So, with January over I wonder how many of you mentioned “New Year, New Me?”
As a new year begins, most of us see this as the best time to “start fresh” and make changes in our lives.
Have you made a New Year Resolution?
Have you been successful in being able to achieve this throughout January?
If you haven’t don’t worry!
• Research suggests that January 12th is the fateful day when your motivation may begin to falter.
I guess there could be many reasons for this but for me personally, I will no longer make New Years Resolutions. I feel this can add unnecessary pressure to our already busy and sometimes stressful lives.
However, I do believe it is healthy to have goals and to want to make changes but it is important to want to improve ourselves not change who we are.
No-one is perfect and we should embrace being imperfectly perfect and changing our views of “New Year, New Me” to focusing more on a new and improved version of ourselves.
This includes being kind to ourselves and making small and realistic goals that will not add pressure to our lives and how we view ourselves. And this leads me to explore why so many of us feel pressure to change ourselves and it is no surprise that a big contributor to this is Social Media.
• Social Media is booming; 91% of 16-24 year olds in the UK use the internet and other social networking sites regularly.
• Rates of anxiety and depression in young people have increased by 70% over the last 25 years.
(The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) & the Young Health Movement)
Social Media adds so many pressures by portraying perfection as we often don’t show our “real self” which is who we really are, this includes our attributes, characteristics and personality. It seems we usually show our “ideal self” which is what we think we should be and much of it is due to societal and environmental influences.
Research suggests that many of us are driven by competition, achievement and status. Hence, the creation and portrayal of our “ideal self”.
Now, I am guilty of doing this on Social Media just like so many of you and it is understandable…of course we want to put our best photos on and update a status to say what a wonderful day we have had. And there is nothing wrong with doing this, however, what we need to be mindful of, is how others portray us and by only putting the best of everything online can affect each other and our perceptions.
How many of us have seen a Meme or Blog post on social media that has shown the reality of something and have been relieved as we can relate and then know we are not alone. A mum with postpartum depression went viral by sharing this powerful message;
So many of us compare ourselves to others and what we see on Social Media. When you compare yourself to others, you are comparing yourself to the perception of what you think the person is. Many people are presenting only their ideal selves online. Therefore, you are comparing yourself to an ideal figure, not a true representation.
Social Media comes with negatives, however, on the positive side, social media empowers people to have a voice, it allows for creativity and connection with people and information in ways we couldn’t before.
If used responsibly and safely Social Media has helped so many people, particularly with receiving support for their mental health and increasing their support networks.
I know how positive Social Media can be from opening up about difficulties I have had and the feedback that I still receive from previous blog posts that continue to offer reassurance, advice and support to people is amazing.
We must understand social media to make positive and safe choices- we cannot change how others use social media but what we can do is be more mindful of our perceptions of what we see, share positivity and as always embrace being imperfectly perfect!