Social media is a powerful tool and not to refute the fact that anything trending on social media has a huge influence on our minds.
The recent trend of fitness addicts all over social media is a huge craze. According to research, 86% of US adults have at least one social media profile. With the advent of smartphones in urban India, around 30% of the youth are active on social media and post their workout videos on a weekly basis. From gym selfies to videos and motivational quotes to workout pictures, the social media seems dominant with these posts each day. The seamless ability to motivate and connect with people all over the globe gives us all an opportunity to influence positivity in lives, and the current fitness sensation all over the globe does just that.
We are now bombarded with motivational videos, live sessions and progress pictures from our friends and various fitness influencers. ‘But Does this really motivate or bring us to body shame?’. As every concept has its pros and cons, we may accept the two sides of the coin here as well. On one hand it can get us motivated or it can be a mirror for body shaming for a few.
How does it motivate?
Bombardment of progress pics and new trendy apparel often can bring about a surge of motivation for friends and colleagues on social handles. Pieces of advice and trainer references often follows, which brings about a revolution and new resolutions for many for a lifetime ahead.
What was seen as impossible or hectic is now a habit. Being as svelte as celeb idols is no more a dream and insecurity has been replaced by confidence.
Talking of celebs, social media has brought them closer to fans and now they share their fitness regimes and tips for a healthy lifestyle which is one of the most positive aspects endorsed by them.
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How does it discourage or Body shame?
Often, when people post pics of themselves showing off their abs, the food they eat, the workouts they perform etc, can lead to a sense of body shame for those whose passion isn’t fitness.
A sense of inferiority and insecurity can crop up whilst people might think they cannot keep up to the ideal body image portrayed on social media by many.
The flat abs, the perfect curve, the stylish gym leggings, the health foods, all being bombarded on social posts can bring about a sense of non belongingness to the social community for a few leading to depression and loneliness.
How authentic is the info provided by the so called ‘experts of fitness’ on social media these days? Their opinion on foods, their live updates on proteins, etc. Is that all for real or just bro science? Are you thinking of whom to follow? Are you wondering the info given is backed by science and research or just random info strewn over the social platform?
If these bother you, then yes such questions are valid. Often we do not get validated info on nutrition and training, and hence often a section of the audience on social media are misguided and end up with disastrous results in the name of fitness.
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How do we decide whom to follow?
This could be a task as well especially with the surge of seamless information on Google and Youtube. My opinion on this is to see the credentials and decide for yourself how authentic is the info passed on by them. The quality of information they pass on, how many followers they have on social media, and how well they handle the queries of their followers. It’d also help to see if they mention their research material whilst providing answers so you’re sure.
As we all know, social media influence is one of the most powerful tools today, how we perceive it and how we use it, can often motivate and improve our lives or destroy our wellbeing.
‘‘Always get influenced or influence with the Right Mindset.’’