Recently I have spoken about social media and how it was directly affecting myself. I quickly touched base on how striving for online popularity was impacting my work and social life, however I did not think of how it could be subconsciously influencing me. This post will talk about the indirect ways in which the main social media platforms made me feel about myself in a negative way.
The most obvious one which has been discussed multiple times was the way in which social media makes us feel about our bodies. I do think that following certain people who motivate you to better your body is encouraging, however following every drug and Facetune enhanced body on social media can also be detrimental to your perception of yourself. This is where I considered the attitudes of the people I follow on social media, do they motivate me?
This brings me onto my next point. After considering the above, I realised how many men I followed that would emanate the true meaning of toxic masculinity. I thought, why do I follow these people on social media if I know that I would never be friends with someone like them in real life? Their attitudes would actually make me cringe but I still followed them because why? Because they’re good looking? Give it a rest Dean. The first ones to leave my dashboard were the “straight acting” gay men. An article by Darren Stehle called ‘The Internalised Homophobia of “Straight Acting” Gay Men’ was a very interesting read, its available on Medium.com and worth having a look at. I found that following these individuals made me surpress my ‘femme’ness when I should definitely be embracing it. I have no problem with characters who’s characteristics naturally come off as “straight” as this is the common default in our society. However, with individuals who label themselves as “straight acting” or discourage men to be femme by forcing their lad like nature, this is where I’m jumping ship, sorry lads.
Even though this post is about clearing out my social media, I also decided to completely shift the demographic of who I do follow. Following more LGBTQIA+ activists such as Munroe Bergdorf, Jamie Windust and Kenny Jones has really changed my perspective and has completely inspired me over the past 6 months. I can hold my hands up and say that I used to be a self-absorbed gay who didn’t really think about forwarding the LGBTQ movement, maybe this was because I was naïve as I was one of the least discriminated within the LGBTQ community? This a contrast to now, where I educate myself on all debates that impact any members of the LGBTQIA+ community and try to raise awareness to my following on social media. This may cause certain people to unfollow me but if you don’t support the LGBTQ movement, then in the words of Ariana Grande… Thank u, next.
Peace, Love and Pinot…