Let’s face it. For many of us who have spent any time on social media we know how alluring it can be… and for some of us it can become somewhat addictive. Equally, many of us at times have struggled with accepting ourselves, loving our bodies, finding our true identity, building authentic rapport and creating meaningful relationships with others. In both cases almost every day we hear people talk about their dissatisfaction—with their body and their social status alike. No matter if it’s at work, school, on TV, at home, and especially via social media outlets certain people only talk about how unhappy they are with their body image, social status and life in general.
These individuals can be downers who use social media as a forum to vent their negative feelings and frustrations. They attract other like-minded downers and can get caught up in a depressing rabbit hole with no end in sight. My advice. Don’t entertain the downers. If it’s someone you love support him or her in finding a professional who can offer real support and positive processes to break this destructive cycle.
To the left of the downer is the narcissistic, attention-grabbing, look at me type. They are the fakers and the undertakers who use social media to boost their own self-serving egos. It’s also called trumping and being a braggadocio on social media. If you get in their way, they may go to great lengths to plow you down, destroy your reputation and bury you alive. They talk about how great they are, their designer things…real or fake, their vacations and toys, and sometimes they even prop up their designer children and pets. These individuals are constantly saying look at me, look how beautiful and fabulous I am, look at my amazing relationship(s), look at how much money I make and how popular I am.
Recent studies have shown that some people find it hard to relax or sleep after spending time on social media networks at night. These sleepless individuals are either depressed from the negativity absorbed from downers spilling their victim “woe is me” stories, or even worse, they have been victimized from the threats of social media bullies. These bullies come in all sizes—from middle school to corporate America and to the White House. These sleepless individuals may have feelings of inadequacies or thoughts of not measuring up as a result of comparing themselves to the illusions of the fakers and undertakers. Or perhaps they didn’t get enough likes for the day on their posts, pictures or articles.
Pre-teens, teens and adults alike have said social media has made their lives and self-esteem worse in many cases. To this end, social media has the ability to affect our self-value in the same way as a poor or distorted body image can misrepresent our real self. A good body image is vital to who we can become because it includes self-esteem, self-confidence, self-worth, what we believe we can authentically create, make and contribute to society and to ourselves.
In the same sense as having a wonderful and healthy body image, social media can be used positively as a gateway to connecting with family and friends, locally and around the world. When used positively to socialize, entertain and gather information it can be a valuable resource. Large corporations, small business owners and entrepreneurs alike are setting up PR, marketing and sells campaigns that work. And today, with Covid-19 in our global presence, it seems that everything has gone digital with a social and business twist. Personally, I am always amazed when a virtual connection of mine develops into a genuine relationship, personally or professionally. Let’s use it, and not allow it to use us.