Social media influencers have a way of creating stereotypes and unrealistic views of reality. The equestrian world is no exception.
Equestrian influencers have brands to advertise and a reputation to uphold, and the most common way for them to keep followers engaged is to showcase their very best at all times. Both sides of the story (the good AND the bad) are rarely shown on social media platforms. Yet, behind the scenes, everyone has bad days that we can all relate to. We’re all human.
Not Everything Is As It Seems
Seeing this 24/7 perfection through a lens (a.k.a. your social media timeline) can result in large feelings of inadequacy.
When we scroll through flawless images posted by equestrian influencers, it’s all too easy to forget that a picture is a mere snapshot of that person’s life. It can formulate an underlying pressure to be more like the professionals or ‘Insta-famous’ influencers we see in our timelines, as we long to be more like those at the top. Too much focus becomes placed on what we don’t have, such as the best training facility or other high-end equipment that we can’t afford.
Your Value Isn’t Measured by Social Media Likes & Followers
Social media and FOMO (fear of missing out) can have an impact on equestrians of all ages and even more so on the younger generation. Young equestrians often struggle to understand these pressures and may not be able to differentiate between what’s real and what’s highly edited or staged. Parents should be aware of how their kids may be responding to their online activity for this reason.
Be Content Being YOU
Many of us long for the horse community to be a place where people feel relevant, equal, and accepted.
To combat feelings of inadequacy or FOMO, here are three tips to help you get scroll on and gain confidence:
1) Stop comparing yourself to others!
Everyone is on their individual journeys with their own
goals. That is what makes you unique! Focus on yourself and your horse and the hard work will pay off.
2) Remember the reason you started.
You love what you do, right? Your hobby and passion do not mean less compared to others online. The majority of what is shared ISN’T REAL LIFE.
3) People are rewarded in public for what they’ve practiced for years in private.
Use your social media presence to share a much more realistic view of your journey with your horse. Post when a show didn’t go as planned or share a candid photo with a muddy or ripped rug, for example. Don’t be afraid to share photos that aren’t of the highest quality. By doing this, you may just find that you feel closer to those that follow you.
Follow author Jessica Pyke on Instagram.