This year Eyes Open Social Media we will be adding some focus to maintaining a healthy mind whilst using social media.
There are a lot of young people (and adults) who fall into unhealthy thought patterns about their own life or self image, because they see so much “perfection”, “luck” and “beauty” presented on the social media accounts of the people they follow.
Some people believe that the friend, who presents the most “perfect” life, doesn’t suffer the hardships and normal day to day challenges, that they suffer.
Through lack of evidence to the contrary, you might start to believe that the friend who always looks like they’ve just stepped out of a magazine, actually looks that flawless all the time.
Many normal, healthy people find it challenging to not compare their own lives or perception of themselves to what we see happening in the lives of those they are making assessments of by social media representations alone.
Sometimes it can be a guilty pleasure to see someone who usually looks like they are breezing through life, stumble a little, because they don’t usually share that with us, so we believe it’s a one off. This feeling then in turn makes some people feel even worse because they judge themselves as being unkind.
The truth is that on social media you can paint an image of yourself as you would have the world believe you are. You can be flawless, you can be happy all the time and you can bring attention only to the blessings you have been dealt, whilst hiding the pictures of you with messy hair and mismatched clothes, minimising your posts on the days that you find challenging and silently coping with the harsh hands life deals you.
We need to raise awareness and continue to address the misguided belief that some people have, that what they see on social media is the whole story.
Remind yourself, your friends and your children that everyone has bad hair days, looks different without makeup, faces challenges and that what people present on social media is only what they wish the world to see of them.
Remind yourself, your friends and your children to be kind to yourselves. Be forgiving. Be realistic. Most of all, maintain a healthy mind about what you see on social media.