grace woke up every day thinking about social media. She went to sleep thinking about social media. She barely spoke at breakfast, lunch and dinner because she was glued to her fucking phone.
She KNEW that her behavior was unhealthy.
She KNEW that she was doing it because she wanted attention.
That’s actually something that I love about Grace. She’s super real. And BTW, she is going to seriously succeed when she starts her blog.
But, in Aspen, Grace was in it for the wrong reason.
She was editing her photos.
She was doing it without a purpose.
Sometimes she had a purpose and some good content. I’ll give her that. I’m not a bitch. But for the most part, it was an addiction and I think a lot of people can relate to that feeling.
Remember, Grace said this was all for her “blog,” yet none of the content that she posted had any value.
( aside from the fact that she looked stunning, ya know? )
Long story short, at the end of the week I lost it. I screamed at her. I slammed the door. I was furious because this had gone on for 7 days.
In retrospect, I was 100% wrong for the way that I reacted. I didn’t need to scream.
The truth is that Grace was so absorbed with social media, and what other people were thinking of her, that she was never present in Aspen with her close friends.
I actually felt really bad and it sucked. It sucked to not spend quality time in this beautiful place. It sucked to feel tension. It sucked to have an argument.
I’m not here to complain or for you to feel sorry for me. Overall we had a fabulous time and are doing it again next year.
Grace and I had a good time together for the most part. Fun story to lighten the mood… If you’ve ever been snowmobiling in the mountains then you know finding a bathroom can be difficult… so we peed in the snow on the side of a building. It’s what best friends do, k? Quality bonding time!
Where I went wrong was focusing so heavily on Grace and her social media addiction LOL I needed to just be cool, enjoy everyone else and go with it.
Maybe next year?
But, the purpose of this post is to talk about social pressures.
Let’s talk about what social media is TODAY. Like, in 2019.
Everyone and their mother ( I’m sorry, grandmother ) is on social media. It consumes our lives! Yet, it’s super fun, interesting, a cool resource to discover new things and stay up to date on trending topics, right?
Kind of confusing, you know?
We’re all a little “too” obsessed. I say this because it’s getting to the point where we are comparing ourselves. Where we feel like we aren’t enough. Where we are doubting who we are. Our self esteem and self confidence is suffering.
Social media puts a special kind of pressure on us, ok?
It’s a way to connect with friends and family, a way to promote your business and a way to see what everyone is up to in life. BUT while you are “checking in”, you are consuming content that isn’t necessarily reality. AND THEN altering your thought process because of it.
That’s where the pressure comes in. Social pressure.
The pressure of social media.
People show what they WANT to show on social media and a lot of us forget that.
Joe Shmoe and Suzy Q might have a perfect relationship on Instagram with their perfect selfies, but in reality, they could be fighting everyday and about to breakup, ok?
Gwen Shmoe is always on a private jet, in fancy cars and showing off her new diamonds, but who is paying for it? She wants you to think that he has earned it at the age of 17.
Don’t get me wrong. There are definitely people out there who are a success and flaunt it. But true success doesn’t usually need flaunting.
Oh and BTW, these people are obviously made up.
But guys, we are living in a time where we LIVE on Instagram. Our life revolves around social media.
( well some of us )
…and while it’s all fine and dandy, the issue is the pressure.
The pressure to constantly post gorgeous photos with perfect skin
The pressure to post that you are traveling
The pressure to post the new Louis Vuitton purse you just bought
The pressure to post that you are a success
The pressure to post what you are doing what your success
The pressure to post how perfect your relationship is
Because when you don’t… people might think less of you.
But more importantly… you might think less of yourself.
That’s the real danger of social media pressure.
If you aren’t posting what other people are posting, then you begin to feel devalued. You feel less than.
So you feel the need to post this perfect life or even stage this perfect life just to keep up, ya know?
I’m not saying that everyone does this, and if you aren’t posting, you might just be thinking about it.
Like, “how is Gwen Shmoe always traveling and on a private jet?” “How is Gwen Shmoe so skinny, but eating a burger like 24/7.”
Maybe Gwen Shmoe has the ability to do so, but maybe Gwen Shmoe photoshops the shit out of her photos.
You get where I’m going?
I just want to address what’s happening today with social media.
It’s not just “fun” anymore to get online. It’s all a competition. It’s all showing off. It’s all insecurity that we are feeding into!
WHY DO WE CARE
We care because other people care. We care because we want what other people are portraying that they have.
But the truth is that, we only care about ourselves.
We are so concerned with what other people think, that we go above and beyond to edit, constantly take selfies and spend all of the money that we DON’T have. For what? Oh right, to impress people who actually don’t care!
They care about themselves. Just like you care about you.
Everyone is afraid of the judgement.
We all compare ourselves to these insane lives that people half our age are living that our self worth is just dripping away.
A lot of what is online now is insecurity.
We need to be adding value.
HOW TO DISCONNECT
The other week, I decided to disconnect from social media. Well, kind of because I do have a business to run, but I mean scrolling through my newsfeed kind of a break.
There is no “how to guide” on “how to disconnect.”
You need to just do it. Tell yourself that you are taking a break from this insanity.
Set a period of time.
Delete the app from your phone.
Find things that you love to do.
That is what it is all about.
…and honestly, another good way to disconnect from social media is to turn your phone off at a certain time each day.
I try to stay off of social media starting at 7 pm each night.
It allows me time to be present and enjoy my life a bit! I want to set myself up for success, not failure!
Social media pressure only exists if you allow it to exist. It’s a choice that you have to consciously make. Don’t let it dictate your day. I personally feel that it’s a waste of energy. I don’t have time for that.
I USED to play into it. But then I realized, like where the fuck is this even getting me? If I’m being real…
What tips are keeping you sane when it comes to social media? Share with the group. Please. We need it ;)
Have a good scroll-free night!