Influence of Social Media and Society's Messages
We live in an ever increasing society where it is based on materialism and everything being disposable, be it clothes, phones, cars, appliances, jobs, down to important fundamental 'human core' needs such as, relationships and friendships. With societies evolving influence of social media, we are being programmed to view the world in a superficial level, with the main underpinning message ‘nothing lasts for ever’. Do not get me wrong, if a job, relationship or friendship is not ‘healthy’ in your life then it may be time to move on.
We are being heavily influenced to look, behave and act in a certain way, I often wonder, how as intelligent individuals, we fall in to these traps. This highlights how powerful the media & societies messages are, but more importantly, is this now our way of feeling part of, or connected to now?
The growing number of children, young people, couples and adults that I see, that are governed by social media and societies messages and what it portrays to us. The impact of this, is that there is increasing numbers of mental and emotional well-being issues on the rise. Be this, self-harm, low self-esteem, body image issues, suicidal idealisation, OCD, depression, anxiety being ‘huge’ and many more issues besides this.
Living in such preoccupied times, we are missing out on how to just ‘be’ and on the real crucial elements of what we are truly craving, to be ‘loved and to connected’ to one another in an ‘authentic’ way. All we are doing is going through the motions, feeling empty and isolated and never feeling truly ‘emotionally’ fulfilled or connected.
Never a truer statement, ‘money does not bring us happiness, it is quality of our relationships and our passions that bring fulfilment to our lives’. When we are 75 years old and looking back on our life, we are not going to be thinking about what material possessions we had, but the memories that we experienced!
It has become socially acceptable or encouraged to walk away the moment things get hard, rather than try to work through our problems or issues (again it has to be within reason, there are times we need to make changes in our life, if our relationships or situations we are in that are not healthy any more, then it is time move on). The aim is to build resilience and draw strength from the hard times, as growth requires being challenged. How do we ever value the good things life has to offer, if we do not have the difficult times - we cannot appreciate one without the other, can we?
It is the age old thing of, ‘good and bad, ying and yang’, we need both sides to develop as a human, but who said it was easy, in fact it can be bloody hard sometimes’!
I am fascinated by life’s ‘illusions’ that we live by and what we create in our minds defined by society and social media messages, which we actually instil in our psyche and we start to embed. If you hear something over and over again, you start to believe it right? What happened in believing in each other and promoting being kind and understanding of one another, don’t get me wrong we all influenced by these messages and fall in to this trap, it’s human nature!
I always start sessions with my clients breaking down some of these ‘illusions’, for example,
‘Expectations, we all have them, none of us know what they are, but we know when they are not being meet!’ What does this even mean, but we are all guilty of it.
‘Needs, we all have them, none of us know what they are, but we know when they are not being met’.
Unless we truly understand what we are wanting or need, how can we ask this of another person, therefore never getting what we want or desire. This is a classic example of what I mean by an illusion. I often hear, “I just want to be happy or supported”, however if we don’t understand what makes us ‘happy or supported’, how can we look to another person to fulfil this for us?
Let’s be logical, take ‘support’ for example, this means different things to each of us, as we are all unique individuals. What may make one person feel ‘supported’, might not make the other person feel ‘supported’. We spend a lot of wasted time assuming what we think is going to make the other person feel ‘supported’ instead of asking them what ‘support’ they would like from us, or what ‘support’ we would like from them.
This may sound like its common sense doesn’t it? Which most things are, but if we knew this we would do it, therefore it isn’t common sense until we communicate with each other and break it down. The truth is we do not know what makes us feel directly ‘supported’ and what we really want, but we do know when we are not feeling this way.
The moral of this 'Reflection Time', is to start making time to connect to our self, workout what we are looking for from our self first and then we can identify what to ask from the other person, be it in a relationship, friendship or even working environment. Start to focus on what is being,’ true to our self’ really means, in order to then being able to be ‘true’ to others. Having the opportunity to build a ‘healthy relationship ‘with our self first is key, rather than be dictated to, by what others and society tells us what we think we should be needing. Find out your own ‘truth’, otherwise life will be continually off balance.
I would always advise people to ‘trust their instinct’, as it will serve you well. When feeling stuck in life, why not get some support to help figure ‘stuff’ out? No-one is an ‘island’ and why would we want to be, we are meant to connect to others for fulfilment.
Albert Einstein said:,
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”