The Pressure of Sharing

Social media and sharing – they go hand in hand. Going to the gym? Treadmill boomerang. Nice meal out? Instagram it. Pissed that your commute is taking f o r e v e r (again)? Tweet that shit. We’re all guilty of it, myself inculded hugely. However, recently I’ve been thinking – am I guilty of oversharing?

Let me explain what got me onto this train of thought in the first place. You might remember that a month or so ago, I proclaimed to the world on my Insta stories that I was going to be staring the Kayla Itsines BBG workout plan. My logic at the time was, “OK so now I’ve told everyone that I’m doing it, that’ll make me follow through with it”. Big mistake.

Fast forward to now and I’m actually in worse shape than when I started the plan! Yes I stuck to the plan for a couple of weeks, and granted they’re good workouts and get you results, but the style of the plan just isn’t for me, for various reasons (see my stories for details). Essentially I got bored and put off going to the gym because I was forcing myself to do something I wasn’t enjoying simply to share it on Instagram. Not the ideal fitness programme, I think you’ll agree!

This got me thinking – did I really need to share that I was doing the plan as soon as I started? Really, I should have waited until I was sure I liked it and would stick to it, then I would have been able to continue and share my progress. But we live so much in a here-and-now, instantaneous culture, that we feel bound to share as and when things are happening, rather than taking time to absorb and reflect on what’s actually going on.

I recently attended a talk by Ben, who is more widely known as ‘The Naked Professor’ – look him up, his insignts into mindfulness are great!) There was a lot I took away from the talk, but one of the things that really resonated with me, and led to this post, is his tip on doing things for yourself and your own sense of achievement and wellbeing. In essence, don’t ‘do it for the ‘gram’, or because you think other people will be proud of or admire you for it. Do it because it makes you happy. For example, if you want to study something new because it interests you, but others think it’s pointless, who cares? If it makes you happy, and brings you a sense of satisfaction, do it! Go to the gym because it’s fun, not just to look good for someone else, or just so you can say you’ve gone and snap and Insta story.

I think this is a really important message and lesson for all of us to take on board, and something I think could help relieve a lot of the pressure we put on our lives. It can help us live in the present, rather than constantly worrying what others are doing, and let you enjoy the moment. So I think I’m going to be sharing a lot of my posts and images after the fact now, and allowingmyself some time to reflect and enjoy experiences, rather than rushing to constantly upload the perfect snap. While I’ll still use things like Insta stories to document in-the-moment stuff, I am going to be mindful of why I’m sharing certian things – is it ‘for the ‘gram, look how much fun I’m having’, or am I genuinely enjoying and want to share what I’m posting?

Hopefully this post has given you some insignt into what I’ve learned from my ‘mindfulness journey’ (cringe!) so far, and can encourage some thought into what you do for yourself, to make yourself happy!

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