Social Media’s Black Hole of Despair
Posted by Katie St. John-Shin
So how many people have felt depression and self-pity when they look at pictures or read updates etc from other people on social media? Thoughts such as,
- Her hair/makeup/etc is perfect
- She’s more fit/skinny/pretty/perfect than I am
- They’re happier than I am
- They’re more successful than I am
- They’re more outgoing than I am
- Their lives are more exciting than mine is
- They’re richer than I am
- They’re more qualified than I am
- They have a better job than I do
Male or female (I’m sure there are males out there who’ve thought at least some of those things), we have thoughts like the above.
That person is better than I am.
That’s what it really boils down to. That person is better than I am. And then it devolves over time to something along these lines:
I’m not good enough. I’ll never be like that or look like that or have that kind of stuff. I can’t compare to them. I’ll never be perfect like they are.
Evil words. Most of us wouldn’t think to use them against someone else because it’s mean. It’s downright cruel. Yet we throw those words around at ourselves all the time when we compare ourselves to others on social media.
I don’t have six-pack abs. You can’t even see my abs because I’m protecting them with a layer…or two…or three of fat. I can wave hello with my underarm fat. My thighs are jiggly and covered in cellulite as is my butt.
But I’m mentally grounded and practical so I know that social media is fake. It’s not real. People hide their flaws with whatever means they have available. Makeup, camera angle, lighting, only posting the good stuff in their lives, etc. Some people downright lie. ie: photoshop. I know this and have been able to avoid the suckage from the black hole of depression that social media creates.
Something happened and I forgot all of that. It became a theory that I was aware of but no longer took seriously. I began to focus on being more popular and getting more Likes, more site traffic. Social media “success” was all that was important to me. And why? Because getting that Like made me feel special, more important and I thought it would make getting that fitness job easier. If more people knew about POP Pilates where I lived, then there would be more push for a class and I would have that job I wanted. And that’s true. The reasoning is sound. The importance I placed on social media though was not.
I began to focus on my fellow POP Pilates instructors. So many from my training class have “succeeded.” They have jobs teaching POP Pilates. They’re fit and beautiful and happy and confident. They are perfect. And I look at myself and I’m not like that. I’m fat and blobby. My skin usually isn’t clear. My hair’s a mess. I get angry and impatient.
Adding insult to injury, I have razor burn on my inner thighs. It’s ridiculous. Never fails no matter how I shave.
We never have a lot of money. And all those IG challenges I participated in somehow warped from having fun to only wanting to win something but never winning. Add to all of this the fact that I still have no POP Pilates teaching job (for a good, practical reason to which my impractical emotions don’t want to pay attention to…naturally).
I’m not good enough.
I’m not like the other instructors so I’m not good enough.
But it’s just NOT TRUE.
Just because I’m not perfect doesn’t mean I’m not good enough.
I am good enough. I know what I’m doing and no matter what I see on social media, those people are NOT perfect. No one is perfect. And social media is NOT real. How many Likes someone gets does not determine their worth or how important/special they are. We need to focus on ourselves and our own life, not what we see of others on social media because most of the time they’re not showing their whole selves. They’re showing us when they’re happy and when they’re wearing nice clothes, nice makeup, have their hair done. They’re showing us the good stuff because no one wants to see the bad.
In an effort to distance myself from these negative feelings and once more have a healthy perspective on life and social media, I’ve decided to sabotage the three IG challenges I’m participating in this month. Sabotage me, not anyone else of course.
True, I enjoy participating in these kinds of challenges. They’re fun and I like seeing what I can do with my body, but lately the underlying reasons for doing them have changed. I’ve started focusing on how many Likes each picture gets and on winning something. It’s pure luck when someone is chosen to win and I have yet to have that luck. It’s gotten to be pretty depressing. But that’s not what these challenges are supposed to be about. So I’m doing the challenges and listing the hosts like I’m supposed to but I’m not going to name the sponsors. By doing this, there’s no possible way I could win anything.
If you go to my IG page and take a look at my pictures, you’ll also notice that I won’t have many hashtags. This is to cut back on the number of Likes my pictures might get. I won’t worry about winning, I won’t worry about posting on time, and I won’t worry about those annoying hashtags that are supposed to increase my traffic.
I’m also not going to worry about posting a movement every single day for Cassey Ho’s current What’s Your Move challenge. New winner chosen every day this month. When it first started, I was obsessed thinking, “Will I win today?” and then being almost frantic when she didn’t post a winner the first 2 days. I needed to step back. Our 4th of July mini vacation was a big help as I was totally distracted from all the challenges and was able to get some distance and freedom from them.
It may not seem like I’m doing much but it’s a step in the right direction.
About Katie St. John-ShinI believe in living life and not letting it pass you by. I mean, come on, if you really want to do something but don't have the courage to do it so you let the opportunity disappear, you may regret it for the rest of your life. How can you know what you're capable of unless you go for it? Like every writer, I naturally plan on becoming world-famous (not really). I love reading, writing, fitness, coffee, watching my favorite movies/shows, listening to music, and trying new things even if they're sometimes terrifying. I'm a writer, a group fitness instructor, a personal trainer, and a nutter for doing all of the above.
Posted on July 6, 2016, in Personal and tagged #POPLoveYogis, #SaluteTheSummer, #SummerGoddessClub, IG challenges, perfection, POP Pilates, social media, What's Your Move. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.