It's time I'm honest with myself about the power I actually carry on social media to make a political difference. I might spread knowledge, raise awareness, stand in solidarity with those who are struggling to be heard, but am I setting forward real change? If any, social media activism is barely allowing me to set forward any change at all. My efforts there are draining me from being able to provide on the platform where I can actually make a difference.
With the heaviness of the world drowning me more and more, a weight I know so many others feel too, my purpose in life is only being distracted by my longing to be a savior I can't possibly be. I've thought about quitting before. Quitting social media altogether or simply staying out of politics. But I feel guilty. Guilt from the luxury of being able to sit back on my privilege. How I don't have to actively fight and argue about injustice in my everyday personal life and I need to help those who do. It makes me sick, burns a fire through my body, that so many people are born into that suffering. I cannot imagine my worth being questioned because of the color of my skin, who I LOVE, or where I was born. Defending myself to people low enough to judge me for something they could simply appreciate or ignore. No one should ever have to feel afraid to be themselves.
When it comes down to it, I know I put in work behind the scenes. I educate myself and am prepared when real life conversations arise to debate with facts and confidence in what I believe in. I donate to causes I support and volunteer when I can be of use. I also recognize that I could volunteer a whole lot more and am dedicated to making sure that happens. I preach about leaving what's out of my control be, yet continue to get wrapped up in this fantasy I can change politics through Instagram. While my best friend graduates Law school and goes through the grueling process of what it takes to truly make a difference in the political world, I know that is not my legacy. I may not be able to make a political difference through my social media, but I am confident I can help people live healthier and more fulfilling lives through this outlet.
While social media has its toxic sides - propaganda, malicious trolls, racists, sexists, homophobic bullies, and most commonly the "do-gooder" influencers who set fake standards for real life - I believe that's all just dust in a world of construction. Gets in your eyes, but doesn't stop progress. I am, for the most part, a fan and advocate of social media providing positive change if used in the right way. Jobs for artists, a place to connect with people all around the world, encourage and inspire people's mind, body and soul. Whether you find entertainment at the end of a busy day from funny, lighthearted memes, or find a new restaurant shared and recommended by a stranger, social media provides content for many areas in life. Unfortunately, these pleasures come with constant battles. Social media isn't a blissful place to enjoy these perks. It's a battlefield where the only way to win is constant dodging and fighting against harmful detonations.
I do believe I hold leadership through social media. My power? Authenticity. My transparency with personal experiences and sharing relatable and raw content on issues such as depression, anxiety, body image, self-esteem, weight-loss and so much more. Offering tips on healthy eating and enjoyable exercise. Simple recipes and fitness routines that work for me and might actually work for you too! I am an example of what works to transform a hopeless and unhealthy life into a thriving future. I am proof that no matter how dark life gets, light will always be there for you to grab onto. I am inspired daily by other health and lifestyle influencers. All sorts of people from all different backgrounds whose bravery to be vulnerable in such a public way is actively setting forth freedom to so many more. I fill with joy from interactions with people who have benefitted from my blog and are willing to share their stories with me right back. All of this, even while happening through social media, restores my faith in humanity.
So this is my vow. To practice what I preach. To spend less energy on matters out of my control. Less pain watching fights from the sidelines. Splattered in blood from boxing matches where nobody wins. I will focus on what I can change. The movements I believe social media is truly good for. Spreading love. Supporting others. Painting over the glossy, perfected facades with the messy, raw and relatable realities. Stretch marks, insecurities, bad days. Mistakes, accountability and growth. Imperfections shouldn't be secrets when they are something we all possess. I vow to stick to what I love about social media: The actual ability to make a difference. And with that, I will listen to my heart. Continue to fight against injustice in the ways I know make a difference, but remind myself that a platform on social media isn't enough to change politics. I have always argued that the best way to better the world is one person at a time, starting with myself.