Somehow, without fail, I open up Instagram and instantly feel really crappy about myself. It’s like I need to be doing something really amazing with my life otherwise, I’m nothing.
I often forget social media is a lie. Just because a post shows something really cool, doesn’t mean that’s how that person is living their life. They could even be at their ultimate low and just not show it. It’s easy to forget social media is a tool for escapism. Most people use it to show the very best of themselves or whatever fun thing they want to share. But, the thing is we are all human and it’s a very human feeling to scroll through social media and automatically feel disappointed in your own life. Is it natural? Maybe, but it’s for sure as hell not healthy. Everyone I’ve spoken to has either felt or feels the same way as I do. So, although the feeling is mutual, it’s not good for our mental health.
A strong part of me really wants to share all the good, the bad, and the ugly, but I feel so hesitant because of . . . well . . . fear. It took a lot of courage, but I finally shared on IG the story of my chronic pain. But, then again, I still haven’t posted much after.
As a model, it’s pretty important to have a social media presence. Social media for models is like having that extra spark to show potential clients. The modeling world is almost predominantly based on looks, hopefully with the help of @shitmodelmgmt, the fashion industry will change, so when you go to a casting, you give them your comp card (essentially a model’s business card with photos of themselves and their agency) and show them your portfolio (basically a model’s resume of photos). I am grateful that social media has opened doors for me as a model. I was scouted on social media by an agency in Thailand and went there for model placement twice already. So, social media has it’s benefits and to be able to open doors for people, it’s even better. You never know where life will take you or what careers you will have with having a social media presence. AND during this time, with the pandemic, I feel like being more active on social media is becoming more essential with not being able to physically attend castings and meet the client. Meeting the client is like an interview. They get to see your personality and get a feel for who you are, but now that it is taken away because of Covid19, the next best thing is social media and hoping the client is interested enough to stalk you on IG. But to do that, IG takes WORK and upkeep and posts and keeping up to date with everything. So, yes, I’ve been slipping and lately, I’ve been feeling as though social media has sucked all the joy of modeling altogether. And with all those influencers out there, it makes me feel like modeling is becoming obsolete. How can one compete with an influencer with more than 100K followers? I only have like 2,000 and I’m finding every time I post something, a follower drops me as easily as Gen-Zer’s declaring skinny jeans and side hair parts are out of fashion.
So, again, yes, I’ve been spending less time on social media and spending more time on myself. 2020 is the year that everyone’s lives basically blew up. We all learned something whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. Slow down. Focus on your mental, emotional, and physical health. Be present. Practice mindfulness. Spend quality time with your loved ones whether that’s who you live with or who you chat with on FaceTime, over the phone, or Zoom.
In addition to feeling inadequate and the amount of work social media really is, there’s just so much information being shared. It’s a feeling of in-your-face-bombardment of information being passed around left and right. Don’t get me wrong, IT IS GOOD TO HAVE. It’s a step forward in the right direction. People NEED to be aware of this, but there is such as thing as an overwhelming amount of information flooding your mind and heart. As a society, WE NEEDED to see this. The way African Americans and generally all people of color are being treated is insanely inhumane. I am still learning something new every day and research is very important. It’s key to always be informed. It’s key to always keep learning and expanding your mind. It’s key to be open-minded and even key to see another perspective. However, there’s a sort of obligation and added pressure to speak up about it and use social media as a platform to generate more awareness on the subject, which isn’t exactly the best for emotional health. For those suffering with an invisible illness, it’s essential to remember your health comes first. If you have energy to speak up about it, do so, but if you’re feeling drained, don’t feel guilty about not putting your two cents in. I drove myself into bed rest for several months trying to be the voice and using my social media as a platform, so that’s why I haven’t spoken much about the topic since and one of the big reasons I’ve been off social media altogether. It’s as if I’m stuck in mud not knowing how to get out of it.
2020 has definitely taken a toll on my physical health. If you’ve read my past three posts: here, here, and here, you’d realize that my physical pain increased drastically leaving me to fight my internal battles even harder than ever. I’ve gotten really good at masking it well, to be able to show that nothing is wrong type of mask, but I couldn’t in 2020 and I can’t now. I’m too tired to try to hide it as if it were some kind of eye sore. I don’t have the energy in me to do that anymore and lately I’ve been becoming more and more desperate. I said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t want to be on pain killers for the rest of my life. I don’t want to have to up the dosage every time I get used to a medication. I want something natural and have been on the hunt for some relief. I’ll share my findings at a later date, but for now this post is about social media and why my presence has been lacking. I don’t think I need to say it though, it’s pretty self explanatory, right?
High pain -> Decreased energy -> No energy for social media
So as 2021 continues on, I’ve decided to be completely intentional with my words and my actions. I may slip here and there, but I’m going to try my hardest to be as intentional and as true as possible. I’m not going to delete my IG, but I for sure am going to be a little more intentional with how long I spend on social media, what I put in front of me, what I post, and who I follow. For the sake of my mental, emotional, and physical health, I am putting myself first this time. As long as I vow to continue to learn and do my research and remain connected to those who matter to me, I think it’s more important that I don’t drive myself into bed rest like I did last year.
p.s. I’m ringing in the “New Year” (wink wink it’s February, but my first post in 2021) with a fresh new look!
Thank you for being so brave and sharing your story!
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