Welcome to a new episode of the OpenFrame podcast! Today’s conversation with the beloved Canadian wedding and portrait photographer, Nicole Ashley, is strong proof that there's still room to discuss social media anxiety and its impact on creative work.
Even though there's a general understanding of the pitfalls of social media on mental health, Nicole's perspective on the topic brings new layers of clarity. Her openness and vulnerability about facing anxiety while managing social channels speak volumes about her core values. We all know the negative ways it can affect us, yet how many dig deeper and change something in their behavior? How do we control it instead of letting it control us? Is there a way to channel the anxiety into a good force that can push us forward?
This episode is encouraging because Nicole acknowledges the ripples that social media brought into her life. When Instagram, Facebook, TikTok or Pinterest blend with the personal life, things get complicated on so many levels. During our meaningful conversation, you’ll get practical advice on how to cope with this overwhelming phenomenon and find sustainable ways to make it work.
Here are some of the highlights from our conversation with Nicole Ashley:
- Social Media anxiety can affect anyone, regardless of status or reputation. Just because someone looks like they are always on top of their game does not mean they are immune to experiencing the consequences.
- Struggling with our mental health is still something hard to discuss openly. Only by opening up the conversation about such struggles can we feel less alone and find the anchors to keep going.
- As creative souls, we tend to put our best work out there when we feel inspired. Yet, when we feel forced to provide because of an algorithm, it can dampen our creativity and joy. This sends us into a spiral of even more pressure.
- We all know what jealousy on social media feels like: it can block us from taking action and keep us stuck in a hostile place of complacency and complaining. When manifesting so, it's best to ask ourselves why we feel this way and what we ultimately want to accomplish.
- Schedule days out of the week to be focused, create relevant content in batches and engage with other accounts only during those specific time slots.
- Create and respect boundaries that help you disconnect from social media. Keep your phone out of the bedroom, mute certain accounts, block specific people.
- Follow a curation process where you always keep your feed clean and avoid anything that can trigger you, or feed your anxiety.
- Be an observer of your body's reactions; whenever you feel anxious or negative, stop scrolling and do something else (listen to music, write in your journal, etc.)
- Open the conversation about social media anxiety and contribute by sharing your struggles in this area. It's a great way to reduce the stigma and fear around it, and can help others in return too.
- Transform this angst into an opportunity to re-evaluate your work and this given moment in life. Is this still what you want to do? What other feelings come up when you scroll through social media? Is there something about your business you maybe need to change?
Unfortunately, all the research shows that social media anxiety is here to stay. Instead of trying to pretend that you will not be caught in this trap, it's wiser to admit that it's hard to deal with it. Invest time and energy in finding ways that help you live a harmonious lifestyle. The more you know yourself and the franker you are with yourself, the easier it is to navigate complicated feelings that can feel mind-boggling. When jealousy, fear of missing out, or sadness pops up, you'll be able to process these feelings with a deeper understanding.
By looking at social media and its effects, we start seeing an opportunity in these murky waters and ask ourselves: what do we really want?
The conversation with Nicole Ashley about social media anxiety (with everything this implies) is a big one, and it's not going anywhere. We will be dealing with this for a long time, but we can become better at how we are experiencing it. For this to happen, it's crucial to speak honestly about what we struggle with and what kind of echo it brings into our lives.
Thank you to Nicole for raising more awareness and being so honest about her journey. We hope you found this episode encouraging and helpful in navigating your own relationship with social media. In the end, we can only shape a better future together by sharing our authentic stories.
This conversation is also available on YouTube. Don't forget to subscribe to OpenFrame on your favorite streaming platform (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Anchor, etc.) and share this episode with a friend who'd find it interesting or inspiring.
Thank you to our lovely podcast host, Nadia Meli.