Social media has become a great pastime for many of us. You can find very funny, interesting, and informative videos on social media. The content is endless. Back in my
In the early days of social media use, I found social media to be a very harmless way to pass the time, but recently, I’ve noticed a trend on social media that feels less than harmless.
Social media has created the opportunity for any and everybody to have a platform and a mic. We can scroll through video-after-video of influencers who appear to be living their best life. Always looking happy, always looking fabulous, traveling to exotic places, engaging in the finest dining, and having grand experiences, which presents the illusion of success and happiness. This also captures everyone’s attention and leads people to question their own existence.
The reality is that a lot of social media influencers started their page as an outlet or a place to vent and develop a following due to their relatability and/or creativity with expressing their views. They did not necessarily have intentions of leading their followers. Other influencers that were intentional about their content cover much needed topics that need to be addressed within the community but tend to take a very toxic approach. They tend to take an aggressive, passive-aggressive, or contentious approach that encourages unhealthy behaviors.
The challenge is that many of these influencers view the world through the lens of their trauma, hurt, and pain and don’t realize it. They have developed various skills to mask their issues and present as passionate and knowledgeable. They tend to attract viewers who have had similar life challenges and infiltrate their thinking.
Unfortunately, many of us, especially within the Black community, are looking for leadership and guidance and have turned to social media to find it. We are receiving messages that devalue and minimize the roles of men and women and are leaving us feeling frustrated with the opposite sex and doubting ourselves. We have allowed social media influencers to dictate everything from our standard of beauty to our relationship goals.
Whether we believe it or not, hearing the same message over and over will eventually be internalized and rewire your subconscious thoughts, so it is very important to protect yourself from constant unhealthy content. Take social media breaks. Taking a break from social media can enable you to clear your thoughts, get rid of unnecessary noise, and allow you to hear yourself think. You may realize that you are more content with
yourself and/or your relationship without the constant social media input.
All social media influencers have a target audience, whether you know it or not. You may be following someone whose intended message is not for you. I’m not saying that all influencers are bad and that social media doesn’t serve its purpose. What I am saying is if you are following someone on social media that encourages you to think in a way that is counterproductive to your life goals and after watching their feed you tend to feel as though your life is less admirable, that’s a sign that they are probably not the best person for you to be following. If you are following someone on social media and every time you watch their post, you tend to feel bad about yourself; that’s probably a sign that you need to unfollow them.
The bottom line is that it’s okay to watch social media, but you don’t need to internalize all the information that you get from social media. Recognize what parts of the message are for you and what part of the message does not pertain to your life and leave that there. Everything is not for everyone. I encourage you to find influencers who inspire and motivate you to be your best self.