The Pressure of Social Media

Since announcing to close friends and family that I would like to incorporate health and wellbeing coaching into my messy and convoluted career, I have seen a slight surge of people messaging asking me for life advice.

Getting it free whilst they can you see. Jokes.

But as I’ve spent many nights sitting there with two or three people messaging me with the same problem, I’ve often found myself thinking ‘wouldn’t it be nice to address this on YouTube or on a podcast’. Once thing is for sure… it would save my thumbs from early onset arthritis.

The problem is I don’t feel like I belong in the realms of social media. I’ve spent a lot of time watching health and fitness YouTubers, judging some of them on the rubbish they come out with, but because I don’t conform to the expectations (mainly Instagram) have set, I feel like I’m inviting myself to a party I’m not welcome at.

However, as I’m all about early intervention and prevention (and the fact I was only half joking about my thumbs), I’m going to have to suck it up because my people need me.

Now yes I have felt the pressures of being skinny, but when I did lose weight it wasn’t massively intentional at that exact moment in time and what shocked me the most was not only my new found confidence but also how WELL I felt. It’s especially obvious now whilst I’m carrying a little extra beef that my frame just isn’t cut out for carrying too much excess weight. In addition to this, I’m not someone who wears much make up because on the whole my face isn’t too offensive (IMO), I can’t overly be bothered to straighten my hair and I always chip my nail varnish so I don’t bother wearing it. Some may say I’m either very lazy or very confident. We’ll pretend it’s the latter shall we?

What I’m trying to say is that I can see there’s room for improvement but I’m not offensive to the naked eye. Yet I’m still pooping my pants about putting my face on the internet.

You see I feel like I’m trying to fit in with the cool kids even though I wouldn’t even put myself in the same category. I find myself wanting to earn their approval despite their unhealthy attitudes to health and fitness (not all of them I’d like to clarify). Why is this?

As Sarah’s Day states ‘act confident and no one will question you’ and the irony is she’s the one YouTuber who has not yet offended me with her approach to health and fitness. But on the flip side, she’s there filming herself in contortionist positions, having cured her own acne and owning the cutest dog on the planet whilst living next door to the beach in Australia. Yet she sits there describing herself as a ‘normal’ person.

And don’t even get me started on trying to break the ‘gram. I’m not sure what they want from me. And Twitter is a strange place.

But what I’m trying to get at is that despite some insecurities I have, I’m not battling anything major yet I feel significantly intimated by social media. So what about those that do feel they need to conform to what’s on Instagram and YouTube? I know teenage mental health was recently linked to Instagram (of course, which many defended) but I can see it. It’s setting this precedent that you have to have a gorgeous giant house, a partner with the body of an Adonis, a cute dog, a Mac Laptop, only the most expensive brands of clothing and makeup and an insane body.

What Instagram isn’t showing is that the people who have giant houses aren’t your average earners or had some inheritance knocking about; these people with Adonis bodies spend hours in the gym with their personal trainers and have meal plans sent to their doors. Additionally their job is social media so don’t have to worry about that plate of cakes sitting in the staff room. The dog cost well over £1000. The Mac Laptop is goals but still costs another £1000+, and that people modelling the clothing and makeup get it for free.

As pretty as it all looks, it’s not real life. That’s why we desire it. But whilst the influencers continue to describe themselves as ‘normal’, the rest of us will have to just continue living our inferior lives.

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