Articles Tagged with: social media
GUEST BLOG by Gabrielle: Breaking Up With Social Media

My boyfriend and I decided to take a break, a break from social media. Inspired by hearing about others who did the unthinkable and quit social media ‘cold turkey’ for 30 days,  we decided to give it a try.

Thirty days was a bit more than we thought we could handle to start, so we opted for a week.  Seven days with no Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat. Which interestingly, rendered our phones quite useless  after all of these apps were locked.

Our 1st challenge occurred three days into the week while at a Raptors game.  I wanted to post a picture of us on Instagram. After a debate, we decided together that I could post it, but that I had to close the app right afterwards and not reopen it until the challenge was over. Five minutes later, we started to bicker about the caption on the picture. I could feel myself becoming agitated. I closed the app and while looking at one another we had the same realization. The first conflict we had since starting the challenge was when one of us started to engage with social media. Let that sit with you for a minute.

If I could describe the week in one word, it would be relief. It was a relief to learn that I could go into an experience without the pressure or expectation to share it with the world. I was relieved of the pressure to prove to someone else that I was having a good time. It was just the experience and I, and that was pretty great. We enjoyed the week so much that we continue to have time limits on our social media apps to this day and still hold each other accountable.

So many of us use these apps to express ourselves; to show the world what we love and to capture amazing memories. But ironically, the process and the pressure of capturing life’s special moments in order to share them with the world also distracts us from fully enjoying them.  Moreover, our awareness of the “likes” we acquire along the way runs the risk of reinforcing a soul destroying premise: that our lives only matter if approved of by others.  And then there is the automatic comparison to those who are always living a more fabulous life – a recipe for feeding the wide-spread  belief most of us carry that whoever we are is not enough.

The week without social media was like finally taking a conscious deep breath and realizing just how much stress I had been carrying.   We can certainly get by with shallow breathing throughout most of our days.  But once we know what a deep breath feels like, well, we might decide to pay attention to the process we take for granted and consciously give ourselves more of what we really need.  Which is not to live in the shallow, but to dive in, and really enjoy the deep.

I am a millennial and there is no denying that smartphones, technology, and specifically social media, have a huge influence on how I engage in the world. But I have redefined my relationship with it. Now I can see that the connections I want are all around me. For that, this was the best break I have ever had.

When was the last time you spent an extensive amount of time without social media? I invite you to try this same challenge and share your experience with us in the comments below. Or don’t comment and enjoy the experience for yourself.

Feeling grateful to have shared this with you,

Gabrielle Iwaskow, Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

 

Interested in learning more about Gabrielle and how she helps people Design Their Lives? Click here to learn more and to book your free consult today.


Divine Mothering: The antidote to being Pinterest Perfect

 

About a month ago, I was contacted by Simone Olivero, Assignment Editor at Yahoo! Canada for my expert opinion about a disturbing trend: websites like #thighgap, and #collarbonechallenge that make being thin a competitive sport.  I was horrified to know that websites that encourage eating disordered behaviour like this would even be allowed to exist.

You can read the article here:   What’s really happening when body shaming on… – Fashion and lifestyle News – Yahoo Style Canada

The timing of Simone’s request was interesting as I had recently been thinking about how the media routinely sets women up to feel inadequate at all stages of life.

When I was a teenager, me and my friends spent hours pouring over fashion magazines, debating which of the super models was the most beautiful and trying our best to emulate their looks.  Needless to say, as a slightly overweight girl of colour, seeing beauty consistently depicted as thin, typically blond and white did not do much for my self-esteem.

I have to imagine that the internet’s ability to expose us to a gazillion images of perfection can only serve to cause many of us to feel like we are just not measuring up.  Of course, celebrities are not exactly “normal” people.  It’s their job to look perfect.  But we nevertheless can’t seem to help but compare ourselves when one of them is featured in a magazine looking as thin as ever just after giving birth…to twins!

In addition to the constant barrage of celebrity “news”, social media provides a venue where many of us “normal folks” can post pictures of our best moments and pretend that it is an actual day in the life.  So much for reality! Social media has essentially taken the pursuit of “keeping up with the Joneses” to a new level.

My friend and colleague Nikki Bergen (http://www.nikkibergen.com/)  recently introduced me to a term that eloquently sums up much of the content on social media:  “Pinterest Perfect”.   I loved the term so much that we decided to use it in the title of a workshop we are presenting this September on postpartum recovery.  It’s called, Modern Motherhood:  NOT Pinterest Perfect.

One of the topics we plan to discuss is the influence of social media on the development of unrealistic standards for postnatal recovery and the negative impact this has on body image and self-esteem. 

And then I came across this site:  http://divine-mothering.com/

What a welcome breath of fresh air to see these postpartum women with their babies looking absolutely radiant and comfortable in their own skin.    Bravo Liliana Toboas for conceiving of this project and for your celebration of moms and their inspiring stories.  We finally have a bit of balance to the conversation.

Check out my EVENTS page at http://www.drstacythomas.com/events/ for more information about my workshop with Nikki Bergen, founder of the Bump Method, on September 20, 2015.  We look forward to hearing more stories from real women about the realities of motherhood as well as sharing concrete strategies for getting back to feeling good again, both emotionally and physically.

It is sure to be a spirited discussion.

Hope to see you there.

Dr. Stacy