Month: May 2019

The impact of social media on our lives and self-esteem

You can admit it. You do it. We all do it. You scroll and scroll and scroll analyze and analyze until you’ve wasted 20-30 minutes on the device of your choosing. The time you spent scrolling and analyzing is followed by the inevitable. Comparison. You compare yourself and your life to those you see on social media with the question of how you measure up floating faintly in the back of your mind. And you don’t always take notes from celebrities, although many of us would be quick to take a makeup tip from Gabrielle Union’s or some fashion advice from Beyoncé—no, the people we compare ourselves to most are the people closest to us. Our friend, people we work with and folks in our circle.

As mentioned in an earlier post, social media has become more than a platform for connecting our lives with those that we love, like our friends from around the world. It’s evolved into something deeper than that and it affects our mental health in more ways than one.

Social media has morphed into a tool used to put the best picture of ourselves out there—our highlight reel—our extremist of highs. While the wins we experience are derived from massive amounts of hard work and focus, the residue of all of our wins clustered into one small Instagram page and made to appear like the picture of who we REALLY are is in many ways manufactured. It’s what we want people to see. Comparing yourself to someone else’s version of this is harmful and could be downright dangerous.

While knowing your follower’s significant milestones is a great way to keep in touch, if not consumed and digested in moderation, comparison can yield to damages to our mental stability. No matter how successful you are, online scrolling can consciously and subconsciously force you to ask yourself the question: am I doing enough? And on the flip side, that brief release of dopamine associated with the likes we receive on the gram or Facebook can lead us to a constant quest for more. So, we post more good news. We focus our cameras, snap the pic with the best angle and lighting, filter and post it up for all to admire.

If you don’t see yourself reflected in this commentary, let’s get specific. Have you seen an influx of engagement announcements on your timeline? Is everyone having children, getting married, promoted and living out major #lifegoals? Sure, they are! And it’s natural to think “but what about me,” even though your life may have seemed great five seconds before you saw the post of your friend who just passed the Bar (and believe me, you’re happy for her), a human reaction we all face is the need to share in the same sense of accomplishment. And when we simply don’t have anything that we think will garner the most likes, we feel a sense of shame…like not being able to compete.

If you feel yourself ever falling into the comparison trap, here are a few things you can ask yourself:

  1. Could I argue, in a court of law, that I’m really not doing anything in my life and convince a judge?
  2. How often are the people you compare yourself to posting?
  3. Am I part of the issue? Am I spending too much time on Instagram when I could really be channeling the time and energy toward accomplishing things that are meaningful to me?

Session 109: Teen Girls & Bullying

The Therapy for Black Girls Podcast is a weekly conversation with Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, a Licensed Psychologist in Atlanta, Georgia, about all things mental health, personal development, and all the small decisions we can make to become the best possible version of ourselves.

In today’s episode, we’re digging into the impact that bullying can have on teenage girls, how you can tell if a teen in your life is being bullied, and how to respond if you find out your teen is bullying others. For this conversation I was joined by De’Asia Thompson, LISW-S, LCSW. De’Asia and I chatted about what bullying looks like for teenage girls today, what therapy might look like for both teens and parents of either a teen being bullied or the one bullying others, and how to interact with school officials if your teen is being bullied.

Resources Mentioned

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https://risecounselinggroup.com/

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If you’re looking for a therapist in your area, check out the directory at https://www.therapyforblackgirls.com/directory.

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Session 108: Finding Your People

The Therapy for Black Girls Podcast is a weekly conversation with Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, a Licensed Psychologist in Atlanta, Georgia, about all things mental health, personal development, and all the small decisions we can make to become the best possible version of ourselves.

 
In this week’s episode I’m sharing my suggestions for places you can look to find your tribe!
 
Communities Discussed
 
 
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Grab some Naturalicious hair products at sallybeauty,com and save 10% by using the promo code 555555 at checkout.
If you’re looking for a therapist in your area, check out the directory at https://www.therapyforblackgirls.com/directory.

Don’t forget to grab a sweatshirt, mug, or a copy of our guided affirmation at therapyforblackgirls.com/shop.

To take the concepts from the podcast to the next level in a community of supportive sisters, join us in The Yellow Couch Collective.

If you have questions or would like to discuss podcast sponsorship, email us at podcast@therapyforblackgirls.com.

The hashtag for the podcast is #TBGinSession.

Make sure to follow us on social media:

Twitter: @therapy4bgirls

Instagram: @therapyforblackgirls

Facebook: @therapyforblackgirls

Session 107: Am I Doing This Right? And 5 Other Questions About Therapy

The Therapy for Black Girls Podcast is a weekly conversation with Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, a Licensed Psychologist in Atlanta, Georgia, about all things mental health, personal development, and all the small decisions we can make to become the best possible version of ourselves.

 
In this week’s episode I’m sharing my thoughts about some of the most common questions I get about therapy and the therapeutic process. 
 
Support Our Sponsors
 

Shop Naturalicious and save 10% by using the promo code JOY at checkout.

If you’re looking for a therapist in your area, check out the directory at https://www.therapyforblackgirls.com/directory.

Don’t forget to grab a sweatshirt, mug, or a copy of our guided affirmation at therapyforblackgirls.com/shop.

To take the concepts from the podcast to the next level in a community of supportive sisters, join us in The Yellow Couch Collective.

If you have questions or would like to discuss podcast sponsorship, email us at podcast@therapyforblackgirls.com.

The hashtag for the podcast is #TBGinSession.

Make sure to follow us on social media:

Twitter: @therapy4bgirls

Instagram: @therapyforblackgirls

Facebook: @therapyforblackgirls

Relationships, Social Media and the Rules of Engagement

You may not want to admit it but nowadays, social media says A LOT about who you are.  We’re obviously long from the days of Instant Messaging our pen pals, but we may have taken a sharp detour into a different place called ‘Instagram: A day in the life of [Insert your name here]’ town. Although navigating this destination can be a bit confusing and there are a multitude of ‘unspoken’ rules about what we can and cannot post, this isn’t totally a bad thing! On social, we stay updated on the people we love most— graduations, new jobs, and major money moves happening in their lives.

And, of course, we also get a chance to socialize our own milestones, some of us taking extra care to snag the flyest pictures of ourselves at [insert location], with our Black Girl Magic hashtags and no-filter flexes…it’s become a lifestyle. And, whether we choose to believe it or not, we’ve steadily welcomed more and more people into our lives with each post and with each caption. We disseminate personal information about who we are and what we’re about in the process. We do it seamlessly and with a touch of a button. So, our platforms tell folks about our values, goals and the things that matter most to us in this life.

So, what happens when someone else steps into our lives? Someone like a life-partner or significant other? Are you jumping at the earliest opportunity to post pictures of the two of you on Instagram in all your #relationshipgoals? Or, are you slower to make your online debut as a full-fledged couple? Or maybe the thought of posting someone else on your profile gives you some real anxiety—for fear that person might not be a permanent fixture in your life.

The real question here is this…
When someone else comes into your life, how are they incorporated, if at all, into your online life and what impact does this have on you?

What are the rules of engagement regarding relationships on social media? Here are some of the questions we’re wondering about. 

  • Do you have conversations with your partner or someone you’re dating about when or if you’ll be acknowledging your relationship online? If there is a difference of opinion here, how might you negotiate it?
  • Does it make you feel some kind of way if your partner would prefer not to have pictures of you or y’all as a couple on their social media?
  • What kinds of conversations, if any, do you have with your partner about their interactions with others online?
  • Do you follow/friend/like your partner across social media channels? Why or why not?
  • Has your relationship been impacted by things that have happened on social media?

We’re curious about these new rules of engagement and what they might mean for our mental health, so share your thoughts with us in the comments or sound off on our social media channels under this post. 

Session 106: When Mother’s Day Is Painful

The Therapy for Black Girls Podcast is a weekly conversation with Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, a Licensed Psychologist in Atlanta, Georgia, about all things mental health, personal development, and all the small decisions we can make to become the best possible version of ourselves.

 
In this week’s episode I’m sharing tips to take care of yourself if Mother’s Day is painful for you due to a complicated relationship with your mother. 
 
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Please help us continue to raise awareness about sexual health and HIV transmission by participating in a short survey at therapyforblackgirls.com/mediq (it takes less than 15 minutes). No personal information will be stored or shared from the survey. The purpose of the survey is to help us get a better understanding about how women communicate with their physicians about their sexual health and to provide you with some more information on PrEP and HIV prevention. The insights gained from the survey will be used in an educational tool to provide information that may be useful in keeping the lines of communication open with healthcare teams. After completing the survey, you can enter your name in a raffle to win one of eight $100 VISA gift cards.

If you’re looking for a therapist in your area, check out the directory at https://www.therapyforblackgirls.com/directory.

Don’t forget to grab a sweatshirt, mug, or a copy of our guided affirmation at therapyforblackgirls.com/shop.

To take the concepts from the podcast to the next level in a community of supportive sisters, join us in The Yellow Couch Collective.

If you have questions or would like to discuss podcast sponsorship, email us at podcast@therapyforblackgirls.com.

The hashtag for the podcast is #TBGinSession.

Make sure to follow us on social media:

Twitter: @therapy4bgirls

Instagram: @therapyforblackgirls

Facebook: @therapyforblackgirls

Relationship Status: It’s Complicated

It’s time we talk about that relationship of yours. You know, the one that’s been keeping you up at night? Constantly overanalyzing. The one causing you to question your value in this life? The one that has you anxiously checking the gram or Facebook to compare your height, your weight, your job, your success to other women. The one that has you trying (and failing) to validate your worth. In this relationship, negative thoughts consume your mental space day in and day out. And I’m pretty sure you’ve had it up to here. If you’re looking for a sign, beloved, here it is.

Sis, it may be time to re-evaluate some things. That little gadget in your pocket, sending you constant notifications at every minute and every hour of the day reminding you where you fall amongst your followers. How many likes you got that day, reminding you to seek validation from all people other than yourself. That measuring stick you evaluate your life by. Your phone, to put it bluntly. The toxicity has gone on for far too long. But the good thing is, it’s not you.

RELATED: MISADVENTURES OF A BLACK WOMAN IN CORPORATE AMERICA

According to a recent study by UK disability charity, Scope, of 1500 Facebook and Twitter users surveyed, 62 percent reported feeling inadequate and 60 percent reported feelings of jealousy from comparing themselves to other users. This means, if you have feelings of inadequacy, you’re not alone.

During Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re asking you to join us in exploring your relationship with technology. We’ll be engaging in a critical discussion about how you may be internalizing what you’re seeing on social media and in the tech space. We’re going to address how social media impacts our relationships with friends, partners, peers, and even our careers! We want you to join us during this time to be more intentional about the role technology plays in your life.

So stay tuned to the blog and our social media channels throughout this month as we’ll be asking questions and posing challenges that we hope will encourage you to think about your life beyond the character limit.

If you have any thoughts, share them with us on social media using the hashtag #TBGTalksTech.