Emotions & Social Media


Recently I've been thinking about social media and it's role in our relationship with emotions. I've been thinking about this idea of perfect happiness that we all seem to be striving for. Wondering if emotions good or bad? Or are they simply emotions?

Jo was the first person to put the idea forward that emotions are neither good or bad.  You see I've a habit of lumping them into a category. The bad ones I don't want to feel. But the happy ones, they're ok. Since she mentioned how she viewed emotions as just emotions I've been thinking more about our relationship with it. And the role of social media in that too.

We all know that we don't see the whole truth on social media. But a lot of us are addicted to the scroll. The endless scroll on instagram where you see influencer after influencer living their 'perfect' lives with their tight knit group of 'perfect' friends, with their 'perfect' boyfriend, in their 'perfect' house or on their 'perfect' holiday in a state of constant happiness. And we end up comparing ourselves to that. That perfection. If you're me, you're lying on the floor after a tough day at work, no makeup on, face smooshed into the carpet because comfort. DUH. And you look at these happy happy people and end up stuck in a cycle of comparison. Stuck in a loop of 'I'm not good enough feelings'. Not knowing how to deal with the emotions that you have because they are simply not portrayed. And if they are they are seen as wrong, 'not myself', bad. The tougher emotions; the ones that are trickier to navigate like sadness, guilt, anger, depression, do they even exist for these 'perfect people'? And why do they exist in me if they don't have them? How can I get rid of these bad feelings I'm having? 

It is like we have a marker pole for what we have to reach. This idea of 'perfect constant happiness' and absence of sadness. But its unattainable. Because it isn't real. 

What is real, is emotions. And LOTS of them. It is these emotions that make us human. The happy feelings, the sad feelings, joy, surprise, disgust anger. All of them. They are what makes us human. Is the fact that the vast majority of us aren't sharing these emotions making it even harder to deal with in the first place? Because we are simply not learning how to deal with things like sadness, instead feeling guilty when we feel an emotion like that? 

Emotions are neither positive or negative, good or bad. They are simply emotions. They just are. And it is those emotions that make us who we are. They make us human. And if you're like me you've tried to bury your 'bad' emotions in the past. But what I've been learning (shout out to Jo once again) is that if you numb those 'bad' emotions, unfortunately the 'good' ones tend to get numbed too.

Emotions are tools for us to understand where we are in life, and whether or not we want/need to make changes. They provide guidance and help us navigate our lives. That is all they do. So please, FEEL. Because it is that feeling that helps you to move and grow. And maybe share those feelings, because then it makes it normal. There shouldn't be a stigma around sadness, but sometimes on social media it feels like there is. 

I'm still learning how to deal with my emotions. For majority of my life I've tried to squash them down. And they end up erupting out in full emotional explosions. More recently I've been trying to refer to my emotions simply as emotions, rather than good or bad. I've been practicing kindness to myself. Accepting my emotions for what they are and allowing myself to feel them rather than burying them deep within.

Because by feeling my emotions I'm able to grow, to better understand myself and my needs. By feeling our feelings and emotions we are able to find peace, deeper understanding and compassion. And most important we are able to feel. And that is beautiful. That is human. That is life.

wellnessBrit Hazeldine