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When I think about social media, I automatically think of its evolution during my childhood days. From the Myspace days and arguing over who made it into someone’s top 10 friends list, to the creation of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. Social media has become a huge platform, helping some people develop their brand and increase their business sales, as well as connect with others.
However, just like most things in life, social media has its negative drawbacks as well, sometimes fostering a sense of competition, envy, social media addiction, bullying, and much more. I would be lying to myself if I didn’t admit that at times I have felt some jealousy when viewing the lives of others on social media.
What I have learned is that watching other people essentially live their lives on the internet can lead to illogical and negative thinking, creating self-doubt and maybe even poor self-esteem. It is critical to notice these false perceptions and work towards challenging and correcting your thinking.
Below are three lies that social media can foster and ways you can overcome these false perceptions.
The Three Lies of Social Media
1. I am not making enough progress.
So, this is one of the biggest lies ever in the world! I absolutely hate how social media can unravel bitterness and even envy from what others post. For example, someone from high school posted a 5,000 square footage house holding a “Sold” sign in her hand along with her husband. Instead of immediately saying congrats, I thought, “Well dang, why am I still unmarried? And most importantly why do I have to live in a small apartment with a roommate?”
Well, for starters, I had to stop and check myself. I didn't know what it took for that couple to get to where they were and purchase their home. It could very well be something that they worked extremely hard for, cried for, prayed for, etc. Although I firmly believe that if God did something for someone he can do the same for you, it is also important to remember that everyone has a different path and plan to follow. All in all, be happy for those in their winning season and thankful for all your accomplishments, no matter how "big" or "small" they may seem. Note to self –your time is coming!
2. I must change my outward appearance.
Once again, you guessed it, another lie! Nowadays, it seems as though you can’t scroll through social media without an influencer or celebrity displaying their perfect body –from flawless hair to a beat face and curvy body! Maybe you're a mother and your body has changed after having children – scrolling down your timeline and seeing this could make the most confident woman feel a tad insecure or feel an extreme urgency to get "their body right."
The key point here is that you have to learn to love and appreciate you from within and out. If you are unhappy with the way you look, start making healthy decisions to get where you would like to be. However, true confidence comes from within, and I promise it is one of the most attractive things you could ever display to the world.
3. I am failing at life.
Not everything you see on the internet is what it appears to be. Some people post themselves in “a happy relationship,” but in reality are hurting deep down inside due to the toxicity in the relationship. Then we have some people who floss or flaunt for “the gram” showing off their expensive clothes and shoes, but are in major debt.
I'm not trying to poke fun at these type of people; instead, I'm trying to shed light on the reality that social media is all about what others want you to perceive them as, meaning sometimes it's not the most accurate picture of someone's life. Therefore, it is essential to take a breather and be appreciative of everything you have.
I challenge you to begin watching how you utilize social media. Are you using it for positive gains, or are you spending your time falling for the 3 lies?
If you find yourself having a hard time handling the pressures and influences of social media, TAKE A BREAK from it!