This. This, this, this, this, this. This is a problem. This is THE problem. “Social media is training us to compare our lives.” What a simple statement. Seems to knock you over the head it’s so simple, and one that I would generally take for granted as “duh, accept it, you already know that”. But let’s really THINK about it. It is training us. Training us! Does this make anyone else mad?
We don’t even realize how much we have normalized the consistent intake of things we don’t have, that we want, that are better than ours, or lives that seem more glamorous or fulfilling, and just generally content that truly, TRULY has zero effect on our real lives and livelihood. And what if we don’t want to be trained that way? What can we do about it? How can we take back control of our social lives and experiences on our phones?
Did anyone watch The Social Dilemma? I had a lot of friends who deleted their Instagram accounts after they watched the show, because they didn’t want to feel like they were a victim to their phone, or being controlled by technology. (Although they have since re-installed). The Social Dilemma honestly didn’t phase me, because now that’s how I efficiently shop. If I need some new black booties, I just google it once, talk about it around my phone, and BAM the exact pair of boots that I want pops up within a few hours. I’m ok with this kind of assistance, generally speaking. That doesn’t cause me anxiety or have less appreciation for my own life.
What I’m NOT ok with, is the way I feel when I’m using social media. I honestly come away feeling drained, disconnected, and bad about myself and my life choices 90% of the time. And I’m a pretty confident, functional, well-adjusted human (unless you ask my ex-husband. kidding.). I don’t even know WHY I open my social platforms most of the time. Think about it. What is your INTENTION of opening Instagram? To be distracted. To escape. I don’t go there to shop, but I end up shopping. I was listening to Alexa von Tobel’s podcast and she was interviewing the founder of THE YES and it stopped me in my tracks. She explained going to Instagram and shopping vs. using their app for a shopping experience (seriously, download the app, it’s killer), and how the baseline difference is intention. Don’t we all want to live and act with more intention? I know I feel better when I use my phone with intention. I’m in control.
Another example of using my phone without intention: I don’t go to Instagram to see someone else’s fabulous vacation, but I unintentionally do, and I end up feeling jealous that I’m stuck in 30 degree snow drifts. And I’m not a jealous person! Good for them! But the sheer amount of content we consume that has nothing to do with our lives, and if anything drives that comparison wedge between us and people we would generally be happy for (let’s catch up when you’re back, I’d love to hear about your trip!), is getting out of hand.
It’s not just that it feels bad superficially, it’s scientifically messing with our brains. Just check out what this study concluded published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.
“Studies have linked the use of social media to depression, anxiety, poorer sleep quality, lower self-esteem, inattention, and hyperactivity — often in teens and adolescents….
A new study concludes that there is in fact a causal link between the use of social media and negative effects on well-being, primarily depression and loneliness.”
That’s awful to think about, especially given how much time we spend on social media these days. But! Did you know that there’s a proven antidote?
Doing good lowers cortisol levels, raises endorphins, and increases serotonin. It LITERALLY makes you feel better. More on this in another blog, but I just get so dang excited about it, I had to mention it.
So. If you want to intentionally engage with, be vulnerable with, be authentic with, celebrate, and support your friends and your communities, where do you go?
If you have 30 minutes to “escape”, what if you could jump on a platform that would direct your thinking in a positive direction? And you might actually take a positive action in real life because of it?
That’s what afloat is all about. We are the space that is the ACTUAL social, social media. The space of action and positivity, where no one leaves feeling depressed. The space where you put good news, good vibes, and good into ACTION. That good can be a positive quote. That good can be a favor. That good can be an offer. That good can be asking for a ride for a child to soccer practice, or throwing afloat to the local children’s hospital group to see if anyone has any needs. That good can be supporting a local business by celebrating a friend’s move, or new baby, or birthday. The good can be sharing that your little one just lost their first tooth (yes, even Press is getting on board and asked me to share it on afloat! #proudmom)
We have built our basic platform for positivity, and have SO many amazing features to continue to build, roll out, and make it easier to support, celebrate, and be afloat.
Excited to be on the journey with you all and change the direction and intention of social media! #letsgetafloat