Your social media following are not your judge, jury, or executioners. You don’t need their permission to change your mind, shift your perspective, chase new goals, or move in a different direction. Don’t let the dopamine rush of likes and shares dictate your life.
Social media has a lot of major benefits. It can allow professionals to build their brands, and sell their products and services. It can also allow people to connect with like-minded individuals and discuss passions and ideas. But social media can also be toxic in myriad ways, with the cons arguably far outweighing the pros. One of the many flaws with social networks is how often they can trap a person into whatever version of themselves is most popular. What I mean by this is that many of the people with the largest platforms on social media are well-known for one thing in particular, be it their career, their political stance, their sense of humour, their relationship status, or even their appearance. But what happens when you want to change a “key” aspect of yourself, or simply showcase more of your personality, and the bulk of your following doesn’t like it? Many people have learned the hard way that deviating from whatever script their followers thought they should be following did not end well. Often, it led to online bullying, harassment, or even complete dismissal from certain online spaces.
Yes, there are people who have been rightly called out for being devious scammers, hypocrites, liars, and abusers. But there have also been dozens of people who were cancelled by their followers for going into a different career, moving to a different place, expressing a desire to get married and have children, or even for wanting to lose weight. These people were called sell-outs by followers that they had often amassed when they were themselves at their most toxic and miserable, and now that they were on the road to healing and wanting to transition in life, the company that they’d collected during their misery was refusing to let them blossom.
Too many people go through life being a slave to other people’s opinions. Although many people don’t know the vast majority of their online following personally, social media is absolutely no exception to this. We’ve created spaces that can be so confining that some people are even afraid to express their good news and achievements, for fear of “offending” someone else with their joy. The prison of opinion has expanded to include social media, but ask yourself: Could I call any of these people if I needed someone to talk to? Would any of these people help me if I were in trouble? Are they here for me, or for a front row to the drama or entertainment that I provide? It’s important to always disconnect from the images we curate, and reconnect with who we are, and who actually matters in our day to day lives. It’s important that you be true, first and last, to who you are, not who others think you should be. You loyalty should be to your growth and betterment, not others’ attachment to a specific version of you.