I have decided to blog about something that has been on my mind for a while now and that I feel quite strong about. This is the use of social media and the impact it is having on the Equestrian Athletes and the Equine Industry.
Most equestrians nowadays have Facebook and Instagram pages and when I look through these I can’t help but feel frustrated and down that all these riders are having such an amazing time with there horses! They never seem to fall off, they never seem to have bad days and they never seem to have any problems! They spend their days playing with their unicorns jumping amazing jumps, cross-country schooling getting their pictures for "the gram"! Obviously social media has allowed our social circle to become much wider and “know” more people, but what we really don’t know is what their real life is like.
There have been many things that’s have made me think about this, most of all is seeing people I know go out and compete on their horses have a great day come home and all their results and pictures are most likely posted to social media within the hour! Yet they can go out, have a not so good day and it is not spoke about as if it never happened. I understand people may not want to talk about their not so good days but what social media is doing is allowing them to control their content in order to create an image of themselves and provide a distorted view of others’ achievements and can create a twisted perception of their realities or “real life" whatever real life is to you.
Instagram which now has 700 million users globally, in research, has been reported to be the social media which is having the greatest negative effect on people’s mental health. Research has found that the unrealistic expectations and “fear of missing out” created across our social feeds can lower self-esteem and fuel issues such as anxiety and depression. This fits in with the recent talk that mental health issues across our equestrian industry are on the increase.
I myself am quite active on my social media accounts and within my performance coaching my aim is to be as transparent as I can about my equestrian life, and to show that 9 times out of 10 your plan will not go how you thought! This is why I am so keen to start Vloging so I can share my equestrian experiences to others. It has become more apparent that people think that some equestrians have the “perfect life” where as if you spoke to these equestrians in person through conversation they would be the first to say themselves that things aren’t always so rosy!
The point I am trying to get across in this blog is to take to social media very carefully and not to compare yourself and your successes to others that you see as you may not know the whole back story to. We should all remain conscious of the fact that no one ever really knows another’s life when just looking at a Social Media Platform. Everyone manages their online persona carefully to reflect a certain image.
I am very passionate about Performance Coaching/Sports Psychology for the reason that everyone should feel good about what they achieve and that is why I enjoy helping others become the best version of themselves and achieve their goals!