Thoughts of a Millenial – January 2019

Social Media Makes Me A Perfectionist

When I have a question I can’t Google the answer to, I feel crippled. There. I said it.

The internet and social media are how I access pretty much every tidbit of information I want—healthy recipes, at-home workouts, even how to fix my car when my street floods and the horn fills with water. Did you know that was a thing? I still wouldn’t if I didn’t wield the power of the internet.

Social media influencers are the latest way myself and my peers (I am the Lorax, and I speak for the Millennials) gain insight about new trends, lifestyles and activities. The topic I’ve been diving into most lately is weight training workouts and healthy recipes, looking for motivation to get back in the gym and refocus on healthier eating.

That said, sometimes the accessibility of all this knowledge keeps me from doing, well, anything at all. Here’s how the downward spiral goes…

1. See health and fitness vlog online. Want to become more like toned, tan, permanently chipper vlogger. Set goal of working out more frequently.

2. Then comes the thought, “If I’m working out, I also need to eat healthier.” Which, sure, good thinking, kid. But remember, this is a downward spiral.

3. This vlogger also eats a completely organic, vegan, plant-based diet. If I’m going to get the best out of my workouts and diet, I should eat that way, too. (For reference, this vlogger looks like she hisses at the sight of a Dr. Pepper, and I get a caffeine withdrawal headache without two a day.)

4. Oh, and because she drinks eight gallons of water a day, her skin looks amazing. Maybe if I stand in the shower with my mouth open for a while, in a few months’ time I too can be a shining beacon of perfect health.

Each of these goals of improving the food I eat and working out more frequently are attainable over time, and having free, 24/7 access to experts makes it easier to achieve these lifestyle changes. But by using social media stars as my role models, I’m setting myself up to fail by getting overwhelmed before I can even start making positive changes in my life.

These people all specialize in doing these things for a living. It’s the full-time job of fitness Instagram models to work out and be upsettingly hot from every angle. They have all day to work out, eat well and wear cute athleisure sets. So while it’s healthy to aspire to being healthy and using them as guides, ultimately social media influencers shouldn’t paralyze us from getting started on our own goals.

So the next evening I crawl into bed—after my own full-time job, side hustle, attempts to make a decent dinner, keep a clean house and spend time with my husband and pets—feeling like I should’ve worked out twice in fake lashes and eaten three square plant-based, organic, unprocessed meals. Can someone please come snatch my phone out of my hands?

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