Social media is incredibly powerful, motivational and inspirational, but it can also have a very negative affect on us.
One of the issues with social media in the fitness realm is the obsession with always being super ‘healthy’ and eating nothing but avocado, quinoa or kale! Obviously these foods are all actually quite nutritionally good for you, however they are also the ‘in’ healthy foods, which means it’s all everyone wants to post about on Instagram and other social media accounts. So your feed ends up being full of the same type of meals, and so well presented so that it looks like a surgeon put them together!
The problem with these recycled and recreated perfectly arranged meals and pictures is that it makes people feel they have to live this way, eating just these ‘in’ foods in order to consider themselves healthy or to fit in. Having this constantly reinforced via images and videos could lead some down the path of orthorexia, which is an obsession with eating healthy and that in itself is not a healthy way to live.
Life is to be lived and enjoyed, you can one hundred percent still look and feel great while still enjoying foods you love that may not be perceived as healthy. Life is about balance.
Fitness on social media has a very powerful effect on viewers because so much of it is obviously about how you look. This leads to an influx of what many would call perfect bodies or physiques. Now, while the majority of these people should be commended for their hard work and the way in which they help and inspire others to achieve their goals, many are more fickle with their approach and often you’re left to feel it’s more about them than their audience.
This side of social media is literally the definition of judging a book by
We think users on social media, especially those with a large following, need to set an example; a positive, encouraging and accepting example that leaves viewers feeling positive about their bodies, their goals and their lives.
The same applies with just posting highlight reels of life. Sure, we want our pages to be cheerful and positive but I feel it’s important to also let people know that we have bad days too.
Life will always have its ups and downs, it’s what gives us contrast and allows our highs to be high and our lows low. Without one you can’t have the other. So when you are constantly comparing yourself and your life to someone who seems perfect then it’s only going to make you feel less adequate; both those posting pictures and those viewing them need to be aware and consider this. We as creators need to consider how we affect and motivate our viewers and all of us as viewers need to be aware that all is not always as it seems, often the creators feel many of the same pressures to keep up as the viewers.
Ultimately, social media is about being social and bridging the gap between creator and viewer; honesty and vulnerability is what makes us real and approachable. Let’s have less of the perfect and more of the perfectly normal.