Social media – what a craze. We all know that while this incredibly powerful tool has it’s benefits, it definitely has it’s downfalls to compliment. Mental health and social media share a delicate dance with one another. Unfortunately, people attach their self-worth and confidence to social media. “I got ‘X’ amount of likes that means people must agree I am… (insert complimentary adjective here).” I’d love to tell you I have never fallen victim to it, but if I did it would be a lie.

I know I am going to date myself here, so bear with me my younger friends; I promise it will all connect. Facebook (I know, I know – it’s not cool anymore) is where it all began for me because Instagram, TikTok, etc. were not invented yet (tear drop). So Facebook was the “cool” thing, as I was entering my middle and high school years. You wanted everyone to see your pictures because the more pictures you had with different people meant you were super cool, right? Wrong. That’s great you have all of these pictures with “friends”, but if you spent your entire night running around taking pictures, how much of the event did you enjoy? What conversations blew you away? Probably none because you were too busy making sure your Facebook “friends” (before followers) knew you had a gnarly weekend.

Then came Instagram my sophomore year of high school or so. At first, it didn’t interest me, then once I realized I was missing stuff I quickly joined. This is probably my favorite form of social media because I love pictures. I love taking pictures and looking at them. I used to be obsessed with the yearbook when it came out each year because it was fun to look at all the pictures! However, Instagram is not as simple as browsing people’s photos. It has become a game in a way. If I can get the perfect picture with the perfect lighting everyone’s going to think I look great. And yeah, maybe that’s true, but do you really care? Do you really care what the random person from high school thinks or a friends mom? Not really. Or at least I hope not. The person’s thoughts you should care about most are your own. One of my favorite quotes by Peace Pilgrim states, “If you knew how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.”

That’s the thing about social media isn’t it? We’re all tricking each other into seeing only the glamorous parts of our lives – the vacations, celebrations, and other social events. But where’s the humanity in that? Where are the Monday rainy blues or true testimonies? Sadly, very few and far between. It is interesting to me when someone is vulnerable enough to share something of depth on social media everyone tells them “how brave” they are. Really? Am I brave for letting you know I’m human and not all my days are sunshine and rainbows?” Well, shoot call me, Hercules if that’s the case. It’s sad that we are so shocked when others break the fakeness of social media and share real stories – the ones without the fluff and sugarcoating.

I’m not saying we all need to be posting about how sad or angry we are, that would take us in a totally different and unhealthy direction. My point is balance. It’s okay to let people know you’re not okay or see your imperfections. Photo shop – yep I’ve been a victim there too – everyone can tell (the teeth whitening wow). Guys it’s SO noticeable, no matter how good you think you are. Don’t poke and prod yourself in a picture to make yourself look different – everyone knows what you look like already – you’re not fooling anyone. Plus you’re training you’re brain to say, “yeah I’m not good enough I need to be edited.” Nope that is not true. Show us the scars, stretchmarks and curves. We’re not all meant to be Victoria Secret models despite popular belief, and guess what – that is more than okay!

Love yourself, my friends because at the end of the day that is who you’re spending your entire life with. Loving yourself teaches you to love another. Make your relationship with yourself positive – enjoy that alone time and know you’re one heck of a badass no matter what your social media presence looks like!