- First 5
- Online shopping
I mean, I shower first, pour my coffee second, and then start with my First 5. That’s a morning tradition I cannot live without. I like my me time in the mornings to get myself situated. I like to get up at 5. I like mornings. I’m a morning person – as much as anyone can be a morning person. I’m most productive in the morning, and I prefer the uninterrupted time to do my hair, makeup, and my quiet coffee date with my husband. It’s also when I peruse the world of social media.
So. Many. Thoughts.
It’s usually too early for me to do so much thinking when I go over what’s up on social media, but I have so many thoughts each day. I love to see certain things, other things make me sad, and some things make me shake my head. And not in the I’m just saying I shake my head kind of manner; I actually shake my head.
I love to see people post photos of their success. I love vacation photos. I love photos of people’s kids – as long as they’re not naked – and I love to see photos of couples who are out on dates, enjoying one another, and just being all kinds of happy.
I enjoy seeing other people, especially the people I actually know in real life, doing well. It makes me smile, because the world is a big place and we should all get to have our own little slice of success and happiness.
I don’t love when I see people announce they’ve lost someone close to them, or illness has made its way into their lives. I don’t like to see when someone is having a bad day and can’t seem to shake it. But what really gets to me is the competition and the hate. It’s rampant, and it’s sad. It’s a constant reminder that so many people struggle to find their happiness, and I wish I could change that for people.
I can’t. But, I can help remind the powerful, amazing, beautiful, intelligent women (and men) I know that social media isn’t everything it is in your mind. Not that you won’t see me on it every single day. You will. It’s how I market my business, brand my blog, and it’s how I work. But there are a few things every savvy social media user should keep in mind when using social media to keep them from falling into the trap of constant comparison and self-doubt.
Social Media is a Highlight Reel
And there is nothing wrong with this! It’s not easy to realize this; I recognize this. But think of it this way: Most of us aren’t posting about the argument we just had with our mothers or the horrible things a coworker said at lunch about us. We aren’t sharing photos of a failed tampon in the middle of a shopping trip (thank God), or the massive pimple that made itself at home overnight.
It’s a highlight reel. It’s the best of the best. We all try so hard in real life to present our best self. We put our best foot forward in the office each day so we build and maintain a good reputation at work, or at the school where our kids are students, or the office in which our spouse works. We always try to put our best self out there, and social media is no different. Just because someone posts frequent travel photos or happy comments or upbeat statuses doesn’t make their life any better their yours. It simply means they’re showing the best of them at the moment. It’s in no way a validation of their happiness and your misery.
It’s just that some of us prefer to put the good out there. Some people – myself included – have been through horrible things in life that make them focus heavily on the good. My husband and I suffered two pregnancy losses 7 years ago that changed our perspective on life forever. It doesn’t mean things don’t bother us, but we’ve really learned to see how minor life’s irritations are, and they seem so unimportant in the grand scheme of things.
Many of us like to focus on the good in life, because magnifying what’s good is how you make life even better. Don’t fall into the trap of allowing other’s happiness to make you feel insecure or as though you’re not good enough. We’re all at different stages in our lives, and we should all enjoy where we are.
Social Media is a Marketing Tool
If you look at my Instagram feed (tiffanyraiford15) you’ll see a colorful variety of travel photos, BTS photos in my office, and fun family photos of our good times. Do I really spend my time photographing my agenda and my flowers because I want to? No; I do it because I need to create stellar images to promote my brand and grow my blog. It’s a marketing tool. Try to remember that the next time you scroll past someone’s photos and wonder why their life is so picture-perfect, or why they never have an ugly photo.
It’s also helpful to remember that it takes a lot of work, time, and effort to create those flawless photos just so we can hopefully get one or two of the thousands who see it to come to our blog and sign up to follow. It’s a lot of work, but it’s certainly not a way to tell you your life isn’t good enough.
Social Media Can Teach You About Yourself
When you scroll through social media, what do you notice most about your thoughts? When I scroll through, I admire the amazing photos other women take – and I notice that while I love everyone’s unique and individual style, I am just not a trendy person. I’m a classic kind of girl when it comes to style. I appreciate what others can pull off, but it’s just not me. I’ve also learned that I love to see success in the lives of others. I’m drawn to follow women who are successful and established, and who work hard.
I find that they mirror myself, and I enjoy surrounding myself with people I admire and look up to. In the interest of being entirely transparent, I’ve also noticed that I find certain things a large turn-off as I scroll through social media. I’m not a fan of people who constantly complain about their lives, and I find myself very turned-off by those who post hateful memes and quotes.
It’s your little corner of the web, so you do you – but I’ve learned that social media teaches you a lot about yourself if you pay attention to what you post and what you respond to. I love a good inspirational quote, a funny story, or a hilarious meme. I don’t like to see women bashing others, posting vague things desecrating others, and behaving without class. What you learn about yourself on social media is that you’re either happy with your life, or you’re unhappy. Use what you learn about you to improve you.
Social Media is Dangerous
To refer to the above; if you find yourself posting all the negative things or feeling insecure or insignificant or competitive with others, it’s time to reevaluate your own life. If social media makes you feel anything but good, you’re either following the wrong people or you need to check your own status. Is there a chance you’re simply not happy with your own life, and it’s time to make a change?
Social media is a powerful tool when it’s used correctly. You can take the time to see for yourself how it makes you feel, and work on that. Don’t waste your time being envious or bothered; figure out what you need to change about you to help improve your own life. I promise it makes social media a more enjoyable experience.
Social media is dangerous if you let it get to you. It’s not always easy to realize what’s in your own mind when you peruse social media and listen to your thoughts. If you’re the kind of person who scrolls through and thinks that everyone and everything is fake – perhaps that speaks more of how you feel when you post, and it’s time to make some life changes so you don’t have to feel that way about your own life anymore. Perhaps seeing happy couples makes you miserable because you’re in an unhappy relationship or just feeling lonely. Perhaps seeing happy kids makes you feel angry because your kids are going through the terrible 2s. Perhaps feeling that others are undeserving of their success is a sign you’re not living up to your own potential success. It’s time to fix what’s bringing you down.
We’re all going through things – but most people choose not to bring out the bad in their life. There’s nothing wrong with that; but you must remember that just because someone else chooses to focus on the positive aspects of their life doesn’t mean your life is any less than theirs.
Social media can help you or hinder you, but you can learn from it based on how you feel when you go through it each day. If you’re feeling anything less than happy for the success of others or uninspired by those you admire the most, it’s just time to make some changes. I’ve been there, and I can promise you that seeing social media through a positive lens is a life-changing experience that can only help you grow into a more amazing version of you. Get it, girl!