Women and Social Media
Yes, I know, nowadays nobody read blogs. We are not in 2017 apparently (somebody told me) but you know what...I don't care. And exactly that, is the main idea of this Blog... I don't care. I don't care if my boobs are not as firm as they used to be, if I have a few pounds more, if I drink a little glass of wine every day...o even better...I don't care if you do it, do you want to breast feed your baby girl until she is 5 years old? go for it. As long as you don't hurt anybody in my book we are good.
I am writing here because social media channels are every day more ephemeral, and the thoughts that I want to convey are sometimes not social media friendly, where all is "fine" and "fast" and we just want to get distracted from our tedious lives.
First it was Facebook, which If you are around 40 or more, this is your social media by default, where all your friends and family are (or use to be) and the actual friends you have...are people that at least you met once and you had an interaction with them. You could share news, photos, videos, posts, opinions, etc...Facebook used to ask you What were you thinking? and then your name appear...Stephanie is thinking about...whatever you wanted to post. Remember that? At least Facebook was trying to make you think or to write your opinion.
A few year down the road...along it came Instagram...women like me didn't understand it at first, they were just pictures of food, people, products, cats (kittens are my favorite ones by the way) etc...always a filter to make it look just perfect...and Instagram is all about that, about being perfect, no news, at least no bad one, no opinions, just images and videos...and the interaction was limited to pressing a heart. You could write a comment too down below, but really IG does not give it much space on the newsfeed, or at least less than Facebook. Now you have followers (not friends anymore) that they might know you in person...but is definitely not a necessary condition, and by definition a follower does not do much thinking, a follower follows and even though you can interact with the person you are following it is very difficult for that person to first see your comment (among the thousands of unread comments) and then actually answer it.
And now...if you are around 7 years old to 22, you must be the Queen of TikTok...with hundred of thousands of followers and everybody fighting to get your attention for more than 4 seconds...Funny or not so funny short videos, people dancing, people acting, tutorials to get more followers or to take better photos and videos.
Each generation is fleeing from the previous one, trying to find their own identity and privacy in a new social media thought and molded for that age group... but be aware that this also means...that if you are young using TikTok, you shouldn't look back to FB or IG like ancient dinosaurs which are not cool anymore...because the new thing is coming and TT would be, at one point, ancient for the "newer" generations.
Don't get me wrong, I like social media, I use all the aforementioned ones. Like everything in life, if used with balance, it is a great tool to communicate. I am product of my generation. I've been traveling since a young age, therefore Facebook was a great way to stay in contact with my family and friends back home and with the new friends I made along the road. Later I had to learn how to use Instagram, I own a hostel in Costa Rica , and generally, the guests we receive, tend to be on the younger side. Therefore we had to go with the flow, keep up with the younger generations social media, in this particular case...Instagram.
TikTok took me completely by surprise, it was my -at then- 7 years old daughter who mentioned it to me. I dismissed her completely, how did she dare show me something about social media that I did not know...well...It was true. How on Earth did she find out before me...I did not know, but then it dawned on me, TikTok was not meant for adults, at least at the beginning, therefore the algorithms of the web do not considered me as their prime target; but my daughter's friends who were older and had more access to the web than her were exactly their target.
But I am not writing these to critic social media, even though it might come across like that. I am here to add my two cents about us the Women and the presence in the media and how we use it.
We women have always, and I mean since the beginning of time, try to look better, by using earring, paint, tattoos, I am thinking Egyptian, and tribal here, bare with me. If you look closely to the animal kingdom...you will also see examples of this, spiders doing a specific web pattern, frogs croaking, birds singing or inflating their chests, howler monkeys howling, etc...we are no exception, we women and men too, try to distinguished ourselves from other peers to be more "desirable" towards the sex you are interested in.
What I am trying to say here is that I understand who we are, is not social media the culprit here, we have always tried to give an impression of ourselves to others. We have always wanted to show our best angle to the camera. I understand the game. After all it is just that, the issue that I have is when this "game" is being taken too seriously, specially for the newer generations. As I mentioned before, social media is not bad, the problem is when we start believing that as a true, when we start believing that every body should look perfect, that unless I am not diving in the Seychelles in my perfect tanned body I am a total failure.
I am cool with all the people that are perfect and spend half their lives in the gym and eating broccolis. It is completely fine, whatever rocks your boat. But we women we have to start understanding that that is their choice, and maybe our lives has been different due to different experiences we had in life. Maybe you had your first baby when you were 18, maybe when you were 44, maybe you never liked sports, maybe you did, who cares, of course bodies are different, genetics are different, skins are different, cellulitis too. How long are we going to be ashamed of our bodies, I am 100% sure that even the most beautiful women are insecure about certain things in their bodies. If you know one, go and check, I am not joking. Go call the most beautiful woman you know (and you are comfortable asking) if they are insecure about certain parts of their body...100% they will say yes.
This is not just a women problem, I believe men have that issue too, but only we are contrasted with that ideal of a perfect women. Men can be bald, fat, lazy and mediocre at work, however society accepts them, values them. But we have a different standard, a model that is impossible to reach, we are set up for failure. We have to be thin, beautiful, good students, good mothers to our kids and sometimes mother to our partners, we have to be good daughters to our moms, chefs, good in bed but reserved in public and God knows only what other impossible thing. And of course...if you are a women over 40, you are invisible for society. If you breast are not perky, if your ass is not tight...you'd better hide, because nobody wants to see you...at least not really SEE you.
Well you know what...I don't care...I am not perfect, and even more...I am tired of trying to be perfect. I am me and you are you. We are women, we are powerful, we are capable of give birth for goodness sake! But above all, and read this twice: We do not have to prove ourselves to anybody. Read it again.
So, go out and enjoy social media, post whatever you want. Do you want to be a social media exhibitionist or just a voyeurist, do whatever you want, just remember this is just a game, and there is not such thing as a perfect body or person for that matter, have fun, love, run or stay home. Whatever you want, do it, just try to avoid judging others people appearance specially your own.