If I added up the minutes I spend scrolling through Instagram each day, it would probably be more time than I spend talking to people face to face (that's a scary thought) but the reality of running a business in 2018 is that social media is a non negotiable.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy mindless scrolling as much as the next person and there is a lot of awesome things about social media but unfortunately, as well as bringing us together, it can also create a divide. As we scroll through pictures of people posed in hammocks, washboard abs and infinity pools, we can sometimes feel a tad inadequate.
But the truth is, people aren't always as happy as they appear on Instagram.
Social media is a powerful tool; it connects us with people from our past and around the world that even 20 years ago, we could have lost touch with but with the positive also comes the negative. Facebook and Instagram can become a highlight reel and the social pressures of having the nicest clothes or the biggest house or the most elaborate 1st birthday party can become overwhelming when it's blasted all over your newsfeed. It's human nature to compare ourselves to others so when you're exposed to this 'picture perfect' content every day, you might feel like you're not enough.
The reality is that no one has a perfect life and you're not going to see the 225 unflattering selfies that were taken before the one posted on Instagram but people will more often than not share their highs and keep their lows to themselves. You can't change what others post on their social media but you can change how you let it affect you and here's how...
1. Be happy for people. Well at least act like you are. If you've just broken up with a partner then seeing someone's Bali holiday photos with their main squeeze can leave a feeling in the pit of your tummy that in no way resembles happiness. Don't beat yourself up. It's normal to feel a little jealous or bitter if you're going through a tough time but find it in your heart to write a comment or click the like button and be happy for your friends and family even if deep down you don't feel that way right now.
2. Be grateful for what you have. It may not be a cocktail on the beaches of Seminyak but I'm sure you've got other things in your life to be grateful for. Remind yourself of these things EVERY DAY. Write a list on paper or in your head and think about that list when you walk the dog. Always give gratitude to things in your life, no matter how small.
3. Remember that everyone has their problems even if you don't see it on Facebook. I like to be positive and grateful for what I have but that doesn't mean I don't get stressed about my business or our finances or our two dogs with anxiety... because I do. That's the reality, even if you don't see me talking about it on social media. I don't mean we should be wishing problems on anyone but it's important to remember that everyone has things they are going through. Everyone.
4. Happiness should not be dictated by likes or followers. To be honest with you, if I didn't have a business to run, I probably wouldn't be on social media. I find we spend too much of our time posting moments and replying to comments rather than enjoying moments and chatting with people face to face. You don't need 1000 followers to be loved, you don't need 100 likes on your profile picture to be beautiful plus as long as you have that crazy, twice removed great aunt as a Facebook friend, you will always have at least one like 😉
5. Unfollow people who drain you. It's totes awks when someone clicks on your profile and realises you're not FB friends anymore (because obviously that means the friendship isn't real!) but seriously, if someone is making your blood boil or draining the energy out of you with every status they post then delete delete delete! Chances are they will never know you have unfriended them but if you're really worried about that, all you need to do is 'unfollow' that person and they will never know you can't see their posts anymore. Problem solved!
Friend who you like, unfollow who you don't. If social media is making you unhappy then GET OFF IT! Limit the time you spend mindlessly scrolling and only follow the pages and people that make you feel happy.
I'm not saying that everyone with a happy, shiny profile is not living a full life because they probably are but the reality is that people don't always post the negative parts of their day. Comparison is the thief of joy so remember the things you have to be grateful for and that no one is perfect.... not even Chris Hemsworth. He's pretty damn close though.
Here's to a happy and healthy you,
Alyssa x x