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Does Social Media Leave You Inspired for Action or Riddled with Guilt?

Social media on SmartphoneAre you inspired by your social media feeds?

Consider all your social media feeds for just a minute… you know the ones: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, etc., etc.

Do your feeds often inspire you to act? I mean really “take action” beyond a like or a comment? And when I say often, I mean often — like you are constantly reading something in your feeds and immediately planning on how you can incorporate it into your life. And not just planning, but you actually follow through — later reflecting on how great the advice was and how amazingly it has worked out for you.

OR instead, after a splash in your social media pool, are you finding yourself feeling flat? Are you overwhelmed and drowning in “shoulds”, not sure where or how to start making a change, and maybe even feeling guilt-ridden and a little depressed?  

Come on… honestly now, tell me — IS THIS HAPPENING FOR ANYONE ELSE?

Because it’s happens for me

I was scrolling mindlessly through my insta feed the other day when it occurred to me I wasn’t even paying attention. I was merely engaged in the act of scrolling. The interminable thumb-wave. My eyes were glazed over and my mind was somewhere else entirely. When I became aware of this, I sought to return my attention to the task at hand (practicing a little mindfulness and bringing myself back to the moment at hand — I do try to practice what I preach ).

But then I noticed something different.

Now I was paying attention.  I was hitting the button for things that appealed to me or in agreement with a statement.  But I was not actively considering how I might take action on any of these inspirational words.  They became echoes as soon as I scrolled past, and were completely gone from my mind as soon as I moved on to other things.  

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Am I alone in this experience?

Out of sight, out of mind

Those thousands upon thousands of one-liner motivational and inspirational posts make change sound so simple, so easy, so graceful. But once these posts are out of sight they’re often out of mind, and life goes on — status quo remains.

It’s bloody hard work achieving dreams, goals, and success.

It’s not simple or easy at all! There’s nothing graceful about it. Believe me I know.

I’ve been through many a personal battle — overcoming hardships, literally sweating blood and tears to achieve health and career goals, and now chasing a seemingly-elusive business dream. I ABSOLUTELY KNOW — to my very core – how tough personal growth can be.

The times when I have been successful and achieved my goals, managed to tame a past trauma, or conquer my fears, I had help. Whether it was talking with a friend, my partner, family, peers, mentors, a professional supervisor, or therapist, I had support to get me where I wanted to be.

A little “WTF” is OK

It feels like this is something we don’t say or encourage enough. It’s OK to be struggling, to not be coping, to need a helping hand. It’s OK to fall in a heap, to throw your hands up in the air and scream “WTF” every now and again. So long as you pull yourself up, dust yourself off, and reach out for support.  

It is this reaching out bit I honestly believe is the toughest of all. Taking that first gigantic step. It feels like you’re admitting defeat, like you’re exposing yourself as a failure. I’m here to tell you that’s not true – even though it might feel that way. As a matter of fact, you’re the opposite of a failure — YOU ARE A WINNER!  It takes absolute guts, grit, and courage to reach out and ask for help. It’s scary as hell. But it’s undeniably how you will succeed.

No one is perfect — not even me

I’m fortunate enough to have friends and family who would be there for me if I asked. I have a supportive partner who provides incredible strength and grounds me whenever necessary.  I’m also a competent professional who knows a few things about the human condition and the benefits of therapy.  

But do you think I find it easy to ask for help? Um… NO!  

Truthfully, I think I’m worse at asking for help because of my training — I suffer the old, “I should be able to deal with this myself complex. Lucky for me I have wonderful mentors, peers, and an amazing GP who soon smack that crap right out of me and remind me I too am human and vulnerable to suffering the same emotional responses, guilts and “shoulds” as everybody else. [What the … !?! You mean to tell me I’m not super-human!]  

Alas, no. Immunity to suffering does not accompany knowledge or experience.  

Push through, reach out, succeed

But I digress. My point is this — push like crazy past that point of fear, shame, embarrassment, whatever it is that’s holding you back from reaching out and asking for help.  You will not be sorry in the long run. In fact, I guarantee it is what will help you cross over from the ‘should’ heap and onto the ‘success’ stack.

Get in touch — let’s talk. Together we can stop that incessant scrolling, and instead start planning and take action.

Does Social Media Leave You Inspired for Action or Riddled with Guilt?

Bree Somer

Bree Somer is a degree qualified Social Worker with extensive experience and specialized training. She runs an online private practice in Australia, providing coaching or counseling sessions to adults going through professional or personal transition. Alongside her personal experience and education, Bree’s background includes many years working within employment and training, social welfare, business administration, community and mental health, policy and management. Bree has a passion for helping people to increase their self-determination and achieve individual or career goals. Bree uses client-directed, outcome-focused sessions to improve confidence, communication, and connections, with the aim of achieving increased capability and well-being.

APA Reference
Somer, B. (2018). Does Social Media Leave You Inspired for Action or Riddled with Guilt?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 13, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Oct 2018 (Originally: 19 Jan 2017)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Oct 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.