INSTAGRAM! You fuck with my head! With you, my values become skewed, my self-worth is whacked, and I lose my tether on what's real.
A story: I have an acquaintanceship with a mentor who is well-known in the public field and whose opinion I greatly value.
I included her on my email announcing the opening of Flow and she very quickly and kindly wrote me a warm, supportive, and personal response. I mean, wow! So nice of her! How long did that good feeling last? Under 30 seconds, for sure. Because I was already grabbing my phone to see if she also followed me on Instagram. She didn't.
She knows me, supports me, encourages me - why the hell do I care so much if she follows me on Instagram? THAT'S not the real sign of affection - the genuine interest she has continuously shown in me is what's real. And, yet ... I fixate on that lack of follow.
What would it mean if she did follow me? That she publicly validates me? That I'm cool? Is that what's important to me?
Here I go again: Falling into the external validation trap. I bet you guys can relate. How easily we hand over the reins of our own self-worth to these arbitrary key holders. And we take personally what most likely has nothing to do with us. She probably doesn't even manage her own social media.
Again & again, I have to catch these moments and actively seek out the positive feelings. She wrote me! She sees me! My eyes well, my chest smiles, I breathe deeper. For me, THIS is what's important and THIS is what's real.
How about you? Tips on navigating the social media maze? What comes up for you?
Art by Blanca Miró Skoudy