Posting an amazing #OOTD (outfit of the day) or boasting about a major achievement via social media sure does give you a rush. But when you’re having a lacklustre week and start scrolling through a newsfeed filled with glamorous business trips and power lunches, it’s hard not to compare yourself.
Even so, it can be difficult to resist a quick peek at your channels (FOMO was coined for a reason!). Women log a lot of time online – on average, 24.8 hours per month, according to one study. Of those hours, 16.3 percent of the time women spend online is allotted to social networking.
To keep your scroll under control, Beauty for a Purpose consulted the experts on how to stay positive, support your #squad online, and share happy events with grace.
Our updates are often reflections of our best days and most ideal moments—an “aspirational self” (as we show in the photos above), explains social media psychologist Dr. Pamela Rutledge. “I think the trick is to remember that no one has a ‘perfect’ life and people are only posting the best stuff,” says Jamie Stone, founder and editor of the beauty blog Honestly Jamie. Kathryne Taylor, founder and editor of the food blog Cookie + Kate, adds: “Know that photos are usually staged. I speak from experience when I say there’s probably a mess over to the left of the camera.”
Join in others’ happy moments without comparing yourself. For Taylor, this means recognising that another blogger’s book deal announcement is exciting, but not grounds for career envy. “Someone else’s achievement has no consequence on my own, so I don’t see why I shouldn’t celebrate everyone else’s successes with them,” Taylor says. “Measure yourself only by your definition of success.”
Search out and follow accounts that inspire, encourage and amuse you. “Think, ‘What am I gaining here?’ That simple shift will totally change your mood and how you interact with other people,” Rutledge advises.
“Realise you’re in charge—you control the off button,” says Rutledge, who recommends getting any aggressive over-sharers off your newsfeed. “If someone is rude in real life we step away, but on social media we forget to do that.” Case in point: Taylor says, “I purposely don’t follow accounts that just look 100-percent perfect. Some bloggers make videos about frolicking in fields in slow motion and twirling around in a white frilly dress—and that’s just not my life at all. I’m walking through the grocery store in yoga pants.”
In your own posts, let your social network know about a big event in your life like landing a promotion or receiving an award—just be honest about how you got there. “I try not to present accomplishments as if though they were effortless because I know that that’s never true,” shares Taylor. Rutledge suggests contextualising your fab experience to give your followers a little background: “Say, ‘I wish I looked like this every single day, check out my hair today!’”
Make sure the network you’re sharing with consists of people who care about you and are ready to press the “like” button with each milestone. “I find that my followers are very supportive when good things happen to me—there’s definitely a really nice feeling of ‘you go, girl!’ which I love,” Stone admits.