Attitude

I think it’s time for a rant regarding self image and social media.

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Here’s what’s been going through my mind recently and only now am I able to articulate my thoughts. (This was after reading the first chapter of Divergent, which has led me to think about a session based on personalities and types. No not really. Ha!)

We need to stop using social media to compare ourselves to others. We need to stop feeling like we have to be a certain way online in order to fit in with folks in the same field, same town, same college, same fan base -whatever.

We are all unique individuals.

I have been noticing recently that when I go online there are days when I feel like the biggest loser, but I know other folks feel the same way. I haven’t published a book on Amazon. I haven’t joined a Board of Directors. I haven’t acquired an adorable new kitten, or a new house, or secured a new job. I haven’t run a marathon and have absolutely no desire to in the future. Sometimes I feel like I’m supposed to want to match these accomplishments – and that’s just plain silly. I have my own accomplishments that have absolutely nothing to do with anyone else!

And that’s a good thing!

There have been a rash of tweets and posts in Facebook recently about giving up Facebook totally or for Lent, getting away from Twitter. I say – if that is what you want/need to do – than do it. BUT I can’t help but also want to suggest that maybe we’re using social media wrong even though we know better.

Everyone is in a different stage of their life, so why worry about what others are doing in terms of benchmarking? Did we learn nothing from Chickering’s vectors?

I don’t want what you want. I loved that part of the Women’s Leadership Institute. The ever brilliant Teri Bump was speaking about how women need to work together and lift one another up, not tear each other down. We don’t want the same things. That’s so true! I don’t want to run a marathon – I hate running! I love Zumba…I will dance all night! I don’t want your life – I want mine – and you should want YOURS which may be very different.

We need to be happier for others’ successes. Truly happy. Not in a Facebook “Like” kind of way. (You know, that fake “Oh good I’m so happy for you” {Puke} kind of way). Only you know what you’re really thinking when you hit that “Like” button. Fix your attitude. Those folks are just sharing their successes. How you are reacting to them is your own deal.

Don’t make others’ accomplishments YOUR To Do List.
Come up with your own. Maybe there will be parallels – great – you’ll have a built in support system, but set goals that are based realistically on your interests and time and etc.

Halfway through typing this rant – I feel silly for writing all this, but then think “No – you have been seeing this.” I know people are getting tired of always putting their best foot forward online. I know people are attempting more and more to pull away from social media. But I truly believe there must be a line. A line of when to share and when not to share. When to be “authentic” and when to hold back. We do this all day, everyday anyway. You decide when to cuss out loud, when to keep it to yourself. When you can get away with a smart ass remark, and when you shouldn’t. Don’t let this drive you away from communicating with others. EVER. Don’t want to deal with social media? Then please don’t go “off the grid” completely. You have good stuff to share. Everyone does and we want to hear from you.

Various internet based inflictions that I’ve heard of (or know first hand all about):
+ Pinterest makes me depressed because I’m not married with kids.
+ Pinterest makes me feel like a loser mother/wife because I can’t cook/bake/decorate/design what I see. It’s all FAILS.
+ Pinterest shows me how completely unfashionable I am / How poor I am because I’ll never afford all these lovely outfits.
+ Facebook shows me the accomplishments of others in terms of jobs, trips, weight loss, advanced degrees, and I just can’t keep up. I wish I were doing these things and feel like I never will.
+ Twitter conversations remind of me of the time I spend talking to people I’ve never met more than the people around me.
+ Vine videos are so much fun, I could never be that creative.
+ Instagram pictures are cool – I wish I had something cool to take pictures of.
+ I don’t have time to write blog posts. I’m too busy with life. How will I ever prove myself as a [insert profession here].
+ I don’t get social media. It makes me feel so old.
+ I don’t even have a smart phone.

I feel like everyone of these indicates some alone time to think about your accountability and your success. If any of these sound familiar, what can you do about them to feel better about yourself? What can you do to better your situation? Acceptance is probably key. Accepting your limits, understanding yourself and your needs. Its going to be an internal struggle. You’ll have to forge ahead with your best interests in mind. But I for one believe in you. I know you can do it. You’re going to rock it out.

I’d like to hear what other struggles you’ve been dealing with. If you feel comfortable, and feel like I’ve missed a feeling that you have felt or know other’s have felt, feel free to email me at thatkeeginlady@gmail.com or DM me on Twitter (@JenniferKeegin). I’ll add to the list of things we don’t want to feel anymore.

p.s. I hope no one takes away from this rant that I am mad at people for posting humble brags, or successes – that’s totally not what this is about. This is about being happy for others and adding to your happiness by walking your own path and finding/achieving your own goals regardless of others….especially online.

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3 thoughts on “I think it’s time for a rant regarding self image and social media.

  1. “This is about being happy for others and adding to your happiness by walking your own path and finding/achieving your own goals regardless of others….especially online.”

    I love this part. It’s easy to look at what we don’t have, or haven’t done, or hope to achieve. But recognizing the impressive parts of our own journey, and finding the good in the impressive parts of other’s journeys? THAT can be a challenge.

    I’m happy you wrote this. We all need those reminders. ALL of us. Even the people who got in an 8 mile run before work or published or put together an amazing outfit. And don’t you dare not count yourself among those people. I love learning from you, and look forward to the amazingness you share each week.

    • Thanks Amma. I started off by feeling weird about my responses to what I was seeing on social media. Then just saw a bunch of posts about folks wanting to back off and out of SoMe and it dawned on me that it was totally the concept of comparing apples and oranges. I needed to change my attitude. Even most recently with the Oscars I just couldn’t be snarky. I’d rather be witty or observant. I have run out of the “mean” and wanted to return to the love.

  2. Pingback: jennifer keegin dot com | Moto Monday Part Two

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