7 Dimensions of Wellness

7 Dimensions of Wellness
7 Dimensions of Wellness

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Social Media and Self Esteem

 By Rhonda L. Bayless
 Executive Director

Social Media is an interesting creature. ONLINE: We’re all so brilliant. We’re all so healthy. We all are so religious. We love our mothers. We are perfect parents. Well, I’m here to tell ya, not me.
I’m flawed. I’m quirky. I don’t like to go to places where there’s a lot of people. Quiet is cool. Me and God fight. My daughter and I just had a horrible two years but we’re back being where we should be. I’ve been physically unhealthy for the past two years and it was causing some depression. I couldn’t figure it out. I don’t like to be deep, every damn day. I know what I know and there’s a whole lotta stuff I’m clueless about. I’m a patient friend but I can shut you out without reason. I’m working on me.

Social Media is missing a dose of realness and regular. I’m down for folks working to obtain their goals and doing it out loud. I get it. I know that it can help others. I’m just concerned that we so want to put on the good face of positivity and perfection that we miss out on being human and honest with ourselves. We’re so zoned in on shaping our online persona that I think we forget how to be ourselves. I appreciate my journey. I accept it all wholeheartedly. I’m never afraid to share the ups and downs of my day. It’s a part of my freedom.
I’ve witnessed some amazing displays of emotional neediness on Facebook in particular. I watched a woman document the death of a parent from the statuses saying, “I’m heading to the hospital,” to the announcement of the parent’s death. She posted pics of her and her sister receiving news about the parent’s ill-fated turn. She did video clips of thanking people on Facebook for their support.
What was she getting from this? Without Facebook, how would she receive support and encouragement? What does it mean that we are seeking approval, admiration, and encouragement mostly strangers in many cases? Let me be honest. I will post a selfie of a new doo or new color of lipstick. So I guess, I could ask myself the question and I can’t say I know the answer. I do recall being at a park with my grandson and I took pictures. The first thing I wanted to do is post them but then I thought why not just keep them for me. This was our moment. The person on FB in Florida doesn’t have to share this time. It was for us.

There are more and more articles being written about the psychological impact of social media on the self-esteem. We’re affected and I don’t know if we care. How are we free when we worry about what filter we need to use for a picture? How are we free if we are afraid of our failures and we sugar coat them with bullshit positivity. Sometimes positivity is bullshit. We have gotten caught in memes and graphics of famous quotes that tell us that life should always be rainbows. There’s less memes about the rain and the storm. We learn in the darkness. We should accept and appreciate those dark times and understand that we need both the sun and the rain for all growth to occur.

I appreciate Social Media for all of the connections I’ve made. I’ve met people who have become some of my greatest friends. It’s helped me to reach women globally with my nonprofit. It definitely has its purpose. With all things, moderation is key. There’s no need to color your life with falsehoods to impress people. Have a fulfilled life offline. Connect with people in real time. Social media is a tool so use it carefully. Accept and love who you are because only then will you be free

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