Looking in the Mirror of Social Media—And Finding My Truth

Looking in the Mirror of Social Media—And Finding My Truth

Subscribe to Outside+ now to get unique access to all of our content, including sequences, instructor tips, video lessons, and much more. Teaching yoga on social media means you have to battle your ego on a daily basis. I’m hoping and praying that it doesn’t eventually swell to the point where you become a blimp. It entails checking, and checking frequently. It entails blogging, and posting on a consistent basis. It entails producing, and doing so continuously. But always keep the other person in mind, and always keep your followership in the backseat with you.

It gets increasingly difficult to envision yourself without them.

It entails always considering how to accomplish things better or more effectively than the competition.

I don’t believe it’s feasible to work in social media without these emotions finally coming to the surface at some point.

  • Cave paintings and hieroglyphics, on the other hand, were the first social media feeds.
  • K.
  • Iyengar would have been the first “Instagram child.” Social media is an extension of the show-and-telling that has been a mainstay of human activity for almost as long as humans have existed.
  • My friends and I are completely consumed with how we appear to others.
  • For the home that already exists inside us, we search outside ourselves for it.
  • Taking the edge off our regular repeating of falsehoods and conflation is what we’re aiming for.
  • My folks and I are complete strangers to one another.
  • See also: A Mindful Digital Detox for more information.

Questioning the digital avatar

When I think about the internet, social media, and the art of managing my digital avatar, I’m constantly reminded that I should examine these things at the risk of discovering my true identity. We are engaged in a digital conflict, and the mind is the battleground. I believe I have an expectation that my digital avatar will be a better version of me in some way. I expect her to be a better version of myself than the person I am in real life. Despite my better judgment, I have a deep reverence for monarchy and an expectation of hierarchy.

I believe that the internet has significantly transformed and evolved the way spiritual rhetoric will be communicated, just as the printed word changed and evolved spiritual discourse in the past.

What had previously only been communicated orally may now be widely disseminated and shared with the general public.

The amount of individuals who can read your book is a non-issue. Consider how many individuals may engage with your Instagram posts on a more casual basis. With the same amount of energy that you need to take a crap, it becomes conceivable to have an impact on a whole generation before breakfast.

Tap dancing to self acceptance

It’s true that yoga may occasionally become purely about following, however, if I’m being completely honest, I believe that this is probably acceptable. I believe that every variation of the technique is probably acceptable because the message is always the same at the end of the day. The final destination is the same every time. Even though it seemed pointless, tap dancing for Instagram likes helped me gain acceptance of myself. Because social media serves as a precise, shocking, and embarrassing mirror in which to view my truth, people who will never meet me are still exposed to a practice that will eventually expose them to themselves.

Yoga may appear to be trivialized in the digital era, but is there ever a time when anything related to the propagation of compassion is truly trivial?

See also: Jessamyn Stanley’s Sequence for Getting into Your Authentic Voice (PDF).

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Looking in the Mirror of Social Media—And Finding My Truth

Jessamyn Stanley contributed to this article. Teaching yoga on social media means you have to battle your ego on a daily basis. I’m hoping and praying that it doesn’t eventually swell to the point where you become a blimp. It entails checking, and checking frequently. It entails blogging, and posting on a consistent basis. It entails producing, and doing so continuously. With the other person in mind at all times, however, always with Magazine

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Social Media and the Magical Mirror

Photograph courtesy of Andre Mouton/Unsplash In my last essay, we discussed the psychology of social media use and how it affects one’s mental health. I argued that while social media does not directly cause anguish or unhappiness, our views about social media do, and this is due to a self-fulfilling prophecy, which is why we should be cautious while using social media. This is critical to comprehend considering the importance that social media has in our collective awareness and in our public conversation today.

Generally speaking, the perception is that Facebook (and other social media corporations such as Twitter) manipulate emotions through algorithmic microtargeting in order to sow strife on a wide range of issues and, eventually, create enormous profits through the mass manufacturing of disinformation.

  1. This viewpoint, in my opinion, is completely incorrect and shows a complete lack of understanding of human psychology.
  2. For example, Michael Bang Petersen investigates political antagonism on the internet.
  3. It is more likely that disinformation (both online and offline) is shared purposefully by certain social media users who feel it would help them score points for their political tribe as well as raise their social standing.
  4. Those who share antagonistic political views and conspiracy theories are likewise motivated by a “desire for chaos,” as the expression goes.
  5. Aside from that, people who are hostile in online debates are likely to behave the same way in offline talks as well, and they are driven by a desire to gain social standing.
  6. They’re now in plain sight for the general public thanks to the gadgets we carry about in our pockets all day long.
  7. The truth is that it is just bringing these issues to light.

Long before the advent of social media, scientists began investigating the psychological impacts of self-focused attention, which occurs when you look at a photograph of yourself or glance in the mirror.

This is referred to as a disparity between your real and ideal self-image by psychological professionals.

Some people may find that their discomfort serves as an additional source of motivation for self-improvement.

Others, on the other hand, have chosen to withdraw as a tactic.

This is an example of a failing coping method adopted by persons who are attempting to lessen their self-focused attention.

Facebook and Twitter, among other social media apps, are part of an Internet mirroring system.

The problem is that, rather than working toward betterment, such as being more empathetic and engaging in good outreach toward others, we are retreating, doubling down on poor behaviors, and blaming the mirrors for our terrible sentiments.

Perhaps this explains why individuals have been seeking increasingly tough rules for social media corporations in recent years.

International data provides some of the most compelling evidence that social media usage is not a direct source of political polarization and violence in the United States.

People in Germany, Australia, and Norway feel the same way.

In the words of Ezra Klein, “One idea that this allows us to dismiss is the notion that polarization is a result of internet penetration or digital media use.” Internet usage has increased at the quickest rates in nations with declining polarization, while much of the rise in polarization in the United States has occurred prior to the advent of digital media and has been concentrated among older populations with more analogue news habits.” Social media isn’t to blame for our nation’s divisiveness and disarray.

  • Rather, it is exposing our divisiveness and dysfunction as a society.
  • We are the source of the problem.
  • This provides us all with a better understanding of what is wrong with our society, allowing us to come up with innovative solutions to these problems.
  • In The Lord of the Rings, there is a beautiful scene in which the wise and strong character Galadriel gifts Frodo with a magical liquid mirror, which I find evocative.
  • “Remember that the Mirror depicts many things, and not all of them have yet come to pass,” they say at one point in the story (emphasis added).
  • “Seeing is both a blessing and a curse.” While it may appear to be a reach to draw a connection between social media and Galadriel’s magical mirror, I believe there are some significant connections.
  • There are also several possibilities for the future depending on how we respond.

Human minds, on the other hand, are far more intricate than that.

Our mirrors are not the enemy, but they may show the adversary that lurks inside us, and they can also be used efficiently for self-improvement when used appropriately.







H (2020).

Bor, A., and Petersen, M.


Mismatch hypothesis and the psychology of online political hostility: A thorough, cross-national examination of the mismatch hypothesis The American Political Science Review is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes original research in political science.




On the inclination to match self to standard or to retreat, the effects of self-focus, discrepancy between self and standard, and result anticipation favorability were investigated.



A Theory of Objective Self-Awareness is presented here.


Heatherton and R.

Baumeister have published a paper in which they discuss their research (1991).

110, no.


J., Hull, J.

W., Young, R.


Alcohol use has been shown to have self-awareness-reducing effects.

Arceneaux, K., Petersen, M.





Self-awareness, as well as the emotional implications of one’s own inconsistencies.

31, no. 5, pp. 703-713 Silvia, P. J., and Duval, T. S. Silvia, P. J., and Duval, T. S. (2001). Recent developments in objective self-awareness theory, as well as persistent issues. Personality and Social Psychology Review, volume 5, number 3, pages 230 to 241.

What the Mirror Can Teach You About Yourself: Advice from a Mirror Gazing Expert

Mirrors have the ability to elicit strong emotional responses in us – and they can also be incredibly effective tools for shifting our perspective and revealing aspects of ourselves that are normally hidden when we look out into the world. Changing our perspective and revealing aspects of ourselves can be extremely beneficial. The need to be seen and reflected is a fundamental and essential human yearning. While still young, we learn to comprehend ourselves through the reflections of individuals in our immediate environment.

The fact that we are spending more time alone and on our gadgets means that we are missing out on this social contemplation.

A meditation technique that I have created that involves consciously looking in the mirror while in meditation can help us reveal kinder self-awareness and increase our resilience to face the difficulties of life.

The exact opposite will happen: you will discover how to be fully present with yourself, how to regulate the intensity of your emotions, and how to access a newfound inner power.

Learning About Yourself by Looking at Yourself

Reflective surfaces such as mirrors may elicit intense emotional responses in us – and they can also be highly effective instruments for shifting our viewpoint and revealing aspects of ourselves that are normally concealed when we look out into the outside world. A fundamental and intrinsic yearning of ours is to be seen and mirrored by others. While still young, we begin to comprehend ourselves through the reflections of individuals in our immediate vicinity. In reality, psychologists have shown that face-to-face interaction is necessary for our social and emotional growth.

We have the ability to see ourselves at any moment by looking in the mirror.

Understanding your image will not transform you into a hulking narcissist with a snarling mouth.

In reality, cultivating greater self-awareness is essential for breaking free from the inner critic as well as the external world, which stokes our concerns and anxiety about being secure, being good enough, and having enough.

Teaching the Mirror Meditation

I found the mirror to be such a valuable tool for myself that I wanted to make it available to others. For the past seven years, I have been instructing people in the art of mirror meditation. Through the use of mirror gazing and the concepts of mindfulness meditation, trainees are able to dwell on themselves and their own reflection. At first glance, the majority of people appear uncomfortable and self-conscious. Their features are stiff, and their eyes are harsh and critical as they examine themselves and make adjustments here and there.

  1. Rather of seeing themselves as the target of their criticism, I encourage them to see themselves as the person who is suffering.
  2. Something clicks in my head.
  3. These transformations have been nothing short of miraculous at times.
  4. This has allowed them to cut through their self-delusions and develop kinder and more accurate self-awareness, which has improved their quality of life.
  5. As the practice progressed, I invited my mirror gazing pupils to explain in their own words any changes they saw as a result of their participation in the meditation.
  6. In addition, because they could see the effect of their comments on their faces, the mirror indicated exactly how much they were hurting.
  7. It was brought to light by the mirror.
  8. Afterwards, they had the option of treating themselves with more acceptance and compassion, which they might do as a daily exercise.
  9. Some people became more conscious of feelings that they had previously been unaware of, such as fear, rage, or disgust, that they had previously ignored.
  10. Finally, many people reported that it had a good influence on their interpersonal interactions, which may seem paradoxical at first.

Practicing giving oneself their entire attention and learning how to be with themselves through painful feelings, it appears that they were able to be more present with others, and their relationships grew stronger as a result.

Why Mirror Meditation Works

What is it about looking in the mirror that is so strong and effective? After doing extensive research in neuroscience and psychology, the jigsaw pieces began to fall into place for me. According to research, face-to-face interaction is necessary for the development of a sense of self, the management of our emotions, and the development of empathy for others. Through the eyes of others, we begin to comprehend who we are and what we want in life. And by looking at their faces, we may discover how they are feeling as well as how we are feeling.

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Learn how to manage our emotions and handle difficult social situations by starting with this basic skill.

When it comes to preserving that connection, the mirror may be a very useful tool.

It has been astounding to witness how nasty individuals can be to themselves when they are not even aware of it via my professional work.

Practice the Mirror Meditation

I encourage 10 minutes of silent reflection in the mirror every day. Here are some basic recommendations to follow.

1. Set the space and intention.

Decide on a well-lit, distraction-free location where you can place a mirror so that it is freestanding and you can see into your own eyes without straining or bending forward. Place both feet on the ground while sitting on a meditation cushion or on a chair. Set a 10-minute timer for yourself. Have no aspirations other than simply sit with oneself during the specified period. This is the most important thing.

2. Tune into your breathing.

Close your eyes for the first several minutes. Pay attention to your breathing. Do you find yourself holding your breath or breathing quickly? Take a few calm, deep breaths from your belly. Then breathe regularly and naturally, just observing your breath as it moves your belly, ribcage, and collarbones as you inhale, and gently contracting your collarbones, ribcage, and belly as you exhale, without forcing it or forcing it. Make a conscious effort to notice any tension in your body, particularly in your face or shoulders, and then imagine sending your breath to those areas and allowing the tension to melt away.

3. Begin to gaze into your eyes.

Take note of if your breathing changes as you take your first peek in the mirror. Bring your breathing back to its full, steady state. Make a conscious effort to observe the quality of your gaze: Is it harsh or soft?

Make every effort to soften your stare as much as possible. As soon as you detect yourself hardening due to your attention being drawn to some aspect of your look, take a deep breath and hold it until you feel yourself relaxing again.

4. Observe your critic.

When you gaze in the mirror for the first time, pay attention to how you breathe. Take a deep breath in and out slowly. Make a conscious effort to observe the quality of your gaze: Is it harsh or gentle? Make every effort to keep your glance as mild as possible. Take a few deep breaths if you sense yourself stiffening as a result of your attention being drawn to a specific aspect or a defect in your look.

5. Notice where your attention goes and associated feelings.

Keep your gaze fixed on your mirror, remaining receptive to whatever comes to mind. Take note of any sensations or emotions that arise and let them to simply exist, without judgment or interpretation, without attempting to make sense of them. While you breathe, relax your body, and stare at yourself with no other aim in mind but to be present with yourself, allow your sensations and thoughts to simply pass by. If your focus gets narrow and precise, see whether you can widen it back to viewing your entire body, your entire self, and noting any emotions that may be shown on your face.

Simply observing where your attention wanders and any sensations that arise as a result, without passing judgment, is sufficient.

You might be shocked at how much your perception of oneself can shift in the span of ten minutes or less.

Watch the TEDx Talk: What Mirror Meditation Can Teach You

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See How You Really *Are*!

‘Of whatever you wear, your face is the most significant thing you have on.’ In fact, I discovered that when I gazed in the True Mirror, not only did my expression alter, but the quality of my gaze did as well. We glance in a conventional mirror not for hints as to who we are, but to reaffirm ourselves that we are clean, beautiful, or youthful, among other things. When you look in a True Mirror, you are looking for revelation rather than reassurance. In search of oneself, you do not look at yourself,” says the author.

  1. Caroline McHugh contributed to this article.
  2. The only person on the planet whose genuine face you will never be able to view in real time is your own is yourself.
  3. However, every time you’ve looked in the mirror, you’ve seen that your facial expressions and feelings have changed, as have the emotions transmitted by your eyes and mouth.
  4. Because you are the only person who sees yourself this way, it has been going on from childhood – you are omnipresent, uncontested, and solitary!
  5. Those magnificent windows into your soul have a continual screen and filter in front of them, which is sufficient to block out key components of your personality and identity.
  6. The True Mirror optically recovers your true image from your mirror image, allowing you to view yourself not only as you appear, but also as you truly are, in real time, thanks to its advanced technology.
  7. It manifests itself in our smile, where the light in our eyes conveys the reason for our grin, and it is a necessary component for a genuine smile to exist.

Taking a good, long look at yourself in this new mirror, whether on a typical day or perhaps at a period of tremendous joy or great grief, can be a total revelation.

As a matter of fact, you may discover that some of your most severe self-judgments are only apparent in a standard mirror.

The reverse mirror, with its erroneous reflection, has played a crucial role in the creation of that concept.

It’s possible that you’ll weep.

It’s a peculiar sensation to perceive yourself as both familiar and foreign at the same time, and it typically takes some getting accustomed to, including really doing more than just starring at yourself.

Having studied this gateway into the unconscious for 25 years, we’ve learned who it is that is drawn to it: individuals who are interested about the world, who are academically, emotionally, and spiritually curious.

A few seconds of being willing to be there, actually present, to their exposed self can turn into a magnificent and beneficial experience for the individual.

We welcome you to learn more about this incredible new experience, and to consider acquiring this new instrument of enlightenment for yourself and your family as a result. It is a genuine phenomenon, and you may learn a great deal from what it has to say!

Man/woman in the mirror

‘Of whatever you wear, your face is the most crucial thing to pay attention to. When I gazed in the True Mirror, I saw that not only did my appearance alter, but the nature of my gaze did as well, which was surprising. The reason we gaze in a conventional mirror is not to find clues about who we are, but to comfort ourselves that we are neat, or pretty, or youthful. The goal of a True Mirror is not reassurance but rather disclosure. In search of oneself, you do not look at yourself,” says the speaker.

  • For a lifetime, you’ve been looking in every mirror you’ve ever looked in and seeing a different image of yourself every day.
  • In addition to receiving information, your eyes also send it to other parts of the body.
  • Within seconds, your face ceases to function, and you find yourself looking at yourself with a severely limited range of expressions.
  • Because you are the only person who sees yourself this way, it has been going on from childhood – you are omnipresent, uncontested, and alone.
  • This is the spark of the Divine that exists inside you and manifests itself via your expressions and eyes.
  • In what way has this harmed you, what harm has it caused all of us, that we are forced to live with such a fundamental error in bodily reflection?
  • For the first time, you can see the brightness and vitality in your eyes, and even better, it doesn’t fade away as you continue to gaze around.
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Despite the fact that it is there and growing within the True Mirror, it is completely absent from the Mirrors themselves.

It can serve as a catalyst for spiritual growth and radical self-acceptance if you look at it every day and meditate on who and what you see.

Inherently, your genuine self is a more attractive and acceptable person than your created self, regardless of how it has been crafted.

You might find it amusing to hear me say this.

The things you see may appeal to you or they may not, and you may even find yourself actively rejecting the things you see at first glance.

It is not for everyone, and it is not available to everyone currently.

New knowledge about themselves is welcomed and utilised to propel them farther along their journey.

Actual Mirror’s aim is to provide individuals with the ability to see their true reflection in order for them to better understand and love who they are.

If you are interested in learning more about this amazing new experience, we encourage you to consider acquiring this new instrument of enlightenment for yourself and your family. When you listen to what it has to say, it is genuine and you may learn a lot.

Knowing oneself is fatal for anyone who genuinely understands the nature of power. You cannot love oneself if one does not understand oneself first. Without an understanding of your triggers, it is impossible to claim to love oneself. You are unable to say that you are striving to be a better person if you do not even understand what is holding you back or causing you to relapse into old patterns of behavior. You must identify the source of your troubles or fears, but how do you go about doing so?

We’re afraid of the realization that we don’t love ourselves enough to be in our own company.

You will have the opportunity to go deep, release your emotions, analyze them, and attempt to discover answers to some of your dysfunctions.

Take a deep breath and relax.

  • Knowing oneself is fatal for anyone who fully understands the nature of power. You cannot love yourself if you do not know one’s own nature. Without understanding your triggers, it is impossible to profess to love oneself. You are unable to say that you are striving to be a better person if you do not even understand what is holding you back or causing you to relapse into old behaviors. Find the source of your difficulties or insecurities. But how do you go about doing so? We live in a generation that is easily distracted by everything from the internet to social media to hobbies to technology to gadgets. It can be difficult to put all of these things aside and have some “me-time.” TIME ALONE.Distractions don’t appear to be distractions until they stop distracting you. Is it possible that we are afraid of being alone, which is why we are constantly on the lookout for things to do to pass the time? The realization that we don’t love ourselves enough to appreciate our own company makes us feel vulnerable and vulnerable makes us feel scared. When you take time off, on the other hand, you have the opportunity to discover more about yourself. You will have the opportunity to dive deep, release your emotions, analyze them, and attempt to discover answers to some of your dysfunctions. Put your phone away and disconnect from the rest of the world, including social media platforms. Take a deep breath. Try to answer the following difficult problems in your own mind:

When it comes to power, self-awareness is poisonous. You cannot love yourself if you do not know who you are. If you don’t understand your triggers, you can’t claim to love yourself. You can’t claim to be trying to become a better person if you don’t even know what is holding you back or causing you to relapse into old patterns. You need to identify the source of your difficulties or insecurities, but how do you go about doing so? TIME ALONE.Distractions don’t appear to be distractions until they have completed their task of distracting you.We live in a generation that is easily distracted by the internet, social media, hobbies, technology, gadgets, and anything else that comes to mind, so it can be difficult to set aside some “me-time.” Perhaps the reason we are constantly on the lookout for activities to keep us occupied is that we are afraid of being alone.

The realization that we don’t love ourselves enough to appreciate our own company makes us feel vulnerable.

You will have the opportunity to go deep, release your feelings, analyze them, and attempt to discover answers to some of your dysfunctions.

Take a seat.

  • A lesson in self-love showed me that I could put just as much effort into myself as I did into others. Empathic compassion, kindness, and showing up are all behaviors that must begin with me, as taught by self-love. Self-love has taught me that I do not have to be in a state of scarcity in order to provide for others. Self-love necessitates consistent effort on a continuous basis, all of the time. It’s not something you “achieve” once and then have for the rest of your life

It all begins with you. It’s always going to be you. You will not be able to find the love and respect you deserve if you look outside of yourself. You will not be able to find the confidence you require anywhere else. You can’t treat someone better than you treat yourself, and you shouldn’t try. Make a commitment to yourself in order to learn how to make a commitment to others. It is necessary to have self-awareness. Reflection and boundaries are important. Action and self-discipline are required.

When you take care of yourself, your best self shines through for the benefit of everyone around you.

It is the one ocean in which you will never drown.

Look in the mirror and ask yourself how much you’re worth and how much you deserve to be happy.

Consider whether you’re settling for anything less than your best. Hello, my name is Sammy J, and if you enjoyed this, please clap as many times as you can and forward it along to your friends and family members. Thank you very much.

How Social Media Is a Toxic Mirror

We’ve known for a long time that media such as movies, magazines, and television have a negative impact on kids’ body image by promoting a “thin ideal.” The influence of social media on one’s body image is less well understood. In light of the rapid decline in smart phone ownership, most parents devote their “digital parenting” time to character development, ensuring that their children think before they post and refrain from engaging in cyberbullying. For at least a decade, educators such as myself have warned that social media’s greatest danger stemmed from its resemblance to a toilet wall, which allowed teenagers to hurl obscenities with the recklessness that can only come with anonymity.

Social media has also evolved into a harmful reflection.

To be clear, this does not imply that social media is the source of the difficulties, but rather that there is a substantial correlation between the two.

According to the experts, the most susceptible users are those who spend the most of their time publishing, commenting on, and comparing themselves to photographs.

Interestingly, while girls report higher rates of body image disturbance and disordered eating than boys, studies have shown that both can be harmed by social media in equal measure.

If the Internet has been referred to as a great democratizer, it is possible that social media has facilitated the entry of anyone into a beauty pageant.

The combination of all of this creates the sense of control: if I put in more effort and dedicate more time to being attractive, I will see improvements.

“I believe that seeing how many likes they receive and how much attention they receive just for their appearance has a subliminal effect on kids,” one 16-year-old told me.

Prior to the Internet, you had to make the long trek to the grocery store in order to obtain a magazine featuring celebrity bodies—or, at the very least, scrounge up your mother’s copy from the bathroom.

Teens can spend hours staring at the toned arms or glutes of celebrities, who are known for hawking their bodies as much as their ability in the entertainment industry.

Millions of followers enthusiastically embrace their diet and exercise routines, yet the push for “health” and “clean eating” has increasingly become a cover for increased starvation and deprivation.

Both books used harsh language that instilled shame about one’s weight or one’s body, and they both encouraged diets, constraint, and fat and weight stigmatization, among other things.

“I had discovered wholeness,” she stated in her letter.

It is less obvious how well-versed they are in social media.

(Besides, this community isn’t exactly known for expressing heartfelt thanks for parental guidance.) So, what can parents do to help their children?

What do they stand to earn, and from whom do they acquire it?

It never hurts to remind your teen that they are more important than their appearance. An old-fashioned “I love you just as you are” may be more appropriate than ever as they look into the virtual mirror on their computer screen. Please contact us at usa[email protected]

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