There’s no denying it: almost everyone now spends lots of time on social media. Is this good? Is this bad? That’s not for me to say: I don’t think that we could class social media as either good or bad, but for sure we can make good or bad uses of it.
Social media per se can be great to keep in touch with friends and family close and far and I guess this is why they were initially called “social”.
However, I think it’s fair to say that the purpose and role of social media in our lives has changed over time. Admit it, you cringe too at the memories that Facebook throws at you from 10 years ago (oh, the things I used to share, the way how I was writing, the motivational quotes…I think I over-rolled my eyes!) and I don’t think you share or engage with content in the same way you used to.
Additionally, social media is now full of “InFlUeNzAs” (if this is a career you are interested in, you might want to consider this university degree). There are so many of them that it’s now more difficult than ever to work out who is worth following and who is not. There are charlatans, self-proclaimed experts, real experts, accounts that you follow for giggles and those that you follow for inspiration and education. Good critical thinking has never been more necessary than now! Let me tell you why I think it’s worth to do a little research before you mindlessly start to follow someone new on social media.
Have you ever opened Instagram during your lunch break and by the time you put your phone away your mood had changed? Now, if your mood improved, that is great. But what often happens is that we follow accounts that have the power to make us feel bad about ourselves – about the way we look, eat, feel, think… So, do you REALLY need to follow those people? Those models that portray an unrealistic body image? Those actors that can enjoy holidays you could never even imagine? Those people that tell you that eating carbs or fat or protein will kill you? If you put away your phone feeling off, maybe you should take a moment to think of who or what caused that and start unfollowing some people.
If you are after knowledge, follow accounts that you can trust – do some research on them, check that they base their claims on evidence, have a look at their previous posts to see that they add to your knowledge and not to your fears.
If you are after body image inspiration, don’t follow those that are paid to look great, follow that mum that posts her workouts, that dad that is on a weight loss journey and cooks his own meals, your local and trusted trainer. Follow people that share their real-life story, not the models and actors that “woke up like this” because let’s be real, no one wakes up looking like that so why make that your goal? Is that going to inspire you or will you feel like a failure because you don’t look like them?
If you are after holiday inspiration, follow travel agents, backpackers, those that show holidays that you could afford! Not those that are wealthy and get free holidays all around the world, you will feel bad for not having their wallet.
If you are after nutrition advice, beware of those that shout that they have the ultimate diet or product that works for everyone. There are no miracle products and we are all different, coming from different walks of life and going in different directions so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all when it comes to nutrition. Look for qualified professionals that share their knowledge, that give information and insights on different methods to achieve your goals so that you have the tools to test them out and decide what really works for YOU.
If social media doesn’t affect you, that is a sign of great confidence and I praise you, but it’s always good to be a bit mindful of who you follow – is it really worth to support accounts that make completely unfounded and misleading claims?
We spend a lot of time without noses stuck to our phones, so let’s try to make sure that we use this time for something good. Find pages that help you reach your goals, stay in touch with friends and family, find pages that give you a morale boost when you need it!
Needless to say, if you don’t follow us already you should start right now! We are qualified personal trainers and nutritionists; we base our knowledge on evidence and not bias so we’ll always be able to back up any information we give you. But we are also (and mostly) mums and wives, with real lives so you’ll often see us sharing tips, tricks, struggles and successes!