We all have the love-hate relationship with social media, don't we? That love to hate relationship is what it feels like. We all hate it, but we're all on it.
I'm going to give you five tips to help implement self-care on social media. It's something maybe you've never even thought about - like how could those even go together? I know I didn't think of it, until one day I realized, holy shit this is self care on social media!
1. Follow Inspiring Feeds
Follow people, places, things - accounts - that light you the eff up! Where are those posts that leave you feeling inspired? Where are those feeds that make you want to put your phone down and get on with your badass life? Where are those people that always have something good to say and make you feel good about your self? Yeah - those! Follow them more! This is one of the best ways you can surround yourself with positivity to help you blossom, learn and grow!
2. UNFOLLOW Everything Else
This one is a little harsh, but there's some love here. I'll admit, it's a very difficult one for me, but it's time to get real with ourselves y'all. It does not matter who the person is you want to unfollow or the reason why. If you feel called to do it, if it is in your best interest: just click it.
If your best friend just had a baby and you don't like seeing baby pics all over your feed, you can unfollow her - because she's your bestie, you see her in real life, and it's okay. Equally, if you don't know this person and you don't like baby pics in your feed, it's okay to unfollow her because hello! Ya just admitted you don't know this person!
I have a deep fear here though. Like... if I don't follow someone back they're going to feel insecure and I don't want to make them feel that way! If I don't follow someone back they're going to think I'm fake and unfollow me. If I unfollow someone they're going to think I hate them. If I unfollow someone they're going to unfollow me just because of that. And on and on....
I'm not saying they're rational, they're just fears. The reality is every moment of your day is freaking precious - and yeah, you could "just scroll past it" but the hard truth is, whatever you are exposed to, even little bits at a time, are still effecting you. That split second "ugh, I don't want to see that" makes a difference. Just as the split seconds of seeing inspiring stuff does too.
3. Show Up for Those who Show Up for You!
Social media is addictive, guys. Like, it's literally designed to give us a dopamine high and make us feel good with all the likes and comments. Of course when we don't get that engagement...we don't feel so good. We've all felt the disheartenment of friends not reading certain posts or the fluttery feeling you get when your crush likes your newest pic.
I don't think social media was designed with these hormone triggers in mind, but now that scientists have figured out the specific ways our brains are reacting and we're literally becoming addicted to our notifications, things are continually being curated to draw us in more. We literally crave it, whether we realize it or not. That's where algorithms come in (and a lot of frustration too). Before you're all, that's it, I hate social media, I'm out! The human connection side of this comes from wanting to be seen, heard, and understood.
Social media was originally designed with community and dating in mind, and you can become part of a genuine community (or meet a genuine partner) in an online space. However, if we're all just poppin' online hoping others are showing up for us, but we're never actually showing up for anyone else, how is that a real relationship? Whether you're building an online community or engaging with your friends, show up for those people that are showing up for you!!
4. Treat the Internet like Real Life
I am on a mission to bring the SOCIAL back to media and the REAL back to life.
I have this little daydream I go on often and today I'm gonna bring you with me. Think of social media, or for my daydream's sake, Instagram, as a giant festival (originally I said warehouse, but festival sounds way more fun!).
So there's this festival we all decide to go to on a daily basis. Each of us with a profile has a booth with our 150 character headlines. When you're looking through other's profiles (walking past each other's booths), are you just walking by and smiling, maybe waving, or are you making a little comment, sharing something about yourself and telling the person at that booth that you appreciate them for what they are sharing in some way?
When I started thinking in this way, I realized I only want to expose myself to accounts that will reciprocate (back to that show up for people who show up for you mentality). Again, I imagine the festival. If I walk up to a booth and tell someone, "Oh my gosh! What you're doing is so incredible and totally brightens my day, I appreciate you so much!" and that person stares back at me with a blank face and continues looking past me, smiling and waving at everyone else. I'd be like, hello, are you really here?! and upon realizing they're not I would walk away and never return.
This is happening constantly, if we'd just look a little closer. We're obsessed with having thousands and thousands of followers - we idolize others that do - but those numbers don't mean shit if you ain't got a real human connection underneath it all. There are people/brands with hundreds of thousands of followers who reply to every comment and get in their DMs daily to actually communicate and get to know their community. There are also people/brands who don't.
You choose where you spend your precious time, friend.
5. Log Off and Experience Real Life
Of course I'm going to tell you to log off - because that's what I'm all about! Get off your phone and get out into the real world, so you can remember what that real true human connection feels like. Then bring it back to the online space. I've personally realized just how much my personal social habits have changed having a business online. I spend a lot of time alone in my house talking to my phone or computer (and kitten) in hopes of reaching someone that needs to hear these words. It took me a long time to realize how essential it is to my whole being to get out into the world and make real human connections. Please do not skip out on this essential part of living and being human!
I love my crazy, wild-hearted, adventurous community that cherishes the real world more than their phones. Thank you for showing up, supporting me and each other, and taking a vow to be more present in our lives! It's really hard - especially when it feels like the entire world has their heads down at their phone - but we must remember that we are not alone and the entire world is not like that!! There is a place for each and everyone of us on this vast planet and we've just gotta keep reminding each other of that!