Why is there such a need to achieve perfection and how does it affect our life and relationships in the current “Selfie” climate. How does it affect our parenting styles?
You know the scenario: You just had an emotionally draining day that ended with you bumping heads with your spouse only to foolishly open your phone and scroll through social media to see friends and their families living their picture-perfect lives. You know in your heart of hearts that there is a difference between real life and social media life, but you still let it invade your head space. From there you go into the rabbit hole that is social media and your mind starts to spiral. Sound familiar? How do we separate what we see on social media versus what really happens in life behind closed doors? From perfect pictures of perfect bodies, perfect relationships and perfect parenting, what happens when we remove the filters? Are we truly happy with ourselves? How do we separate the façade of real life versus social media life? And the most important question of all: How do we protect our children from so much fakery?
On social media, sometimes it can feel as though we’re bombarded with images of glamorous lives and ‘perfect’ bodies. But we must pause and remind ourselves that we can’t always believe everything we see. This false sense of reality can affect not only our own self-esteem, but also our relationships – like the relationship between our spouse or partner. The illusion of this ideal lifestyle has created a sense of jealously and the constant need to compare. According to studies performed, “Social media (and the drama and temptations that come with it) is having a big impact on marriages. So big, in fact, that 1 in 3 divorces start as online affairs. And divorce attorneys now regularly use social media and digital communications as evidence in a large percentage of divorce cases.” Avoid this problem by taking social media breaks and putting the phone down. Take a social media cleanse and give quality time to your relationship with your partner. Have a glass of wine after bedtime and build a puzzle, buy a special dessert to have after the kids go to bed, sit next to your partner on the couch as you catch up on your favorite tv show. Stay present in your marriage rather than on social media.
When it comes to self-image, sadly social media’s role has drastically increased throughout the years resulting in a lot of self-doubt. Studies show that 88% of women compare themselves to images they observe on social media, with over half of them emphasizing that the comparison is unfavorable. If you notice your confidence is dwindling, this is another red flag to not only take a “social media holiday” but also take time for you. Monique Samuels, founder of Not For Lazy Moms, encourages women to take an “Ugly Day.” She writes, “With all of the nonstop movement in my home and work life, some days I dream of staying in my pajamas, no shower, no doing my hair, no makeup, no husband and no kids! I just want to lock myself in my bedroom, watch my favorite shows in peace while a babysitter plays my role for a full day. Well, every few months, I actually get to live out this dream. I take an ugly day because I think I deserve it. Nothing about this day is pretty… well, except for the fact that I can do whatever I want, which is nothing at all.” Taking an “ugly day” and a day away from social media, can give you the pampering and reboot that you need to have a healthy and happy mindset moving forward.
Experts say kids are growing up with more anxiety and less self-esteem due to social media. The lines of communication need to always be open and honest when it comes to social media. Educate your children on the benefits, but also the dangers. Kids Health dot org provides a great article about how to teach your child about social media.
While social media is definitely a big culprit in hiding our “imperfections,” there are a ton of benefits to social media as well. You are able to connect with family and friends, promote your business as well as engage with your customers, raise funds for those in need, and stay in touch with events happening all over the world. You just have to remain self-aware and in tune with yourself to know if social media is doing more harm than good. The most important thing is to make sure you are happy in real life, not just the life you portray on social media.