#LifeInView, October 2017

#WhatTheHealth| The Illusion Of Social Media

I have a lot of ideas for posts that I want to do. But this one, I’ve wanted to write for some time. Shannon @GoingWithHappy made a blog post, Social Media Detoxing, and it helped remind me of this topic.


Before the idea of creating a blog entered my mind, I had stopped posting as much on my personal social media. My level of interest in it had become very low. I deleted Snapchat off my phone and closed my personal Twitter account. And I had stopped using Facebook in high school. So in the process of elimination Instagram was my only social media, but I even got tired of that. 

 

By tired, I’m not talking about Instagram as an application but the persona that I had created. When I made my account, I had just graduated high school, and I was healthy. On Instagram, I would always see perfect food, hair, makeup, and places to travel to. I thought that I needed to contribute to this.

At the time, I didn’t realize that I was just adding on to the illusion of social media. Because it wasn’t until around the year 2014, that my health started to change. I got sicker and my mobility was different. I no longer had opportunities to feature and showcase what I used to on my Instagram. Instead of being out in the middle of a field, my view was now a doctor’s office. And even though, I’ve tried there’s no way to get a pretty picture of that.

It got to the point that I would hide that part of me, the sick side. I would post the “best” or “pretty” parts of my life and hide the ugly. But I wasn’t acknowledging that the “best” or “pretty” parts were coming around less and less. One day, I woke up and I realized that my whole life had changed. I needed to be honest with myself.

Around this time, Lara Parker at BuzzFeed published, I Stopped Lying About How Happy I Was On Instagram And Started Telling The Truth About Chronic Pain, I ask that everyone go read this if you already haven’t. Reading this article helped me break out of this false reality that I had built for myself. For one, I was treating my illnesses as a thing or a problem and not as a part of me. Two, I thought by not letting people in, the problems would go away.

So I started to post more on Instagram, but I went about it differently. This time around, I decided to be honest about whatever I’m going through. There are days that I don’t feel like or can’t get out of the bed depending on if it’s physical or mental. There’s only so much of a story, a picture can tell, so this is also one of the reasons I started my blog. I wanted to share my journey and tell my story.

Social media has grown so much in such a short amount of time. It’s used to connect people, reach out, and make friends. But it can also influence. The influence it has on some can leave a powerful effect. I think we all can use the occasional reminder that it’s just an illusion.

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37 thoughts on “#WhatTheHealth| The Illusion Of Social Media

  1. I love to detox every once and a while! Great article and such a good read. I love what you’re saying about hiding the “bad” parts of your life, that’s exactly what Instagram does to you.

    1. It’s so weird isn’t it. It’s like now that I’m aware of what I was doing I don’t want start doing it again. I’ll go on my personal Instagram to see what everyone is up to but I rarely post anything these days.

  2. This is soo true!! It’s so easy to compare yourself to others on social media!! You think their life is so perfect and you almost feel you have to make yours perfect too!! Really good read 😄😄

  3. I’m so sorry to hear you got so ill and I hope you’re better. You are totally right. I think we all create a persona on social media. I have always shown a lot of confidence across all my social media, but that’s not always the case. I just don’t show off my insecurities 🤔 Social media is an interesting yet crazy place isn’t it?

    1. Thank you for your kind words. ❤️ I’m a bit better than what I used to be. Social media is a very crazy place lol. I think we do things sometimes bc it’s expected of us. It’s like asking someone, “How are you?” The automatic response is, “I’m fine and you.” We say this all the time, even if we aren’t okay.

  4. I have to be honest as I was reading this I felt really close to you. It appeared to me as a very genuine and honest post. Thank you for sharing this it means a lot! xx -M

    1. Thank you so much. ❤️ When I made this blog, I made a promise to myself to be honest about everything. If I can write something and people enjoy it, that’s wonderful. If I write something and it helps someone in anyway, well that’s even better 😊

  5. This was a very powerful post. Even if we all know deep down it is an illusion we still get that omg I need to workout feeling when we see another photoshopped body. You are so right it’s not easy to make the hospital room look great in a pic but there are so many people who might be laying on a hospital bed scrolling through insta hoping to find one pic that they can relate to instead of thousands to remind them of where they’re not.

  6. Awesome post Erika! 🙌🏼

    Always put your health & wellbeing first. It’s something that I’ve been trying to do lately and it’s really been working well for me.

  7. Great post! This is exactly why I never use filters or edit my photos aside from improving the brightness on dull days. I like to present things as they are! It does breed an attitude of mistrust if you can’t be sure what is real and what is not. It’s a real shame that we as a society feel that we have to ‘measure up’ to some arbitrary notion of perfection. We’re all human after all!

    1. Exactly, you’re so right. There definitely needs to be s balance between what’s real and what’s filtered. Thank you for reading. 😊

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