an all -acce ss pass to the bragga rts who ma ke up the so­cial me­dia fit ness cultu re

Alberta Venture - - The Briefing -

YOU’RE A RARE New Year’s Res­o­lu­tioner. Jan­uary came and went, and you made it to the gym three, some­times four times a week. Fe­bru­ary proved more dif­fi­cult but still, your gym mem­ber­ship didn’t go to waste. To rouse mo­ti­va­tion, you scroll through fit­ness pages on so­cial me­dia. The be­fore and af­ter shots of top-form physiques run down your screen as you dou­ble-tap, be­cause you too are work­ing to­wards the af­ter photo. But, lit­tle do you know, your “fit­spi­ra­tion” habit could be do­ing more harm than good.

Sim­i­lar to the way print and T.V. ads be­came the en­emy for girls cov­et­ing the mag­a­zine look, “fit­spi­ra­tion” im­ages lead to in­creased neg­a­tive mood, body dis­sat­is­fac­tion, and de­creased self-es­teem. That goes for men, too. Re­gard­less of gen­der, we’re wired for com­par­i­son: We de­ter­mine self-worth by as­sess­ing oth­ers and gaug­ing where we stand in com­par­i­son. The next time you de­cide to boost your mo­ti­va­tion with a dose of so­cial me­dia ask your­self, is it mo­ti­va­tion or a more sin­is­ter emo­tion like envy or jeal­ousy? Whether it’s the glossy pages of a mag­a­zine, or on the screen of an iPhone, the story hasn’t changed: It’s all just smoke and mir­rors, or in In­sta­gram’s case, a va­len­cia fil­ter.

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