Advertisers have been trying to manipulate your emotions and buying habits for years with TV ads so it only makes sense that social media which generated $4.4 million in advertising revenue last year would follow suit.
By now you've probably heard about the secret
fb experiment that manipulated user feeds in 2012 to see if they could make
people feel happy or utterly depressed.
According to researchers who conducted this covert experiment (without
the knowledge or consent of participants) this is very easy to do but I won't
get into that here since there's already plenty of articles about the ethics of
this all over the web.
Instead we'll be tackling more pervasive social media influence and how who you choose to follow can easily ruin your motivation, your your diet, your happiness and ultimately your ability to get your healthiest sexiest figure and keep it that way.
Do the feeds you choose to follow motivate unhealthy behaviors by constantly posting pics of cake, cookies, alcoholic beverages, high calories foods, fattening dishes or junk food? How about funny pics and stories about how it's o.k. to be lazy, unmotivated or inactive? I followed a few women's feeds a while back and noticed that my eating habits were influenced by their decadent food posts.
I became aware of it the weekend I was at the grocery store and couldn't find all the ingredients to make some decadent dessert I had seen my fb feed. After I got home I started thinking about how many other "cheats" I had recently justified and then started unfollowing every single feed that was posting too many of those types of pics. Want to know what happened after that. My eating went back to 80% clean vs. 60% clean. I'm certain Women's Day couldn't care less that I unfollowed them too : )
Do the experts you follow post "fitspiration" that wrecks your self esteem and makes you feel like the ugliest woman on earth? It's a known fact that pics of ultra thin models have been making normal size women feel like blimps for years so not such a huge shocker that pics of ultra ripped women make normal fit women feel like deformed fatsos even though you look great. Even trainers like me who can't stand those snarky fitspo pics of ultra ripped silicone implanted barbies and train insane athletes can sometimes feel manipulated by unrealistic images of what some think fitness is supposed to look like.
If you are sensitive to fitspo like most women are then I highly recommend you unfollow anybody who posts this kind of fitness bullying on your feeds. You will be shocked and amazed by how much your self esteem increases from this simple act of refusing to conform to some ridiculous fitness standard of beauty that is unattainable by most women.
There's actually an entire STOP fitspiration and negative body image campaign. If you google "fitspiration sucks" you'll find over 600,000 results that show just how fed up women are of this fitness bullying.
Do the fitness gurus you follow post advice that is not the right fit for your body or goals? Just because you find some fitness guru beautiful and motivating doesn't mean their advice is a good fit for you. A great example of this is a woman I came across on youtube a while back who was following a popular female guru and not getting leaner or fitter. She couldn't understand why she didn't look like her guru after months of doing her workouts. I was tempted to tell her the truth but just let it go.
The truth is that beast mode training isn't for 80% of the population and fitness is about doing what is best for YOUR body day in and day out for life. So beware if who you think is the "perfect looking" guru posting exercises that will not benefit your body. You can still follow her but you must get on the best fitness routine for your unique body instead of just doing what they do.
Do the friends, family and coworkers you follow sabotage your healthy lifestyle habits? I don't know about you guys but I have friends and family who incessantly post pics of junk food, greasy burgers, beer, wine, pies, cakes and eating out. It's annoying for me because these are the same people who constantly whine and complain to me about their weight and fat rolls and depression and low energy and not being able to find clothes that fit etc.
If you have people like this on your feeds then I feel for you because you love them jut like I love my friends family and clients. You can't or don't want to unfriend them but you CAN unfollow their feeds which means you won't ever see any of their visual bingeing on your feed. Pic here is what some of my personal fb friends post ALL the time.
Do the entertainment feeds you follow make you want to surf all day or live your best life in your best body? Ever heard the term R.L.? It's what vloggers these days refer to as real life and it means the life you live outside your computer or devices vs. the life you live online. There' s actually a funny country song about this by Brad Paisley that describes what happens to a lot of people who spend more time online than they do actually living the life of their dreams.
Are you a victim of this? Is your internet life more interesting than your real life? If so you may want to consider what social media feeds are leading you down this path. Next time you see posts on your feeds that excite you simply ask yourself if that motivates you to get offline to go try it or if you're just content with experiencing it vicariously online. If so minimize exposure to those feeds and maximize your exposure to feeds that make you want to get out and be active and experience real life!
One more solution that's only for the truly brave! Do you feel completely overwhelmed by all five of the social media posts described above? The solution is simple but not easy: social media detox. Believe it or not there are actually experts who specialize in helping people detox from social media addiction. It's more common than you think and it's a smart idea to get it under control if you feel this is a problem for you. Not only will you regain your time back but you may sleep better, feel better, eat healthier and get more exercise which makes getting your best figure faster!