Intimidation: How Social Media Damages Our View of Ourselves

When I returned from my 10-day vacation this past weekend, I knew something in my online life had to change. I'd finally found myself free of the chaos of artistic comparison, and there was so much goodness to be felt in it. Such extreme relaxation. Contentment. There were moments upon my return where I felt like I wanted to give up on social media altogether – because that’s where I find that my power dies. I wanted to eliminate the pressures of wishing I could be better than I am.

But what is “better?” Perhaps I simply needed to create change.

My initial reaction was to run. But then I realized, that’s not who I am at all. I am a person of passion, and love, and I care about what I do, and who I share it with. I am not the person who gives up easily.

So I decided to take a different approach, and that was to take my own advice from a different perspective.

While I was gone, I hadn’t been online to see what the profiles similar to mine, that are “big-time,” were doing. The attention they were getting. And that’s where the solace lay – in finding myself rid of those people and those accounts. I have continued to advise friends – on and offline – that it’s all about what you feed yourself when it comes to social media. I thought that simply meant creating an environment that did not foster negativity – and I thought that these accounts similar to mine that were grabbing all the attention were not only positive, but were helping propel me in the right direction.

Now I see that wasn’t the case at all.

I just finished culling my personal page of all accounts that I found myself envying. Yes, they shared positive photographic content – but it was content that had me stressing over what I was doing wrong – when in fact, nothing I was doing was “wrong.” It was simply that these account had made me feel this way.

I recommend this: if you are one of those people who thinks you have your account feed in line – that everything you follow is “good” – but are still feeling subpar, I suggest you really ask yourself: what is it that is making me feel bad and how can I change that?

I already feel more at ease. When I check my page now, all I see are posts from people or subjects that I care about – not people I wish to be – for any reason. This is not to say that I won’t still struggle with envy sometimes – but I already can tell that this emotion will be significantly lessened – and that’s what I need. As a person and as a creator. It is great to take breaks sometimes – because I think those breaks can yield great results if we choose to honor what we learn from them.



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ADDENDUM:

A comment in reply to the above post really got me thinking. I realize that I MYSELF might represent one of those profiles that causes you stress and stimulates the need to compare – perhaps arousing insecurity in you – because of the volume of followers and likes that I receive on my profile. And I absolutely HATE that!

Here’s the thing: I am just a “normal” person, posting what I see, what I want to share, and what I am passionate about. Yes, the numbers are there, but that is not what’s important here. It’s the voice that is. And it’s the same with you.

I don’t want anyone to ever feel intimidated by me. I want you to know that I am just a little me, who wants nothing more than to share what I love with you. When it comes down to it, I don’t do this for the likes or to perpetuate a number of followers. Because that is absolutely not what is important. I was just made to think it was, and likely it’s the same with many of you.

Please never think less of yourself because of me. Not for one moment. That is not what I want here.

YOU are incredible just the way you are, and so is what you share with the world. What you are doing is more than enough – because your perspective matters, regardless of the following; it is vastly significant. Nobody can see the world the way you do – and that’s the beauty of this life. Don’t give up on yourself and your own voice because of comparison. It is a precious thing that no one can take from you. Only you can take it from you. “No one is you, and that is your power.” You are enough. And I am here rooting for you.







©2019 by Friendly Fungus Photography.