Sometimes I am easily fooled into thinking that modern living is all about appearances. Simply because we life through multiple a social media lens’. It is often blamed for so many of our modern social ills.
Eating disorders, self-harming, social anxiety, or exclusion and many other topics. At one time or other in recent history all of these things have been blamed on social media.
Sure, I agree that todays social media has a global influence in society at every level. To place the blame exclusively at its feet though is an oversimplification.
You see for some, social media has given a voice. Allowing people to see beyond walls. Technology makes the inaccessible accessible to isolated people. It also isolates.
Equally, every generation has their own social media. Even the Roman’s had it. From guys boasting about how many sexual conquests they had, to rhymes of undying love.
Messages between brothers posted on a friends walls. I mean literally writing on their friends wall, because, I’m talking about graffiti.
Like social media, Roman graffiti influenced the everyday lives of people all over the empire.
Without oversimplifying or trivialising the effects of social media I do recognise it’s a complex phenomenon.
Some of my clients inform me of the detrimental effects of social media on the very foundations of their personhood.
By the same token affecting their body image, and social acceptability, and how they experience themselves through the lens’ of others peoples pages and posts.
Coupled with the expectation to be constantly beautiful, always accessible, always with it, always strong. This is more than stressful.
Like the beautiful photo of stones, it’s always ready to crash down if someone either deliberately or accidently knocks the stack over.
In like manner this constant stress results often in generalised anxiety, and panic attacks. Over time, it leads to depression and sometimes complete social reclusion.
Although labels like these maybe helpful, it is important to remember that they do not express the totally of anyone.
It needn’t be like this. With help, and guidance, people can strengthen existing and create new resources. Planting firm foundations within themselves.
Learning the source of anxiety, means we can be free from the strangers appraisal. We can be at peace and live again.
There are multiple reasons why this is important, one stands out above the rest. If I am so taken up with living my life through the media lens of other people, who is actually living, me? I want to help people live their life, not someone else’s version of their life.
Never stop being you.