I had a MOST interesting experience with social media.
I KNOW I’m not alone when I say, I have an ambivalent relationship with social media.
I have a sort of fascinated attraction and avoidant repulsion simultaneously.
This morning I found myself awake and picked up my phone to check the time…
And then that thing happened to me…
My finger sort of broke away from me and tapped a social media icon and a whole world opened up. Friend requests, articles, memes…
One thing led to another, time was sucked into the social media void and then suddenly I re-emerged into consciousness, blinking in bewilderment, thinking, “Gosh that wasn’t what I’d planned to do with that sacred morning time!”
And that’s when I noticed it.
My body was in anxiety. Tight muscles, stress chemicals pumping…
“Body, what is it?” I asked it in concern.
The immediate image I got was that it was cowering from an overwhelming onslaught.
“What is this onslaught?” I wanted to know.
I got a sense of a cacophony of voices saying
“Please love me. Please love me. Please love me…”
And suddenly I saw the stream of consciousness that is social media as a mass of our collective desperate need for love and attention.
Our need for validation…
To be seen…
To be important to someone in some way…
These are natural needs but their deficiency in our world is SO vast, that millions of us turn to social media to seek it out.
The attraction and repulsion suddenly made more sense to me.
I’m drawn to it because it’s where I might get the love and approval I’m longing for…
But I’m repulsed from the pain of my unmet need and how I see it mirrored in everyone else.
They want my attention and approval and I want theirs.
Even those who market there are asking for attention.
Even the silent observers and stalkers are seeking to see themselves and their needs reflected by those who are more vocal in expressing it.
Research shows that spending longer than 15 minutes on social media increases anxiety significantly.
I know that research, but this was the first time I saw it so clearly.
I was sleepy and calm when I started and tense and hot and anxious when I emerged from the spell.
So what do we do?!
It’s part of modern life.
Well, what if you use it as your self-love meter?
You can see where your self-love is at by seeing how you cope with this onslaught.
Your reaction will tell you how you are.
On a strong day you’ll be able to swim around and enjoy it.
But on a wobbly day you’ll probably feel thrown into unpleasant comparison and self-questioning.
So now you know.
Opening your social media is stepping into a stream of everyone’s insecurities and needs.
And your own will always be reflected there.
It’s something we have to always navigate with great self-love.
Use this mirror to love yourself, not criticise your flaws, ok?
Give yourself the kindness, gentleness and validation you need.
Ask, “If I loved myself, how would I approach my social media today?”
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this…