You are not a one dimensional human being. You are not your social media etiquette, a picture, a few things said under stress or through misunderstanding. You are much more. You are a fearless and wonderful soul who loves greatly. The people that matter are the ones that see all the dimensions of your soul, not just the superficial. –Shannon L Alder
Social media was created to allow us to communicate with each other across the globe – to create and maintain meaningful connections; to stay in touch with friends that have moved away; to celebrate victories and mourn losses with each other. Unfortunately, social media has become an outlet of highlight reels, photoshopping and filtering, gimmicky sales posts, and the root of all evil – comparison. What we see on social media in many cases is staged, altered, and fake. There are countless stories of individuals who wanted to become Insta-celebrities and Influencers – that spent thousands of dollars on outfits, photography, trips, etc. only to realize that social media had become an extremely unhealthy obsession and that they were no happier than when they had only a few followers. Even more frustrating are the posts from social media influencers stating that they’ve had multiple procedures done, use filters (I’m talking skin color changing, facial smoothing, red spot reducing) take 100s of photos before they found the right one, posing completely unnaturally so that their body looks more flattering, and the masses are applauding them for admitting these antics. We are actively applauding people for pretending, because it was “brave” of them to admit it.
On top of the parade of perfection that Instagram showcases, there is this idea that your profile should follow a certain theme. If you are losing followers, it’s because your posts don’t follow a theme or a trend. This literally means that you can post about one topic – and one topic only. I have personally experienced this, as have many new moms in the fitness industry (I know this because they have also posted about it). As soon as I found out that I was pregnant, I lost about 100 followers.. almost immediately. Apparently you cannot be a serious, badass athlete and also have a baby. In total, I have lost over 1000 now. My daughter is 4 months old and I post about her somewhat frequently – usually a monthly update and maybe a family photo every now and then. What I am experiencing is that I lose my audience if I post only gym updates, and I lose them if I post baby updates. This perpetuates the idea that you can only be one thing – and that I would have to choose which part of me I want to be. Well, this is complete crap. Humans are not one dimensional. We are not one thing and one thing only. You can be an elite athlete and a mom. You can be a successful entrepreneur and a dad. You can be a bodybuilder and also a foodie. Why do we continue to put people in boxes and silos? Why have we allowed social media to decide who we are – and put tons of effort into being that fake person? Admittedly I put way too much stress and pressure on myself to build a following – but being a sponsored athlete requires a strong social media presence. I also want to help others fall in love with fitness the way I have – and I want to do so through sharing my experience on social media. I want to help my friends’ businesses succeed and that means that I sometimes post about them. So my questions are – why do you follow the people you follow? What is it about their photos that makes you come back for more? If you followed someone and they posted something outside their normal topic.. would you unfollow? I want to remain myself – all dimensions of me.. even the imperfect ones.