social media + vulnerability

Before my new instagram account (@simplybusimee) I actually had a previous account that I deactivated 4-5 years prior. I was in highschool when I decided that instagram was not for me, and more importantly that I had a very negative relationship with insta. I would post, then be glued to my phone for the next 24+ hours just waiting... Waiting for a specific amount of likes, waiting for a specific person to comment and just not functioning like a proper human! Despite being a teenager at the time, it still felt icky and gross to be so needy, desperate and hungry for validation. So I deactivated that account. Soon after, Twitter followed suit, I had come to the realization that I actually had nothing important nor meaningful to say on there either.

I started up this Instagram account in January as part of my new year resolutions. This new account surrounds things that I love, topics I've addressed on my blog and whatever the heck I want! I knew I was ready to jump back in because I was actually excited by this and not nervous. Despite societal pressures, controversies, comparisons; the internet and specifically Instagram can be a happy place to share your truth and even learn a thing or two, if we were to be vulnerable.

The following is a list of how to have a happy social media life...

  1. Who do you follow? The people we follow have a bigger impact on our decisions, diets, speech, behaviour than we care to admit. What people/organizations do you follow that make you feel icky, poor, fat, ugly, unlovable, stupid etc. Opt out for accounts of the same sort of content that make you feel motivated, inspired, creative, worthy etc.

  2. Set out an intention for your page. What is the message you want people to capture when they visit your insta, blog, website. Think of it as your "vibe" or your "theme". What do you want to get across every time you post, write, share, tweet?

  3. Don't just like, comment! Take your time to comment something on a post you liked. To not just show you saw it, but that you care. Read captions, even if they're extra long *cough cough*.

  4. Set a time. Turn on ScreenTime on your IPhone to block apps when a daily limit has been reached. Put your phone in another room (I've never done this nor will I ever tbh). I personally save my Instagram and phone time till AFTER breakfast. After I've had my insta fix I shouldn't be on it when someone's talking to me, when I'm with my siblings and any other instance where it's super rude to others and myself.

  5. Be vulnerable and honest. Post what is true, post what is kind. Don't lie about your whereabouts, your achievements, your income, your looks etc. You're only hurting yourself when you set the bar sooo high.

  6. Be happy for others. Scrolling through your fav app is the perfect opportunity to practice gratitude. To be grateful for the person and the joy they're experiencing or the accomplishments they're celebrating. Say "I'm happy so and so is on her third tropical vacation of the year", "I'm excited for so and so's new job", "I'm filled with love that so and so is celebrating her 3rd year anniversary", "I am proud of so and so for putting in the work and finally being happy with their body" stuff like that.

  7. Have a group chat, duhh. Have a group where the motherload of memes or business advice or mental health support or vegan recipes can be found. If not, you can save your favourite images and make folders to go back to. It's like a group chat for one, I guess.

  8. Unfollow any gossip pages. Let go of any page that takes pleasure in exposing other people's downfalls, compares one person to another and spreads lies and negativity. Let's get out of the culturally ingrained habit of pinning woman against eachother, judging people on their clothes, decision, life choices etc. and let's mind our own businesses!

  9. Snap out of zombie mode. Snap out of the habit of waking up to your phone, scrolling mindlessly and watching stories you could honestly care less about. If you don't like it, you don't have to do it, like it, share it, watch it or "lol" expressionlessly. Save your own time!

  10. Unplug. Consciously choose to leave your phone at home, OFF, in your pocket or whatever you see fit. Then see how that feels?

  11. Mediate on it. Think about your relationship towards social media. The good and the bad. Think about how it makes you feel. And what value it brings to your life!

A couple night's ago I watched Brene Brown's Netflix talk on vulnerability and it had me thinking about many things, specifically social media. Traditional vulnerability is known as weakness, oversharing, needing a savior per se. Brown talked about vulnerability as sharing one's truth despite. One thing we lack and shame is honesty. Being honest about how we feel, where we are in life, what we do and don't care about, and everything else we shame and guilt ourselves about. We take our unconscious dishonesty to public platforms and the cycle continues.

Before we post, we should ask ourselves; is this true? Is it necessary? And if it's any of my business??? By consciously using our time and our social media platforms, social media can actually be a happy, meme-abundant, supportive, positive space. Let's make it one!

Happy Scrolling,

Brene Brown's Netflix talk https://www.netflix.com/watch/81010166?trackId=13630397&tctx=1%2C0%2C30af33df-dd06-45ca-83ca-3bcd118e2f0a-113636762%2C%2C

Brene Brown's Ted Talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCvmsMzlF7o