The Problem With Media Part 2: Social Media
Social media is growing faster than ever and it continues to grow. I remember being so jacked about carrying an ugly purple phone without a cord on it to call my mom for a ride after practice and now teenagers and kids even younger have smartphones with accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The photos people post on social media platforms such as these can be extremely misleading and portray a “perfect” image to those within the health and fitness realm. There are a few (and invaluable) popular accounts that I have seen post something real stating that they don’t always look/live/act like they seem online because they’re just a normal person like everyone else – they enjoy wearing their “fat pants” and feel like they just don’t have it some days. The accounts and people who only post the best photos from the best angles of their lives with the best filters are the potential problems I’m speaking of. The issues are very similar to magazines and related media. People compare themselves to those who are their “ideal” body and it straight up ruins their own fitness/health journey.
For example, think about how you look and feel right after a really intense workout. You may be drenched in sweat, veins popping, muscles feeling swole, or you just plain old may feel accomplished and happy which is fantastic too. Your confidence and self-esteem are at the high point of your week. Then, you see one of your idols on Instagram post a picture looking lean, smooth, and strong lifting a weight without even breaking a sweat. Then you look back at yourself in the mirror and think what am I doing wrong? Why don’t my biceps look that defined? Why do I still have a spare tire when I do 200 crunches and sit-ups a day? So you may follow what that particular person does for a week or two and attempt to copy the food they post, drink two gallons of water per day like they say they do, and do the same exercises they post. After a little while without seeing results, you get burnt out and quit trying to be something you’re not and you’re back to square one – being upset with how you currently look and feel. This is just one example of what can happen when spending too much time online, and there are many others.
Use social media to find like-minded friends and share your own experiences with others. Don’t compare. Don’t judge. Don’t ridicule others for having different ideas than you. Take advice and opinions with a grain of salt. There are a lot of good things that can come from social media. Just remember, what you see isn’t always the truth.