Hey my Villagers!

I have had the privilege of working as an undergraduate research assistant in the field of social media and body image. We have done some interesting work looking at Instagram and how it can negatively impact how we view ourselves through not only comparing our bodies to others but sparking thoughts that lead to danger health patterns {that includes videos on how to make m&m deep fried twinkie cakes 😉 }.

selfie, social media
The selfie at its finest.

It may surprise you that the amount of time we spend ‘lurking’ on strangers’ accounts can cause us to become self-conscious, depressed, and ultimately, doubtful of ourselves and our abilities. You wouldn’t think that simply looking at images could change how we feel about ourselves, but reflect on how ads and marketing works. We are constantly bombarded by images of clothes and cars causing our society as a whole to become more aware of how we are viewed by others through the value of what we HAVE and not who we ARE.

Our materialism and superficial world has caused us to be so conscious of our APPEARANCE, rather than our SOULS.

 We are putting on layers of makeup, rather than peeling away layers of doubt, fear, and opening up our spirits to others and being real!

We need to let our souls LOOSE and not worry about what others think. Sing, dance, laugh, scream, and SHARE your messy and authentic self with the world because what people TRULY value is REALNESS and RAW BEAUTY.

nature, social media, health

We should be using media for GOOD, to stay in touch with long distant friends, to share what’s happening in our communities {the good news!} and to share ways to enhance our health and well-being. Social media shouldn’t be used to share selfies, judge others, or portray false and flashy lifestyles.

social media, health
Let’s be real.

Social media encourages us to spend money on things that make our lives empty, taking us away from truly LIVING in beautiful moments with those we love. We should be giving gratitude and thanks before meals, not taking pictures of our meals. {Guilty, but always pray first then snap that Instaworthy shot – it’s just the blogger in me 😉 }

social media, health, vegan

Here are some tips to help you protect your self-esteem and your SOULS, while still enjoying technology:

  1. Time yourself. Record how long you are on social media for a day. Can you live without checking your newsfeeds for a day? Or do you have FOMO (Fear of missing out – yes it’s actually a thing}?! Research has found that about 3 hours and more of social media use per day can start to effect body image and self-esteem. So protect yourself and be conscious of what you are spending your time doing. Use your extra time to invest in yourself – read a book, go for a walk, try a new recipe or take up a new hobby!
  2. Become media literate. Become educated on how media can affect your decisions. Yes, most pictures are photoshopped and models are usually unrealisitic sizes and shapes. Don’t let images change your thoughts and ultimately, your behaviours and harm your health. Make sure your kids or boys and girls you mentor know about the effects of social media, especially since kids at the age of like 8 have cell phones.
  3. Set a meeting time face to face. Social media sites like Facebook should be used to initially set up Skype meetings or coffee dates, but should not serve as the only means of communication. We are losing our communication skills – let’s stay connected face to face and not phone to phone.
  4. Check out events and stay updated. Facebook is the best source for searching events that are happening in your community! Instagram can also help you explore your communities and find new hiking trails that excite you or new places to travel! Use social media to research your next trip and make your life more exciting and health filled!
  5. Share things that bring you joy. I don’t know about you, but taking a selfie isn’t as rewarding to me than taking a picture with those I love! Share images of moments that bring you joy, and that enhance your life! Share what you love to do – whether that be cooking, hiking or dancing and inspire others to find themselves in their true passions!
community, social media, health, essential oils
Essential oil class with my fav and new people!

I encourage you to be conscious of the AMOUNT of time you spend on social media and WHAT you are looking at on your newsfeeds. Protect yourself from being consumed by materialism and appearance and instead, explore your passions, connect and share in community with like-minded, positive and joyful people!!

social media, health, community
Find stillness and joy in nature!

Peace & Love,

Jill – your veggie villager xx

 

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