In the past, mental health was a topic of discussion which many felt uncomfortable talking about, leaving a lot of people unable to open up about any struggles they may have been dealing with. I certainly think that, in recent years, the efforts that have been made to combat this have been overwhelmingly positive – and a lot of that is down to campaigns run via Social Media. An example is the way that Social Media has helped the Movember Foundation spread awareness about men’s mental health, as well as physical health, has been fantastic. When used in this way, on a macro-scale, Social Media has the power to achieve a lot of good for all of us – and can encourage mass change in attitude towards a certain topic. However, what has been concerning me recently is the way that Social Media is used and interacted with on a micro-scale.

It is incredibly, and actually stupidly, easy to get hooked into viewing the depictions of other people’s lives on Social Media and aspire to live or look like these people. You see all too many models, celebrities, musicians and icons selling their lifestyle to the masses, leaving their audience wanting what they have. I’ve certainly found myself being sold into the lives of these influential individual on many occasions.

Marketing is a lot of what I do on a day-to-day basis, so I know why they structure their Social Media accounts in this way and post the types of content that they do – it’s all about their brand. Their brand earns them silly sums of money, so it’s understandable that they utilise their Social Media accounts in this way. This is even more so the case for influencers, who’s primary source of incoming is posting aesthetically pleasing pictures featuring certain products. Don’t get me wrong, the use of personal brands on Social Media is great, especially for the business world, and in my opinion is a natural progression of marketing interactions within modern-day civilisation. But with great power comes great responsibility…

If you are an individual with significant Social Media influence, you have an obligation to not create unhealthy expectations for your audience. Not only this, as someone that people aspire to, I think there is also an obligation to open up about your struggles and down-moments every now and again – not just showing all the ‘good times’ that make up your lifestyle image.

As I said earlier, Social Media has the power to achieve a lot of good for the masses – and this is even more the case on a micro-scale, for the same reason that drive influencer marketing – the element of trust. Going off on a business tangent here but believe me: people buy into people. If you’re trying to build your online brand, there is nothing better than AUTHENTICITY – and there is nothing more authentic than opening up about your struggles and mental health (your brand will benefit from it). If you’re an influential individual reading this, no matter how big or small: I GUARANTEE that there is a number of people in your audience who are going through bad times right now and may think they are the only one. In your position, opening up about your own bad times could seriously help those people. Take a leaf out the books of the figures that are already doing this…

I know that his messages aren’t exactly micro-scale, but an individual that has impressed me recently, and a man that I admire greatly, is Tyson Fury. While, yes, his comeback to the spotlight was amazing (and obviously he beat Wilder) – it’s his brutal honesty about the nature of his comeback that really grabbed my attention. He didn’t have to give the world a look behind the curtain of his personal life, but he did. His inspirational and very frank messages about the dark times that he faced are a brilliant example of how to use your limelight to help others.

Thanks for reading – get in touch and give us your two cents on the topic!

Stan