Don’t believe all the shiny you see on social, we all make a conscious choice about what to share and what to keep to ourselves – and that is totally OK.
I wouldn’t be human if I said I didn’t struggle with life’s ups and downs some days. I do often share those ups and downs via my podcast or during live video, there’s something much more powerful for me in being real with you, when I’m ready and on my own terms. Usually, it’s after I’ve been through the process and I’m ready to share the down and how I came back up again.
I’m working with more and more clients for whom social media is a perfect trigger for feelings of anxiety, feeling down about life compared to others, and a whole heap of other unhelpful thoughts.
Social media also seems to be a magnet for those who believe it’s OK to dish out tirades and abuse from behind their keyboards.
I’ve seen this happen with some of my greatest mentors recently – they are targeted due to their visibility and openness and that’s pretty unpleasant. It’s opened my mind to how different people can come with diverse perspectives – in one comment stream both celebration and support and comments such as “who do you think you are?”…and “here’s me struggling whilst you’re doing great, you think that’s OK?”
It makes me feel a bit sad that strangers of the internet think it’s OK to judge a person before they get to know them and I’m almost certain that if you’re reading this, you might have observed behaviour like this yourself in your own feeds – perhaps even amongst your own friends and family.
I’m not saying that only one opinion counts, as humans the way we all view life is different, our upbringing, beliefs, values and life experiences all shape our life view and I think that’s something to be celebrated and recognised, but not when it becomes driven with unhelpful emotions and charged language.
You might have noticed yourself opting out of seeing some things, I know I have; even minimising makes a positive difference
Here are some things I’ve been doing to keep a healthy connection with the online space…
- That person you follow who triggers you into feeling bad about yourself, notice why. You could unfollow them in the short term, although I often find there is useful information in your reaction once you become aware of it.
- Find some things that are totally pointless but lift your spirits or make you laugh. Someone recently shared about a group they are part of where people share their most random thrift shop bargain finds!
- Be mindful of online debates and opinions you share, someone out there will be looking at things differently
- Join groups or communities where you can feel relaxed and at home and its easy. I was recently excited to join a group that looked really promising, only to discover within moments of being approved that it was full of bitchiness – not my vibe at all thank you!
- Take a break from scrolling – a complete break or set yourself a time limit. I have changed my settings so I see a very small group of family and friends posts first. Once I reach the end of those, I stop (most of the time).
- Set yourself a challenge of enjoying a social media break, for an hour, a day or longer…even if you run a business, the world still continues without you!
- If you follow someone online who inspires you keep following and find more like that.
- Talk about it, all those feeling are real, and as you’re reading this, I don’t know exactly what you’re thinking and feeling – only you do. If it’s starting to feel unmanageable, reach out and ask for help, a friend, a family member or someone who you can trust.