Social media is your BEST and WORST friend.

Over the past ten years, social media has taken over the world with young people innocently being the driving force for it’s success.

It’s clear that social media is a great medium for communication, friendships and even works well in workplace environments. With this, social media also acts as a news outlet allowing us to keep up to date with what’s happening in the wold.

Social media is a young peoples game as they simply dominate it. Any trend, popular opinion or music success is somewhat in the hands of what young people share on social media day in and day out. For example, this year we have seen trends throughout. From the popularity of people jumping out of car doors dancing to Drake to the viral video of the yodelling Walmart boy. These are seen as more comedic trends, however young people have also participated more serious things like the shifting of feminist ideas and helping things like the #MeToo campaign rise to the surface of mainstream media. TV has arguable become an outdated form of media for older people due to sites like YouTube and Netflix taking over.

However, social media does come with its cons. Recent studies show that the rates of depression in young people has risen due to social media. It creates anxiety, depression, loneliness and body image insecurity. I think it’s difficult for people who use social media to accept the negatives because it’s not the most simple thing for us to understand. We need to realise that when we follow people online, we only see a sample of their best experiences, relationships and memories. This comes with them making themselves look as attractive as possible to their audience. Whether we want to accept it or not, watching people share their joy online whilst we aren’t feeling great ourselves is only having a negative impact our lives. It leads us to compare ourselves to a misleading representation of someone else which is essentially ‘fake’. This creates our insecurities.

We should be more aware of ourselves when using social media and we should try our best to make a safe place for all people. If social media seems to be impacting on you negatively (e.g. insecurity), taking a break is completely fine and is actually a pro-active step to take. I know from experience that taking breaks from social media is genuinely a refreshing thing to do, especially during busy periods in you life like the exam period. Even after my exams, I took a few weeks away from social media and visited both London and Paris in that time. Not using social media whilst away made me more aware of my surroundings which allowed me to enjoy my time in those places a lot more. In addition, if taking a break isn’t an option for you, a great thing about social media sites is that you are in control of who you want to follow. Unlike other media outlets, a lot of content is forced down our throats.

Therefore, after reading this blog post, I urge you to take the time to really think about who you follow online and why you follow them. Maybe you’ll start to contemplate unfollowing those who you only follow because of their popularity etc. After all, social media is great as long as you keep your content personalised.

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Setbacks, defeat and disappointment

To begin my ‘comeback’ on the blogging scene, I decided to write about something that has been requested often, particularly by fellow athletes. However, I have somewhat avoided it simply because I knew that it would be something I would struggle to give advice on it. Nevertheless, I think that I have finally come up with three sort of steps on how to deal with setbacks.

Setbacks, defeat and disappointment. They’re frustrating and demotivating. You may face them in sport, exams or even just everyday life.

 

We are often faced with setbacks, defeat and disappointment, but how do we deal with them? I’m not going to pretend to be a guru on this but I’m willing to give my perspective on things. To gear this towards my athletic audience without excluding the rest of my readers, I’ll try and intertwine both athletics and everyday life disappointments into this write.

Firstly, defeat is embarrassing. That is a fact. Especially when you have put yourself on a pedestal in the first place. So, my first tip to save yourself from that embarrassment would be to stay quiet about you goals. It’s very rare for people to explicitly say their exact aims in high profile interviews as like I said, if you fail it ends up being embarrassing. Additionally, it adds more unnecessary pressure before you even face the disappointment. I would avoid telling too many people your personal goals as it will honestly make dealing with a setback much easier. That’s not to say that you can’t give yourself praise and believe that you can do things to the best of your ability to gain success.

We are often told to compare ourselves to those who are less fortunate than us to make us more humble. It makes sense but it’s undeniable that we live in a society that is extremely competitive. This results in us comparing ourselves to those who have more success than us leading us to never be fully satisfied with our own accomplishments. We always want more which isn’t necessarily bad BUT the notion of entitlement is somewhat damaging at times. Therefore, firstly you might need to accept your setback, defeat and/or disappointment and put it into perspective in a way to realise that ‘its not the end of the world’. It sounds harsh after so much hard work, dedication and sacrifice whether that is in sport or exams, I know. But, perspective is important. It might help by speaking to other people to gain their perspectives on your situations too. In addition, failure to reach your goal doesn’t mean that you can’t try again which leads me on to my next point.

Another way in which you can deal with disappointment is to set yourself new goals as well as not giving up on old ones. I’ve written a post about goal setting before and it’s something that I still stand by strongly. Goal setting is imperial when you want to succeed in something. A positive mid set is a healthy mindset so, convincing yourself that you are going to fail is only going to lead you to failure. If you really do want something, then you will put in the hard work for it. My advice would be to keep trying because the worst that can happen is failure, and failure itself isn’t all that bad – especially when lessons are leant from it.

If you would like some advice on goal setting please read one of my previous posts here.

Power

There are many different definitions of power. However, they all run along the lines of explaining that it is as the ability to actualise an idea and make it a reality. Some people view power as being a spectrum. On one side of the spectrum lies people with the most power and the other side represents those with little power.

Throughout time, power has often carried with itself a negative connotation. This is due to power being misused in a way that has lead to negative realities being actualised. An example of this would be Hitler’s Nazi far-right political party or even just a smaller scale example of a teacher using their power to treat students unequally would still fit suit. Nevertheless, we need to remember that power can also be used in positive ways (which tend to actually have longer lasting affects).

In order to find yourself on the side of the ‘spectrum’ that allows you to have a lot of power, it is thought that you need to have a broad and clear understanding of the world. A wide ranged understanding of the society that you find yourself in is important. This understanding needs to include knowledge of social matters, politics and current affairs.  An awareness of reality consequently leads you to the resources that can indeed make you a powerful person. These resources include money, education and social support. This explains why the majority of politicians (that have a considerable amount of power) have such powerful statuses. Their parents often had the money to send them to high performing private educational institutions. At these institutions, they have a huge amount of social support as there tends to be a value consensus status quo.

This theory is evident in everyday situations. When somebody has a wide understanding of a situation, you tend to respect their opinion a lot more. This also happens often when you are aware that somebody has a lot of money, a big educational qualification (a degree for example) and social support. In addition, in today’s society, money tends to be the biggest influence of an individual’s power status as social class is somewhat always determined by monetary success.

So, as said before, those with power generally have a greater understanding of the world along with the resources of money, education and social support. With all of that being said, there are still people out there who find themselves in powerful positions without the resources that usually enable you to be powerful in the first place. This often leads to power being used in nonconstructive ways. Nevertheless, it isn’t always too late to change that. Jay-Z is an example of a man that arguably didn’t use his powerful status constructively in the beginning of his success. Although, he has now used his power (and money) to educate himself and others on social matters to try and make a positive change to society by having important conversations about politics, social justice and even love. Without his efforts to have a better understanding of the world, it is likely that his power would been misused.

In regards to the main message to this blog post, I wanted to explain why certain people may or may not be seen as powerful. Maybe you could use this information and make yourself more of a valued, powerful individual (for good reasons). You can become someone that has the power to influence or actualise an idea. Educate yourself on social, political and current affairs. Knowledge equates to power. If you aren’t someone who can easily get the resource of money, your knowledge will often outweigh it. A lack of education leads to limitations and you don’t want to find yourself in that situation. Let’s make ourselves able to make the right decisions which impact ourselves and our surroundings in a positive way. As a result, you’ll also be viewed as a much more valued individual in society.

January.

Happy Friday. It’s not often that I post on Fridays but it’s 2018 now. So let’s just say… New year, new me, right?

January. A time for us all to join the gym? Set some new goals? Maybe even start up a new diet plan. I think it’s funny how all of a sudden, once the clock strikes 12 on January 1st, everyone seems to rebrand themselves as if they’re contestants on The X Factor. If it motivates you and makes you a better person then go for it. However, it makes me giggle how some people have been ‘rebranding’ themselves for the past 7 year and are stood in the exact same spot; saying that they’re going to do the exact same things as they were going to do almost a decade ago.

This year, I didn’t set myself any new year resolutions. It sounds ridiculous considering that I’m an athlete and A level student. I even wrote a whole blog post on how goal setting is important (which you can read here). Of course, goal setting is important but it shouldn’t be forced simply because it’s January 1st. A constant and steady flow of goal setting is much more productive. After all, we grow as people everyday and nothing is going to magically happen over night.

You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this blog post and to be completely honest… I began to think about how January feels like it’s never ending this year. (Hence the title ‘January.’). I was struggling to come up with some ideas to write about. Prior to that, many of my peers wanted me to write about the whole Logan Paul situation. People mentioned the H&M scandal and even Offset’s homophobic song lyrics that caused outrage. They’re all popular culture topics of which I felt I could write confidently about, but I wanted to be unique. Until I saw today (Jan 25th), that Logan Paul has quite literally ‘rebranded’ himself in his new YouTube video which aimed to raise awareness on the topic of suicide. This was after he was globally criticised for essentially mocking suicide earlier this month.

It’s astonishing that within the space of  25 days, Logan Paul went from ignorantly fooling around in a suicide forest, to now being an advocate for suicide prevention. This is a genius move by him. Only in the sense that he has been able to maintain a growing audience with little criticism by ‘rebranding’ himself. The general public were waiting to see what his next online move was going to be after all of the commotion (including myself). To many people, him suddenly becoming an ambassador for suicide prevention comes across as very cynical. In all honesty, people have every reason to believe that it was only done so that he could continue his career on YouTube as a social influencer (with minimal backlash).

Which takes me back to my initial point of ‘rebranding’. Are we really making some of these new goals for the right reasons, or is it to satisfy others and be strategic about situations that we find ourselves in?