The dark side to social media


If you’re offended by bad language, then please stop reading this now because I’m fired up and there’s going to be a lot of it.

One of my good friends recently posted a very raw, honest and quite emotional post on Instagram detailing their struggles with social media, and confessed to cropping a photo of themselves because they were worried about how they looked and how people might judge.

This person is super athletic, attractive, with a body that does most certainly NOT need to be cropped.

This made me very angry.

Not at my friend, but at the underlying reasons WHY they did what they did.

Social media, I will admit, is a great tool for connecting with millions of people. You would not be reading this now if it wasn’t for social media. Businesses would not be thriving, people would not be connecting and new opportunities would never exist.

But fuck, I hate it.

I despise it with every single inch of my being.

Social media is exceptionally good at telling people who we WANT to be, not who we actually are.

We all know this, yet so many people still get caught up in the constant comparing, the constant “Look at her body”, “Look at this person’s holiday”, “Look at this person’s car”, “I wish I could do that” etc etc.

You get the picture.

Here’s a fucking news flash.

Her body is photoshopped. The holiday is afforded via finance. The car is on loan for the day.

Instagram has royally fucked up our society. Eating disorders, body dysmorphia, relationship breakdowns, anxiety, depression. I’m not a scientist and I have no quantitative proof for saying this, but in my opinion ALL of these things would in some way stem from the constant, daily, hourly comparisons to other people; and not just comparisons to other people, but comparisons to other people’s fake bullshit.

Please, if you are reading this and have the courage to be truly honest with yourself, you will see that at some stage, you have most likely compared your body, your life; to someone else’s.

This is an absolute one-way path to unhappiness.

In my experiences as a personal trainer and now business owner, I have seen, and built relationships with, many people. People tell me a lot of their deep dark shit. And let me tell you, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US is going through some shit. Everyone.

I don’t give a fuck if some girl (or guy for that matter) has posted some half naked selfie on a yacht in the Bahamas with the caption ‘I wonder if its going to rain today haha (insert that fucking stupid monkey face emoji)’, what you probably don’t see after the photo is her crying on the floor as a result of her crippling anxiety; because she didn’t get as many likes as she wanted or some little nerd troll living in his Mum’s basement commented saying “You’re ugly as fuck”; a crippling anxiety that she struggles with every minute of every day.

But none of us would know that because that’s not what they choose to show.

That is just one example, but you get the picture. Everyone is going through shit, regardless of how they portray themselves to be.

If I can help just ONE person who reads this, just one, have a moment of realisation and go “Shit, that’s right. Everyone is going through shit, this person’s life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, I am going to stop comparing myself to them”, then I will be a happy man.

Please understand, everyone is running their own race, and dealing with their own shit.

During a horse race, they put blinders on a horse so as it’s only focus is STRAIGHT AHEAD, not what every other horse is doing beside them. If they are worrying about another horse, they might miss a step and fall. When you’re running towards a goal, when you have a vision you’re chasing, you need to put the blinders on. You can’t afford to be distracted by others, to give a shit what others think, or in the case of social media; to constantly compare yourself to other people’s fake bullshit portrayal of how they WISH their life was, not how it actually is.

I would apologise for the language I’ve used here, except for one simple reason.

This is me.

I swear sometimes when I get fired up about things.

Changing my language in this blog post would be akin to photoshopping a photo on Instagram.

An unrealistic depiction of who I am.

And that’s not what I am about, at all.

Please, over this Christmas holiday period, when you see some D-list Instagram celebrity wannabe posting a photo at the beach with her artificially whitened teeth, basically zero clothes on to show the new boob job everyone’s debating “whether she got or not”, and her severely cropped photo with a completely unrelated caption like ‘My house nearly flooded yesterday what is with this weather lol’ (just FYI Instagram girls, if you want to post a photo to show your boobs, just fucking say in the caption ‘How good do my new boobs look in my bikini”.. We’re not stupid, everyone knows that is why you are posting this shit. At least just own it.), instead of looking at it and going “Oh wow, why can’t I look like her she is SO hot” instead flip your thinking and go “Wow, that poor girl, she’s so insecure she feels compelled to artificially alter who she is to make herself feel better. I do not want to be like her at all. I am truly comfortable in my OWN skin”.

PS. No, this doesn’t just apply to girls. Men are just as guilty of this shit too, I only used girls as an example because of my friend whom I alluded to in the early stages of this blog.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Coach Sean