"Do I have a healthy relationship with social media, notably Instagram?" A question that has occupied my head space on far too many occasions, thus concluding the answer is most probably no. Given the amount of time it can take and energy it can use up in a day, I feel it’s worthy of a mention, and like any relationship we have in life it can be beneficial to take a good, hard and honest look at whether it is benefiting you or not, and if there could be a better way to relate to it so that you are still looking after yourself.
We live in an extremely connected age that we haven't lived in before so there will always be a yin to the yang. An equal, opposing force to level out the positives. This is a topic I'm sure you have discussed briefly with many, however I feel it is actually not being discussed enough. Moreover, the feelings it can evoke and habits it can form that aren't dissimilar to addiction should be authentically acknowledged and then acted upon, if there is in any way a sense that you are engaging with something that doesn't serve you in the best way it possibly could. Studies have proven that even though technology has allowed us to be more connected than ever before, our stress levels have literally quadrupled as a result. This is crazy!
I am certainly guilty of the mindless scrolling through my Instagram feed, sometimes first thing upon waking (why, I have asked myself?) and also when I am somewhere alone and want to reach for a distraction. Anything that allows us to so easily be distracted from our thoughts, emotions or even make procrastinating easier, can be a dangerous tool if not used in a healthier manner. When we check our Instagrams, studies have shown that we receive a dopamine release when we see someone has engaged with us. Any behaviour, which results in a increased dopamine release, can become addictive. I had decided years ago to inhibit notifications on my phone to limit the bombardment in moments when I didn't want it, however this didn't seem to be enough. I decided to unfollow everyone - thus completely eliminating any unconscious automatic temptation to 'scroll' through my news feed. It is nothing personal, I promise! It is allowing me to view my friends profiles and give them love and see whats new in their world, how and when I choose to. Think of all that energy expenditure and time wasted that could be more efficiently used - either working toward goals, being productive, spending time with loved ones, meditating or out in nature!
I am deeply grateful for social medias ability to connect us all, from any place and it's clearly a VERY powerful marketing as well as self promotion tool, particularly increasingly so for fellow models in the fashion industry. Its ability to allow models to self promote has affected the industry greatly and those models who have not been so naturally inclined to self promote or somehow falsify a following, get left behind. Not a dissimilar feeling to a popularity contest, really!
Reading one of my friends articles from a while ago 'Does Social Media Make You Sad?’ really struck a cord with me. He suggests looking at social media in the same way as a reality show - allow it to entertain you, as people’s representations of themselves online are not reality. Reality shows are contrived and can be comical, so see it as such. The danger I feel, is still that the temptation is still so high to unconsciously engage with it and that’s why I have chosen to change it so it is serving me rather than ruling me .
Let's talk about comparisons. Comparisons come from a place of judgement, judgement of ourselves and of others. We all do it! But it can be massively depleting and negative and social media can increase those opportunities to compare. When we are stuck in comparison mode it is energetically very restrictive and can inhibit the flow of positive opportunities and manifestation. If there’s someone who invokes these feelings, we are actually seeing something in them that we can also feel or receive for ourselves! There is something that you’re not seeing or owning up to in yourself. Much like a mirror, when we feel something negative around someone it’s often because they’re reflecting a negative behaviour we don’t like about ourselves. So this can be a positive thing, however we need to realise this first and change the way we look at it. For when we change the way we look at things, the things we look at can change.
Now, Im not saying to get off social media entirely. Personally, I still choose to currently engage with it for work reasons and it can be a very positive tool for authentic expression of personal experiences that may also help others! I do encourage you to make it work for YOU and I empower you to feel like it does not have to rule you and you will not get left behind if ultimately you are looking after yourself first.
Love and light,