Where to begin… Let’s start with the morning routine most of us probably have in common- I don’t know about you but when I first open my eyes in the morning, 9/10 times I reach for my phone. First, I check the weather, then my email, text messages, Instagram, tiktok, my email again, and before you know it, I’m caught endlessly scrolling and convincing myself to purchase an outrageous item an advertisement perfectly targeted me for. Whether we choose to admit it or not, social media has truly become one of the main pillars of our society.

Our social feeds are the places we curate to come learn, be inspired, share our lives, and observe the world around us. On the upside, social media can be an amazing tool to connect with others, chime in on important conversations, and promote/share one’s work. In a year where we have all had to isolate, social media has been especially helpful in bridging the gaps between us all. All of this being said, I believe the accounts and people we choose to follow have large effects on our emotional state whether we are aware of it or not. About 1.5 years ago, I made the decision to restructure my Instagram feed. I challenged myself to fill it only with people/accounts that provided value in my life. Although it’s sometimes awkward to unfollow an account, I think it’s a necessary step to avoid those triggering posts and create a safe space for yourself. The things we come across when scrolling, truly act as food for our thoughts. Just like our bodies need nutrients to function well, our minds need that nutrition in a similar way. This isn’t to say social media will always be light and fun (it’s so necessary we all say educated and alert!) but being aware of how our energy is consumed, is so important.

There’s an unspoken pressure that comes with being on each of these social platforms. More often than not, the most aesthetic and picture-perfect photos are rewarded with the most engagement. Because of this, platforms like Instagram have historically been known to be highlight reels and popularity contests. This tends to create a false sense of reality for us all. As we continue through 2021 it’s been so encouraging to see others beginning to speak up about the importance of authenticity and imperfection. In a world where comparison and self-doubt are so common, we must keep working towards lifting each other up and supporting our individuality! We have to remind ourselves that social media is not real life. Regardless of the follower count, likes on a photo, or number of trendy outfit posts, at the end of the day, all that really matters is our life beyond the screen. Are we happy? Are we contributing to a just society? Do our words online translate to the actions in reality? THAT is what truly matters and will create a world of truth.