Model Booker Steph on The Pressures of Social Media
The pressures of social media can sometimes feel like you’re being repeatedly slapped in the face whilst suffocating under a pile of gorgeous insta-babes with the perfect peachy bum and a figure that you could only dream of. Am I right?
Based on the accounts I followed, I was constantly looking at people who:
- Were hotter than me.
- Were skinnier than me.
- Were happier than me.
- Were more stylish than me.
- Had the perfect boyfriend/girlfriend and relationship.
- Travelled the world for a living.
- Just generally had it all.
Like most people in modern day society, I was addicted. Addicted to my phone and addicted to Instagram, but for all of the wrong reasons. Of course my job at the time didn’t help, I was working in social media full time and so my eyes were permanently glued to a screen and my index finger was forever scrolling - repetitive strain much?! Basically, I spent near enough 14 hours a day looking at people who it seemed were just winning at life and I …well I just wasn’t.
Anyway, it got to the point where I was constantly comparing myself to complete strangers who I knew nothing about apart from what I could piece together from their social media. In time I started to become quite insular, bitter and unhappy with who I was, what I had and how I looked. FYI there was absolutely nothing wrong with any of it. In fact now when I think about it, I had a pretty awesome life and I’m sure there were people out there looking at my Instagram behaving the same way as me, but about me.
That’s when I went on a deleting spree.
I’d like to just add a little side note that I still love Instagram. My hope in writing this is to highlight and address what can be unhealthy behaviour in order to help others who maybe suffer in silence under the weighty pressures of social media like I did, whatever it may be related to - relationships, body image, fashion or even how and what you choose to post/not post.
I started by unfollowing everyone who’s account/pictures/videos that made me either roll my eyes, tut very loudly or made me feel like I wasn’t good enough. I also unfollowed people who I knew and just generally didn’t want to see on my timeline (harsh) but who cares if you’ve only followed them because they followed you, or you knew them a gazillion years ago and maybe had a sleepover in school. NO. I also banned those who were constantly giving out bad vibes either by the content they were sharing, their comments or even their captions.
I basically spring-cleaned my Instagram and you know what, it was the best thing I ever did - apart from booking a one way ticket to Australia because that definitely trumps it. But you get the idea.
I instantly felt better. I basically halved my follower count but my feed was now full of people I loved, things I liked, memes (obvs) and general stuff that inspires me. Even though I loved stalking the crap out of the likes of Kylie Jenner from time to time, I am honestly glad I don’t see her on my feed anymore. I don’t miss her - soz Kylie. But you know what, if that’s your thing and it makes you happy I am not knocking it at all.
For a short time (probably about 20 mins) I kept my follower count low-ish but then the following spree started up again, but it’s not what you think. This time I started following people and accounts that added value to my social media existence. There was lots of travel inspired stuff but not the babes, the places.
Anyway, I went hunting through profiles and I ended up discovering a few absolute game-changers who have changed my Instagram experience for ever. Just to name a few…
Iskra Lawrence - a body positivity activist and curve model.
Project Heal - daily quotes of inspiration and motivation.
Aquatech Imaging Solutions - water based photography.
Amy Schumer - comedian and my hero.
One Ocean Diving - shark diving company - without the cage!
Frank Bod - skincare brand.
Bree Warren - curve model.
Pia Arrobio - creative director of LPA and total style crush/girlboss.
Once again, I’m addicted…but good addicted. Now my Instagram gives me that ‘YASSSSSSSS’ feeling on a daily basis and thats how it should be.
Have a look at your Instagram and ask yourself, do these people/accounts add value to your social media experience? Or are you just keeping tabs on what people are doing, but you’re actually not that bothered about them or what they post? I will admit, I still spend longer than I should looking at people’s filtered life (literally and figuratively) but once I had deleted the source of my negativity and realised the unhealthy nature of it, I am not only loving social media again, but I am happier. Happier with what I have, how I look, who I follow, what I post and how all of it makes me feel.
Don’t get me wrong, I still get a little bit jealous from time to time, but when you realise how great you are and that people may be looking at you with the same admiration, for whatever reason, I guarantee your attitude changes.
If there’s one thing you should take from this blog post it’s enjoying your life in a happy and healthy way is the most important thing and just because you didn’t get a photo to prove to your followers how awesome you are, don’t let it ruin your experience. Live in the moment and don’t let social media consume you.
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