No, this isn’t about internet predators or how you could be revealing your location on social media when you don’t mean to (although that is pretty alarming). This is a type of danger that you’re not necessarily aware of until you take a step back.
I have two Instagram accounts, but I’m not very good at giving them equal attention. Initially, I chalked this up to being too busy and uninspired in one way or another. The former is true, but not relevant. The latter is true and relevant.
Have you ever stopped and really thought about the power you give social media? We’re constantly bombarded with how our generation is obsessed with technology and how it will be our downfall and blah blah blah. I want to bring it to a personal level, rather than general fear mongering.
Managing social media platforms for businesses is my career and the more time I spend plugged into Facebook/Twitter/Instagram for professional purposes, the less interest I have in maintaining my own channels. This has its obvious pros & cons, but there is a major side effect hiding in the fine print.
When I have a specific fitness goal (i.e. dieting for a photoshoot), I’m all about my fitness Instagram. I’m consistently working out and paying special attention to the food I eat, so I naturally share this. When I’m not training for anything with a deadline, Instagram can be a source of motivation to continue working towards my goals. When I want to let loose, Instagram is depressing. I’m currently living life, working out when I want and eating out more than usual. I’m happy and still healthy…but scrolling Instagram makes me feel like shit. Like I must not be committed because I’m not counting macros; like I must be lazy because I’ve skipped the gym for no reason other than I didn’t feel like going; like I’m back sliding because I don’t have physical goals right now.
When I’m traveling, I’m all about my travel Instagram. I’m exploring new places and living spontaneously, so I share it. When I’m not traveling, Instagram can be a source of inspiration to plan another trip. When my schedule (or money) won’t allow me to travel, Instagram is depressing. As much as I think I would like to be traveling full-time, it’s not realistic for me right now. Instagram can make me feel like I’m playing it too safe; like I should save harder; like I’m not a real travel blogger because I’m not a 24/7 nomad.
Do you see my point? We put so much effort into controlling our personal image, sharing pieces of ourselves with the world wide web, but how much thought do we put into what we consume? I have to take ownership of the way I talk to my body, and recognize that sometimes I do myself no favors by mindlessly scrolling. I have to take ownership of the way I decide to travel, and recognize that my passion for travel is valid, regardless of how many days I spend away from home.
Social media has its purpose, the point is to establish how and define why you’re using it. When I want a kick in the ass, I’ll set goals and login. When I choose to be relaxed with my workouts & diet, I’m going to cut the check-ins. When I’m ready to pick my next destination, I’ll start creepin. When I’m home, I’ll enjoy it instead of wishing I was somewhere else.
I hope I made you evaluate how and why you use social media. Follower beware: it is our highlight reel. There are highs and lows. Do not let me or any other account make you feel like you or your life is any less fabulous.