How does social media affect our mental health, self-image and self-identity?

This is a quick and gentle reminder that what you think of yourself is more important than anything. 

I want to talk about this because unfortunately, social media has taught us to compare ourselves to others and to kind of never be happy or satisfied with who we are or what we have.

I also want to talk about it because we are aware of what social media does to us, how it can negatively impact us and yet, we let ourselves be caught by the pattern. We know social media is not reality, we know it’s a screen everyone hides behind and yet we somehow let it define us and dictate our behaviours. We become victim of the algorithm.

I do always say that what I talk about in this podcast you probably heard so many times but sometimes we really need to hear it again to actually stop for a moment and think “what am I doing? What am doing for and to myself?”

When I post a picture of myself with a big smile when I am actually crying from the inside, the real question is who am I lying to ? Am I only lying to people around me or am I lying to myself?

When I post a picture of me and my boyfriend on holiday, hand in hand like the perfect couple when that person is making me sick from the inside and making my life difficult, am I only lying to people or am I lying to myself?

When I post a picture of myself at the gym showing the world I’m exercising when all did was take that picture and go home, who am lying to? People or myself?

If your goal is only to deceive people, then fine. It’s still a strange goal but it’s fine. The real problem is when you’re lying to yourself.

The real problem is when you create a world even you don’t believe in. When you create a fake place with nothing real to hold on and build onto, that’s where the problem is.

Your world is everything. It’s where you build yourself and your identity. If everything is fake and there are no stable solid and true foundations, how are you supposed to build a strong you ?

Anything that falls apart in that fictional world will make you fall apart. It’s that simple.

Don’t get me wrong, that world doesn’t have to be perfect. Not everything has to be rosy. It only has to be real.

If I’m about to post a picture of me smiling looking extremely happy when I am actually very sad, depressed, tired, anxious or whatever; I should ask myself is this really me? Does this reflect my real world right now ?

If the answer is no, then keeping posting things like that or behaving in a way that constantly hides your true self is probably gonna do more damage to you than good. It will become a habit and the more you’ll see people liking it, the more dependent you’ll become on it.

What people think of you doesn’t matter. It’s how you see yourself that does.

If I post a picture of me looking very confused, or frustrated or doing something with a lot of doubt in my eyes and that represented me and how I felt at that point in time, then that moment/picture is worth much more than me deceptively looking like I have my shit together.

Like I said in one of my Instagram fitness posts, it’s okay to post pictures that are not perfect. It’s okay to post pictures that show a messy you. Because we’re all messy.

We don’t always know where we’re going. But we know which parts of ourselves are true and which ones are not. That’s what we need to remind ourselves of.

So next time you want to post something about you on social media, ask yourself am I lying to myself or am I being true to myself ?

How does social media affect my mental health?

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