Why You Should Stop Seeking Validation Through Social Media

This isn’t about social media etiquette because I’m an advocate of free speech and support individuals expressing themselves in ways they see fit. This is about more effective ways to feel whole again and seek validation within.

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Photo via We Heart It
Likes and follows do not define your self-worth. Instagram is one of my favorite social media platforms as I love to express myself with visuals and enjoy seeing others do the same. In a world of Instagram models and accounts with paid followers and likes, I can see how one would feel the need to measure up. In the grand scheme of things, unless you’re utilizing social media to promote your craft or business, your likes and follows have no real impact on your life, achievements, success, education or happiness. It may feel important at the time but Instagram is one very small fraction of your entire, amazing life. If you like it, that’s all that matters 🙂

Below is a video by Filmmaker Shea Glover posted by HuffPost in December 2015. It’s a two minute message about Shea’s #BreatheBeautiful campaign. Check it out!

Airing your dirty laundry will not resolve issues. In our generation, it can be hard to fight the urge to overshare the details of negative situations in our lives. In the moment, it may feel like venting will make things better but in the end, it could actually make things worse. Remember that not everyone you’re connected to on social media is your friend. There are, sadly, people rooting for you to fail, people who will gossip about you and people who just enjoy seeing others not doing so well. Don’t invite these bad vibes into your life. Take other avenues to improve your situation and mood. Which leads me to my next point.

Cries for help should be directed to someone close to you or a therapist. “Subtweeting” a friend, significant other or ex rarely results in the reaction you are seeking. You can be ignored or create even more conflict. Furthermore, if you’re legitimately crying, having an anxiety attack or going through a rough patch, rather than announcing this to your followers, reach out to a friend, family member or therapist and have a private conversation. They will offer the support you need to talk yourself down. What you might get is attention, which is not the same as support. You may also want to confront that individual head on. Speak to them directly about what’s been bothering you. This method has a better chance of producing good results and you get opportunity to get things off your chest.

The realization that this isn’t the route to go will come with age. I was discussing this subject with a group of  my college friends and one of them stated, “When you’re younger, you’re thinking about the one person want to read it. When you’re older, you’re thinking of thousands you don’t.” This statement definitely rang true for me as I just told my husband that my subliminal messages on social media are the past times I wish I could take back from my twenties. #Embarrassed

Attention is a drug. Like most drugs, being under the influence of it feels great at the time but this high will not last. If you’re feeling down or feeling badly about yourself or a certain situation, getting your ego stroked by your followers is a temporary fix. Responses flooding your notifications in reply to a sad status you put up won’t solve the issue, it will only distract you for a brief moment.

This also applies to sharing provocative or nude photos on social media and using the attention to somehow validate yourself. If your body is your art to share with the world, do it! It’s more about motive. Your body and sexuality is sacred and you’ll want to share them with a healthy mindset. If your intention is purely to receive attention because you’re feeling down and want a confidence boost from the social media world, refrain. It can make you feel worse or you may end up regretting it.

Your posts can follow you around forever. We all post things we regret but be mindful that it’s tough to run away from something that’s on the internet. Ask any public figure. Someone can dig this all up. Your photos and posts can be seen by hiring managers when applying for jobs, family members or even the admissions offices when applying for college. You don’t have to be a saint on social media but keep in mind that even if your pages aren’t public, it’s the internet and can be seen regardless. I actually personally know someone who was fired from their job due to Instagram posts.

Social media just doesn’t give you the support you deserve. When seeking validation, you’ll want to work on this within yourself and with people close to you who genuinely want to help you achieve this. Face-to-face communication, social media detoxes and refraining from comparing yourself to others through social media will be the keys to living a more comfortable, happy and confident life. ❤

-D.O. ❤

Strong Enough to Bear the Children Then Get Back to Business

Who run the world?

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What a great time to be a woman! Women used to stay at home to take care of the children and house duties while the men worked. Nowadays, we do all of that and work a full-time job. In some households, the woman is even the breadwinner. Go us!

I was inspired by two girls on my son’s little league team to write this post. In last week’s game, Carly went against the coaches’ instructions both times she was up to bat, stole bases and scored the only two points our team had that day. You go girl! Later in the game, Paige got smacked in the head with a baseball, the coach yelled, “shake it off, Paige,” and that’s exactly what she did! She played the rest of the game while clearly being in pain. These girls out-shined the boys big time! Little MVPs!

These are just two small examples of how resilient women are. I’d like to celebrate us by listing five women who inspire me and who showcase what women’s empowerment really means.

Iskra Lawrence

Iskra Lawrence

Ms. Lawrence is shutting model stereotypes down. You don’t have to be thin to  be a supermodel and she is living proof. People are literally obsessed with her. I am one of those people! Iskra was dropped by her modeling agency for being “too big” and was told she was too small for plus-size modeling. Aerie snagged her for their “Real” Campaign and boy, did they hit the jackpot.

This woman is confident, fun and has quite the sense of humor. She posted a photo of herself on  instagram covered in snacks and indulging in a bag of potato chips. This photo slammed body shamers and inspired people who have been bullied about their weight. She also helped create the National Eating Disorders Association Inspires Seal of Approval campaign.

You can catch her on Insta looking fierce and dancing like nobody’s watching! Just follow her now and thank me later. ❤

Hillary Clinton

hillaryJust this month, Hillary became the first woman presumptive nominee for a major American political party. This is a big deal and whether you support her or not, we could have our first woman POTUS! This could be the first time we can use the term “First Husband”…or “First Man”…or whatever we decide to call Bill. She is about to go toe-to-toe with “The Donald” in debates where he is going degrade and belittle her and I have no doubt in my mind that she will take it like a champ and fire right back! #ImWithHer ❤

Lena Dunham

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Actress, writer, director, producer and LEADER! Lena speaks out on any and all social issues that she feels passionate about. She does not hold back for anyone. She has touched on sexual assault, Planned Parenthood funding and women’s health, body image and equal rights for same-sex couples.

Her book, “Not That Kind of Girl,” talks about her experience of being sexually assaulted at her Alma Mater in my home state. Not cool, bro! Just this week, she posted a video on her twitter account dedicated to the survivor in the Standford case. She uses her role as a public figure to not only entertain us but to inform us and raise awareness. More celebrities should follow her lead! 😎

Gabby Douglas

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She is the first African American woman in Olympic history to become the individual all-around champion and the first American gymnast to win gold in both the individual all-around and team competitions at the same Olympics as well as being the only American all-around champion to win multiple gold medals in a single Olympic Games. She is also the first female reigning Olympic all-around champion to return to the World Championships and medal in the all-around since Elena Davydova in 1981. (I literally copied all of that from Wikipedia because there’s just no other way to say it 😉 )

Sheesh! That’s a mouthful! With all of that being said, she still had other struggles that she powered through before achieving all that she has. She encountered racist bullying in one of the gyms she was a part of that made her almost stop competing all together. She clearly kept going and it paid off! Keep an eye out for her. She’ll be competing in this year’s Olympics.

Gina Rodriguez

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She’s basically my favorite person! She won Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Comedy back in 2014 for her role in Jane the Virgin. NBD! What really makes her stand out, though, is her dedication to empowering women. She started the We Will Foundation, which is focused on funding arts education scholarships for less fortunate young women. In addition to that, every week she posts an image of a woman of Hispanic descent for #MovementMondays on her Instagram account. She highlights their accomplishments, why they inspire her and why we should pay more attention to them. She focuses on immigration reform, education and body image. She’s another super celebrity using her powers for good. I love it!

This list could literally go on and on so I had to stop at five! Continue to be inspired by other women and continue to be an inspiration to other women. This is our world, they just live in it 😛 !

Put on a show, ladies!

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-D.O. ❤