Two weeks ago, I hosted a panel at SXSW called #FeelingBeautiful: Social Media and Women's Egos, talking with three incredibly smart, savvy and inspiring women: Amanda De Cadenet, Katherine Schwarzenegger, and Gabi Gregg. Our chat was inspired by a study InStyle recently conducted to gain insight into on our complex relationship with our social media streams. We asked 1,000 women, ages 18-49, about how Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat fits into their lives and how it really makes them feel.
Here’s what we learned: We’re all addicted to social media, with 95 percent finding time throughout the day to scroll through our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feeds. And the thing we’re looking for most? Compliments. Of those surveyed, 89 percent said that getting a “like” on social media feels like a compliment, while 82 percent said compliments on social media improve their self-esteem. We also found that those feel-good vibes have a domino effect: The majority of women said that after receiving a social media compliment they are motivated to post more compliments on others’ feeds. This practice, whether in the form of complimenting a friend’s outfit in an Instagram post or tweeting something positive about your colleague’s accomplishments, may seem casual at first, but the effect is lasting. A whopping 75 percent concluded that social media has strengthened their personal relationships.
But while the benefits of consuming content on social media has its upsides, there is one area that needs improvement: How we see ourselves. Our study found that we put a lot of energy into how we present ourselves to the world. We untag photos we deem to be unflattering (66 percent); stop to reapply makeup before an image is taken (62 percent); and overall, are very careful about what images of ourselves we post (85 percent). In a nutshell: We are our own worst critics.
In Austin, we discussed how we as women need to not only work harder to give each other boosts on social media, but how we need to be kinder to ourselves. "I object to the whole 'I woke up like this' phenomenon," said panelist de Cadenet. "That is inauthentic to me, and it's important for women who are role models to show us authenticity."
And so to help keep the positivity flowing we are launching #FeelingBeautiful Fridays—a day when we can all embrace who we are and our natural, beautiful selves by posting a selfie with the hashtag #feelingbeautiful. Learn more by watching the Today show clip below, where Katherine Schwarzenegger dove into this very topic with Savannah Guthrie.
I hope you'll join us! We'll be keeping an eye out for your photos in our feeds.