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.
This week, this month, this year has been a lot! I echo the feelings of many when I say I’m exhausted. The murders this week of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile have added to the long and constantly growing list of Black people killed at the hands of law enforcement and has served to once again heighten the collective anxiety of the Black community. I’ve found myself glued to my Twitter timeline searching for updates and information about these cases. I’m noticing that I’m clenching my jaws and tensing my shoulders unconsciously. My patience is a little thinner and I’ve been munching on ridiculous amounts of Frosted Flakes and Oreos. All of these are signals to me that I am stressed and probably need to take a step back. I talk about self-care often, preach it to friends, family, and clients, and truly believe in it. But as with many things, fall short in following it for myself. The concept of self care can also at times feel elusive, so I wanted to compile a list of specific things you can do to allow yourself some joy! I hope this serves as a reminder to myself and a nudge for you too 🙂
One of the major reasons I started Therapy for Black Girls was to reduce the stigma associated with seeking therapy. It’s important to change the community narrative that therapy is only for “crazy” people. Therapy is not only helpful to relieve symptoms of mental illness. It’s also incredibly useful in increasing mental wellness. Sometimes these concepts seem a little abstract without concrete examples, so in an effort to bring these ideas to life I’m starting a new series on the blog called On the Couch. This series will focus on the work I might do with a fictional character if they were an actual client in my practice. Today, we have our first session with Mary Jane Paul from BET’s Being Mary Jane. The first session with any client is the intake session where I collect a lot of information from the client about the history of their concerns, their families, and their reasons for seeking therapy. This will also serve as a nice recap if you haven’t been keeping up with the show 🙂 .
Today I am rocking my Black Girls Are Magic tshirt (get yours here) with my favorite wide leg trousers and blasting Beyonce as loud as my speakers will allow because IT’S MY BIRTHDAY! I can honestly say that this has been a wild ride of a year. I had my first child, bought my first home with my husband, got a new job, and have started on the incredible journey of this blog so I would say a celebration is in order! That’s right, I’m throwing my own party because sometimes you just have to forget about all the stuff that’s going wrong and focus on what’s going right. Sometimes you have to ignore how the world would like to identify you and pay attention to the fabulousness that is YOU! (more…)