What to think about before you post.

It’s Thursday already!? If it wasn’t for both my calendar and laptop telling me this I’d be in denial.   Either way, after failing to publish my already drafted WIAW post yesterday thanks to no internet connection – me and technology don’t get along well so don’t ask what all I tried to fix it … – I’m following Amanda‘s invitation to think out loud once more. Let’s see where typing a post in a spur of the moment decision leads …

Thinking-Out-Loud

What inspired this post is a multitude of experiences and thoughts so bear with me as I’m trying to work out a clear line. This will very much follow Amanda’s no-script suggestion of Thinking out loud so there we go …

You set a new PR at the gym.

You’re working in an amazing high-paying job.

So you quit sugar, refined flour and all of these other nasty, nasty ingredients.

In short: you have accomplished something in life and are proud. Rightly so. In a world where self-doubt is a prominent characteristic enhanced by many magazines and websites telling us how to improve our [perceived] flaws and always be prettier/happier/[insert adjective of choice] it’s great to see people proud of theirselves and feeling comfortable in their skin. But …

Don’t let your confidence diminish that of others. I will not tell you to hide your pride altogether because like I said: it’s great you’re feeling good about yourself! Yet I think some people are taking their pride and talking about it too far.

favourite magazines

Taking pictures of your ab progress because you worked hard and you’re proud of getting where you are? is Understandable. You couldn’t be more excited to tell everybody on Facebook, Instagram and elsewhere how much better you feel since changing your diet to vegan/paleo/sugar-free? Understandable.

I’m still standing in for my opinion on Instagram: it’s your choice what to post and talk about. But for the sake of others it might be a good idea to occasionally consider if your pride has the potential of hurting others. Seeing too many ab shots or hearing people about their weight loss success while you’re in recovery from an eating disorder [or while ‘just’ recovering from an injury that keeps you from training], trying to gain could be discouraging and lead to unsatisfying comparison. But why are you following these people in anyway, then? <- I personally choose not to follow those people but from what I’ve seen and heard others in recovery say it affected them.

The same goes for people who show pictures of their pedometers/fit bits/Polar watches. If you do it: ask yourself why. What might this make your Facebook ‘friends’ or followers on Instagram feel like? Does the text you wrote aboutyour epiphany since you gave up sugar sound judgemental towards those who like their sweet treats? Is your progress picture potentially triggering?

The takeaway here? Don’t be less proud of what you’ve accomplished. But before you go about sharing your pride all over the place keep in mind how it might affect others. Everybody is on their own journey but it’s hard not to get distracted or discouraged when comparison is lurking all over the place.

 

Happiness-inducing today: Successfully work on a presentation [about Immigration in the US] with the exchange student I’m teaching – both of us were learning from each other which is the best kind in my opinion.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

No specific questions today but I’m curious to hear your thoughts and experiences on the issue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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24 thoughts on “What to think about before you post.

  1. Strength and Sunshine says:

    I like this!! I actually agree with you here. Maybe some people post these pictures and things with good intentions and to motivate themselves, but some do not and they know they are just doing it for praise, followers, their own narcissism and gratification.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Thanks, Rebecca. Like you, I think some people really mean well by posting these pictures as inspiration. Also, gratification is something I believe all of us crave to a certain extent but it can get too far.

  2. annalisemishler says:

    I love this so much and I feel like you’re the first one that I’ve seen actually address this. I think we’re all guilty of oversharing on social media but some people definitely have sort of reached the point where it’s extremely excessive and doing more harm than good. I had to unfollow so many people when I began recovering simply because I couldn’t scroll through my feeds without seeing an ab shot, a tiny clean lunch, etc. Anyway–love love love this!

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Thank you so much, Annalise. I’m happy to hear my spur-of-the-moment rambles on this topic resonated with you. It’s something that’s been on my mind for so long and now I just decided to roll with the flow and share my thoughts. The recovery community was on my mind when writing it the whole time as it’s huge and many of its members are still in the process of figuring out what’s right for themselves and easily influenced.

  3. Jess @ One Step Closer says:

    Reblogged this on One Step Closer and commented:
    I’m still working on my Great North Run recap. The race, particularly the crowds, takes a lot out of me and although I finished in a better time than last year, I still have mixed and conflicted feelings about the race. In the mean time, I think the majority of the internet needs to read and reflect on this excellent post. I haven’t agreed with something so wholeheartedly in a long, long time, so I absolutely had to share this excellent post here.

  4. Kate Bennett says:

    I guess it just depends on who your “followers” are. If they are on the same journey as you, it can be inspiring.
    However, I tend to side with you. I’d rather err on the kind side than the prideful side. When I post I try to think about what I personally like to read from others and what either makes me feel good or challenges me in a healthy manner.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      If all of your followers are weight-lifters or runners, too, I can see the point of mutual encouragement. Yet I still feel a little uneasy knowing how many easily influenced and self-doubting young [recovering] girls are on Instagram. I’m like you in trying to post what I would like to see elsewhere, too.

  5. briwifruit says:

    I’ve been of this mind for awhile! The FitBit or Garmin pictures don’t bother me, though — I think it’s great. It’s more the here’s-my-green-smoothie-breakfast-in-my-mason-jar-placed-strategically-next-to-my-overnight-oats set-up shots and half-naked posed “fitness” pictures that bother me. Too staged and not real life. I did a “real day in the life of a fitness blogger” post with unfiltered, boring photos, and I want other bloggers to do it to to show it’s not all green smoothies and mason jar oats!

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Your initiative for more realness in the online world sounds wonderful because yes, a lot seems staged and makes me wonder where some people find the time to set up pretty pictures while working full-time/being mums/… I hope you’ll get some other fitness bloggers to join it.

  6. hungryforbalance says:

    Very thought-provoking thoughts! I think that you are right; being proud of your accomplishments is important, but it is important to remember that not everyone sees your accomplishments as such. Pride or Hubris? Tricky question.

  7. Amanda @ .running with spoons. says:

    This is such double edged sword. I totally agree that it’s important to think about what you post before you post it, but it really depends on who your followers are. What might be triggering for some will be inspiring for others. Ultimately, everyone is responsible for what they choose to read — the author can only do so much.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      There definitely are two sides to this issue. My concern with this post was seeing many easily unsettled young girls and women commenting on such posts shaming themselves. Though yes, in the end we’re responsible for whom we follow, too.

  8. katalysthealth says:

    Like Amanda said, I feel this a double edged sword. Or maybe a lose-lose situation. I dunno, but as always I love your honestly and how you back your points. I can definitely see both sides here and have fallen victim to both sides as well! I think it’s totally something to be aware of

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Thank you, Kat. I can see both sides, too, and don’t want to accuse anybody or keep them from feeling proud about their accomplishment. Like you said, though, it’s something to be aware of – on both sides.

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