I spend a lot of time on social media - I don’t mean to, but it’s sort of a part of our lives these days. I almost don’t remember a time without social media - I recall sitting at a cafe or pub by myself in the early 2000s without social media and surviving, mainly by watching people or even chatting to strangers. Something that most people would find bizarre these days.
Now, if I’m sitting in a cafe by myself I can’t just sit there - I feel the need to check my Facebook or Instagram, post something, read something or take a selfie. It’s the social media generation, we all do it and one of my goals is to spend less time on my phone and more time enjoying the world and REAL human interaction.
But one thing I’ve seen that is really affected by social media is mine and other’s self worth, people’s concept of what is real and what is just a filter on a post.
It’s so easy to be sucked in by what is going on in the world of social media. A beautiful picture of a mum with her children, clothes immaculate and children smiling, makes me doubt my ability to parent - why can’t my children be happy and clean all the time.
Except, that mother probably spent the 3 hours before that photograph fighting her children into their immaculate clothes and bribing them with toys or presents (or possibly even icecream) so they would smile perfectly in the photo!
Or the beautiful woman with her spectacular yoga poses on the beach, long limbs and perfection… easily making everyone who has ever thought about doing yoga either believe they too can look like a supermodel with just a few classes, or feeling so overwhelmed at the pictures, the idea of ever stepping into a yoga studio is the scariest thought ever!
So what does this mean? It means our self worth is compared to what is happening in social media. If we don’t receive 40 likes on a picture or a million happy birthday messages, we immediately come to the conclusion that we aren’t liked, popular or worth people’s times.
I’ve done it, cried to my now ex husband that no one loves me because I didn’t get a birthday message on Facebook, only to realise I had turned my birthday off so no one even knew it was that day. I spent my birthday devastated instead of enjoying the time with my closest family and friends who didn’t need a social media reminder to know what day my birthday was!
Self worth is more than a social media post, its about looking in the mirror and loving yourself - of being proud of who you are. It’s taken me a long time to do that, and some mornings I still wake up doubting who I am.
I don’t believe I’m close to ever being able to wake up every morning and say to myself, yes I’m amazing. But if I can do this most mornings, then yay to me. When I can look at my reflection and say to myself, good morning Skye you worthwhile woman - I know it’s going to be a good day.
The biggest challenge is making women and men know their self worth. Social Media has definitely made this difficult, everything has a filter on it - the people look perfect, their lives are perfect, but this is not the reality.
What is real is our lives, our loves, our fears, our struggles. And all of these make the good times shine so much brighter. Everyone has a bad day or two or five, everyone has moments where nothing goes right and the struggle is real, but then when there are good days it makes those bad days worthwhile.
Part of our self worth is about making the most of those good days, of understanding that sometimes we will have hard times in our lives, that life can be a struggle.
Trace and Larissa have taught me this, along with the women I have met through Sistahood Circles - they have listened and made me understand that everyone has struggles, everyone has good and bad days.
But we are loved and respected, and we are real, and our lives are more than a social media filter.