I'm not going to deny, social media is a huge part of my life. Both personally and professionally. I opened our digital agency 2 years ago, it mostly handles the social media for small to medium business, so my take on social and its effect on our reality might be squeezed into what I experience daily.
How has this obsession impacted me mentally? There is the old story of seeing a party or gathering you're not invited to on Facebook (FB) and getting the FB jellies, or finding out you've been unfollowed! When we first started @Girl.Bosses.AU (GBA), I was always aware of when I was unfollowed, and I took it so personally. I quickly learnt to brush it off as not being related to developing my tribe of genuinely interested followers... whatevs!
What about the endless photos of beautifully manicured women, running their business and still looking flawless? I have a stable of images I can draw on (Thanks https://www.daniknoxphoto.com) but I also like to show the ruff messy me, the one that hasn't thought about the family dinner at 5pm, the one who arrives at school without shoes on, or the one that has to do a bakery run on the way to school because there is NO BREAD. This is my reality and the pressures of always being perfect, or ever being perfect, is just too much to bear. So why do it! I'm a mother of three boys, I take my responsibility of showing them real women, flawed but willing to grow, very seriously.
Does social media stalking of similar businesses effect me? Sure, I'd be lying if I said otherwise. But mostly it's in admiration and a little jealousy, "how did they get that guest speaker?" "That sponsor is incredible, that's so good for them...bugger" "How cool would it be to collaborate with them" "I should email them".
GBAlab is another story, my job often includes actively distorting reality, everything is peachy, and only the best bits are shown, and that is perfect for these businesses who want to project an image, but I always encourage them to show their human side, the reality of business and how you overcome obstacles. I love a good backstory!
We should not constantly compare yourself to others on FB and Instagram (IG) as it has little impact other than negativity and it certainly does not relate to the ones who love you most, and you love.
The only advise I can give if you are feeling the FB and IG burn, is take a break. By not having your phone in your hand you will open up your opportunities to connect to others.
TOP FIVE PLACES TO TRY LEAVING YOUR PHONE IN YOUR POCKET:
1. While waiting for your take away coffee order.
2. In a cue.
3. While sitting alone at a cafe (this is soooooo hard to do).
4. On public transport (almost flipping impossible because every other human is on a device).
5. Between the hours of 6am - 8.30am and 4.30pm - 6pm.
I'd love to hear how you go, I'm mostly good at these but do lapse from time to time.
Our reality distortion can't all be blamed on social media, every time we read the paper, watch the telly, open a magazine we are bombarded with who they think we should be.
Have a mantra, a list of things that make you unique and special, start comparing yourself to yourself only. Are you growing, do you consider yourself generous, caring, kind?
Then you are amazing in my book and we should totes SMS...hehe!
With Hustle & Heart,