Social media is awesome isn’t it? All those pictures to inspire you, all the lovely people you have “met” online, all the advice and support from the pole community right there at you fingertips. It’s brilliant, right?
Until the day you feel like crap, and it reminds you that everyone else is amazing and brilliant and perfect and doing so much better than you are.
This is absolutely nonsense, you know that. You know that for every perfect pole pic you see, there are 10, 20, 30 that didn’t make the cut. You know that no one posts a status about how crap they are feeling this week, and that training left them feeling defeated and deflated and that they may as well give up. Deep down we know it’s all an illusion, that nobody is perfect.
Let’s face it, social media isn’t going anywhere. So let’s look at what we can we do to make it a positive experience.
But first, an evolutionary biology lesson. Bear with me while I don my white coat and sexy specs. Listen carefully, here comes the science bit.
When we look at it like this, we can understand that we are DESIGNED to care what others think of us, we have evolved to try to win the approval of others, a craving for admiration and approval is built into our DNA. So next time you get a warm feeling if you get a lot of Instagram likes, or get a buzz from being Bad Kitty Pic Of The Day, or screenshot the notification that your pole idol (your tribal leader) liked your photo (and I know we alllll do that, even pole idols themselves), that is NOT vanity, that is NOT embarrassing, that my pole friends is evolution at work. You have been accepted by your tribe and your safety in the tribe has been guaranteed for the day.
The problem is this: our lifestyles have now evolved to a point where we do not need the approval of the tribe any more, but our DNA has not caught up. We are connected to the entire world now, meaning our tribe is no longer 40 or 50 people whom we depend upon for survival, but instead an infinite number strangers who make no difference to our lives whatsoever. It really doesn’t matter if they like us or not.
Yet science and evolution and biology and stuff is an almighty thing, and often means we irrationally do care, and give these people the power to make us feel rubbish.
Maybe we just feel it more because the pole community is very much that – a community, and that taps directly into that part out genetic make up that seeks approval and seeks comparison.
So how can we apply this to our social media use? How can this knowledge help us feel good, and get all the good bits of social media and avoid the bad bits?
Let’s break it down:
We enjoy the approval because we are programmed to. So we don’t need to feel bad about that. It’s natural. It’s how we are made. Go ahead and like your likes.
Everyone is doing it. They are doing it because they are human too, and they want approval too, even if they are a superstar pole idol (perhaps even more so, no tribal leader wants to lose their prestigious secure position).
However we don’t need to seek approval anymore. Recognise those feelings of approval, but realise they are meaningless.
Don’t let anyone else’s success make you feel bad. They are just trying to assert their safety in the tribe. Another persons progress will not affect your position in the tribe, because that tribe does not exist any more. You are programmed by nature to feel threatened, but those times are gone. Nature can sod off, basically.
The only tribe you need to impress are your ACTUAL tribe – the family and friends around you. You know, the ones you ignore while you mess about on your phone checking your Instagram likes. See? Evolution is great for Mark Zuckerberg’s business plan, but not for you. Recognise social media for what it is, but don’t let it make you feel bad anymore.
So go ahead and enjoy your social network community. Enjoy the pics and the inspiration and the likes and the comments and the funny videos of cats and get excited by the small things, then put the phone down and go and do something else (after you’ve read my blogs, liked it, commented on it, and shared it, obviously. I’m only human after all ?).