The role of social media in shaping your goals.
The fitness community is such a complicated landscape with many experiences and avenues of entry. When one thinks of the fitness community, one person may think fondly of it. And others may have much vitriol for it. This is because each person has a different goal and reason for entering the fitness community. The fitness community is very influential on what the general fitness practitioner might lean towards in their everyday image of themselves and other fellow practitioners. And because of that, it's very important to know what you should keep, ignore, or throw away in regards to what information you take in.
The fitness community is the most devastating when you're paying a large amount of attention to fitness influencers in the media. Whether you're seeing Chris Hemsworth in a movie, Mr. Bodybuilder on Youtube, an Instagram model at the beach, or any other fitness-related personality in the web-o-sphere, you're seeing a heavily doctored image that's not sustainable for the average person. But because these people are seen as the end goal of being fit we end up skewing our original goal, whether that's general fitness, stronger totals during a powerlifting meet, or any other fitness-related goal. Our personalized goals that fit our personalities and experiences get skewed to fit the biggest names in the fitness community and people end up suffering for it because it's not sustainable physically and mentally for the majority of people out there. This is especially bad for many young athletes and gym-goers who are slowly trying to parse out their personalities and what they want from life and fitness when all of the sudden they're bombarded with messaging that tells them they're not trying hard enough, that there are people younger than them who are more jacked, more beautiful, or thinner than they are, and that they need to be a completely different person to be able to exist in the same community with them.
Therefore when we're navigating media it's important at the very beginning to take everything you see with a grain of salt. Consider what got you into fitness in the first place and pursue that or modify it! Being fit and pursuing fitness goals is a lifelong pursuit that will take many years to reach and rushing towards them isn't how life is meant to be lived. That said there are many body-positive personalities online that you can follow for a more mentally healthy place in the fitness community. A good alternative to cutting off social media would be to follow people that promote positivity and sustainability when you look at their accounts, instead of people that put you down for being who you are. Ultimately, fitness goals from a place of self-hate never last, but if you love yourself and continue to take the slow route to improve yourself in whatever way you deem fit; You'll then be happier for it, and you'll get closer to those lofty long-term goals.