Your favourite social media platform may be telling you to be better (Alamy/PA)
TikTok is full of tips for self-improvement, helping us find new ways to be more productive, peaceful, efficient, self-compassionate and well-rounded every time we switch on the app.
Self-help hashtags are growing in popularity – #WorkOnYourself has 119.5 million views, #GetYourLifeTogether has over 40 million and #SelfLoveLifestyle has nearly three million. It seems like everyone is scrolling for self-improvement, and it’s made so much easier with seemingly countless videos at your fingertips – but the pressure to be better all the time can get overwhelming.
Surely we can’t all be bettering ourselves all the time? And at what point does our desire to be better actually become a burden?
Social media can make us feel inferior
When it comes to self-help, “Most of us want a quick fix – somebody to tell us what to do and make things better”, suggests Gillian McMichael, author and founder of Full Circle Global (fullcircleglobal.com) .
“We are in an age of social media overload – we compare and contrast ourselves to others and we want what they have. Never has there been a time like now, where keeping up with the Joneses has a whole new meaning. Social media platforms showcase how we can get our goals, change our lives and better ourselves. But because it is in a short 30-second clip, we don’t know how to apply this to our own lives.”
And this constant bombardment of self-improvement content can become exhausting.
“With social feed overload, it is difficult to decide what top tips or ideas we should take on and do something with, as the next day there will be thousands more reels telling us to do something different – it’s confusing and unsustainable,” says McMichael. “Quick fixes never work in any aspect of your life, especially your wellbeing – I think this approach adds pressure and can give false expectations.”
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Max Hovey is an influencer who focuses on empowering the LGBTQ+ community and promoting body positivity and self-compassion.
“The idea of being your perfect self has always been a pressure from social media,” he says, adding that our obsession with self-improvement is the “natural evolution” of this.
“Everyone has their own struggle, and the pressure constantly to be ‘getting your …….