On the Basis of Masturbation

I love masturbating. I can recall the first time ever flicking my little bean at seven years old to the sex scene of an old movie. Now that I’m older, I believe it’s the ultimate form of self-care. It’s the best feeling, besides transcendence through meditation, that anyone can have. I’m talking about it in the term of la petite mort, or the little death.

Caesar, in his Commentaries, says, “To the lonely it is company; to the forsaken it is a friend; to the aged and to the impotent it is a benefactor. They that are penniless are yet rich, in that they still have this majestic diversion.”

– Mark Twain, On Masturbation

Achieving that peak moment when my spirit seems to briefly leave my body, time stands still for a few seconds only to start back again, returning my soul to me. My ears ring in a slightly high pitch and my vision is blurred. If I stand up too quickly I’d lose my balance. Those are the moments I’m talking about.

For some reason, we’re taught to believe masturbation is associated with shame and we go to great lengths to hide when, where and how we do it. Although porn and sex shops are much less taboo than they used to be, the action of getting off is still viewed as uncouth. Why is that? I believe it’s not only natural but healthy and even spiritual.

a Natural Flow

Sometimes, my hand finds its way to my underwear when I’m not even paying attention. I want to bet that I’m not the only person on earth who has this habitual reaction to natural urges. Web MD states that the medical community considers masturbation to be a natural and harmless expression of sexuality for both men and women.

It doesn’t mean we should give in to urges in public places, clearly not meant for intimacy; like the office or the train. It means acknowledging the fact that our bodies tell us what we want all the time, whether it’d be hunger for a snack in the afternoon, fatigue at the end of the day, or horniness at the thought of something sultry.

a Healthy Habit

It’s been proven that regular masturbation prevents chronic headaches, relieves body pain and even calms muscle spasms. It increases blood flow and leads to an overall happier lifestyle. I believe it helps me make clear-minded decisions in my daily life, knowing they’re not influenced by unfulfilled desires.

The experts at Planned Parenthood shared that masturbation can:

  • release sexual tension
  • reduce stress
  • help you sleep better
  • improve your self-esteem and body image
  • help treat sexual problems
  • relieve menstrual cramps and muscle tension
  • strengthen muscle tone in your pelvic and anal areas

a Spiritual Experience

When I orgasm alone, I always feel a spiritual connection to my “higher self” as if a veil has lifted. The experience is almost meditative. Transformation and self-development teacher, Teal Swan, shares many of her own views about masturbation on her website.

She explains, “During orgasm, the awareness of the identity or ego is dissolved so at that moment, you are dis-identified and you can touch your infinite nature. This is why sex and orgasm have been used as a tool in spirituality to reach higher states of consciousness. It has been called the “mini-death’ because it erases a sense of separate self.”

Still not convinced? Watch this video where Swan goes into detail about her spiritual perspective on masturbating.

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Achieving release from masturbation can be so freeing. I suppose I’m a perfect candidate for a masturbation ambassador, being in the adult entertainment industry. I’m definitely comfortable with the idea of self-pleasure, and I promote its responsible use. Everyone should have their own masturbation routine to have a spot-on experience, every time.

My Ivy Dildo

I’m actually more of a vibrator person. I just thought the headline looked super cute. My method is to play non-lyrical music, so my thoughts aren’t influenced by anything but my own imagination. I’ll make sure my vibrator is thoroughly cleaned. Using a sex-toy that hasn’t been cleaned from its previous use is SO BAD FOR YOU. Don’t do it! No matter how much of a hurry we might be in to get down to it, it’s never worth it. A bad build up of bacterial germs await us on the surface, and who wants that in their most sacred nether region? Not me.

My favorite lubrication to use is Aloe Cadabra lube. It’s all natural, you only need a tiny drop, and the lavender scented one smells like a beautiful dream. I make it a point to use lubrication every time because not only does it provide a better outcome, it prevents any skin irritation that may arise from the act. It’s like night and day, trust me.

Both hands are always busy. One down south and one in some other direction, almost like a flailing octopus. Whatever, I’m the only one around. We do what we like when we find out what it is we like the most. Being in tune with your own body’s needs is a powerful skill. Most times, for me, fondling of the breasts is all I really need during a session.

With my eyes alternating between being closed and open toward the ceiling, I eventually achieve an eruption that I’m sure pleases all the sex gods. I like to keep baby wipes on hand. The cooling sensation I get from cleansing with a fresh baby wipe afterward puts the cherry on the whole cake. It’s like a cool high five or pat on the back.

Hey, if there’s an itch that needs to be scratched, don’t wait for someone else to come up to you with a scratcher. Having sex with other people is great, but nothing quite compares to a session with yourself especially when you know everything the self wants. When you allow yourself to burst into flames, making the ugliest face and jerking your body around as if you’re being electrocuted, without any concern of judgment, you attain profound peace. Sometimes, I think of it as a sort of self-worship.

I’d love to hear some of your masturbation methods and stories of how it helps you in any way. Many of my readers and fans send lengthy confessions to me all the time, sharing details of their most intimate encounters. I’m grateful that people feel so open toward me and have a willingness to share with me without fear of judgment. It’s pretty special.

If you’re brave, take some time to share your story in the comment section. I read every single one. I hope everyone has a fantastic Valentine’s Day weekend. If you’re spending time alone, create a sacred space and love yourself, hard. I know I will be!

Porn Sex vs. Real Sex

It’s common knowledge to most people that porn sex is not the same as real sex, at all. There are very distinct differences between the two acts. From my own experience as a porn actress, these two types of intercourse can be just as different as the sun and the moon.

Porn sex is a show. Think of yourself getting it on with your lover and you look up to find one huge spotlight raised in each corner of the room, highlighting your every wrinkle and hair follicle. In porn, sex positions are chosen that cater toward the visual aesthetic of the viewer and not what feels natural or most comfortable. Most times, I’d be in positions I wouldn’t normally choose in a dim-lit bedroom; Like a reverse cowgirl with my arms pinned back or a pile driver with extended legs and pointed toes.

Those types of positions are specifically for showing off a woman’s most private regions and exposing them in high definition. Viewers like to see exposed breasts, facial expressions, and penetration all at once. So, while I’m bouncing up and down, I’d have to have my legs open as wide as possible, body tilted toward a camera and my face expressing maximum pleasure. Super realistic.

In porn, there’s an unspoken responsibility to not get lost in the act because, at the end of the day, it’s a performer’s job to sell the fantasy. Getting caught up in an intimate moment may not provide the best angling for video footage and is inconsiderate to the rest of the film crew (unless they say it’s okay). To do the job, I’d have to be mindful of where the camera is, allowing myself to open up and show every single motion.

There are times I want to simply kiss or lie back and receive the pleasure from my performing partner, but tragically I cannot. I must control my whims for the sake of the scene. I wear layers of makeup only to sweat it off and have it reapplied at least twice throughout the act. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve run to a mirror during a director’s cut to make sure my eyelashes continue to stay glued on.

You would be critical of your appearance too if you knew that during the time you’re having sex, your picture would be taken for all the world to see. You’d want to look your best, right?

There are times when my face would more than likely express exhaustion if I didn’t keep it in check. The “ooh’s” and “aahh’s” all exaggerated to provide the ultimate porn experience. The goal is for the viewer to believe the performers are having the best time; Like a waitress greeting a table at a restaurant with a happy smile, even if she’s having a shitty day.

Sometimes I’m paired with someone I may have a slight connection with and the chemistry shows on camera. Sometimes the act is routine; Nevertheless, the company gets a sex scene for their website despite the possibility that the performers may not have been the best match. When you’re a professional and a great actress, you get the job done either way.

Porn sex is more mindful than real sex since you’re constantly looking to position yourself correctly, hold yourself propped up in one position for long periods of time without cramping up, or watching for the director’s signal to switch to a new position.

Many times there’s not a lot of foreplay before getting into the actual rendezvous, which takes away from the intimacy aspect of intercourse itself. It’s “Hi, I’m Anya. What are your preferences? Is there anything you don’t like? Great. Ok. Let’s roll.”

You’ve got to be bold and almost animalistic in your approach to sex in porn. It takes a special kind of person to be comfortable enough to openly tangle in front of a director, a sound guy, a makeup artist, and an assistant; Especially, one willing to receive unrealistic eruptions on different parts of her body for entertainment, (a pop shot).

I remember my first facial. Not the kind you get at a spa, but the kind where a man dispenses his orgasm onto someone’s face. I was instructed to receive it without flinching and smile as if ice cream had started raining from the ceiling on a hot summer day; Leaving it on my face for the director to get a great close up.

In real life, I’d never allowed a man to dump his load onto my face and eyes for the heck of it. I wouldn’t even let a man dispose of anything on me as if I am someone associated with human disposal. That’s just me. I didn’t even know that action existed until I entered into the porn industry.

In a real sexual setting, my partner would wear a condom and finish into it, or he’d finish somewhere else, but not on me. Before having real sex, foreplay is the main antagonizer of the whole experience. The kissing, touching, fondling, exploring different parts of the body before breaking down that wall is just as exciting.

There’s a total disregard for anyone else around during real sex. There’s no one watching so you can close your eyes if you so dare. You can kiss for long periods of time without a director yelling “Open up for us, please”. You can choose whether or not you want the lights on.

Having real sex means sweating without the concern of touching up makeup. You can take your time in any position you want. If you “open up” it would be for your partner and not anyone else, exposing breasts and sharing facial expressions to that person alone.

There’s less intimidation since there’s only one (or two, or three) person you need to impress. The flow is more organic leaving room for a more realistic completion. In porn, an actor is expected to hold his eruption until the director requests it. Even then, he must have a routine that works for him to be able to provide an explosion on cue. It’s pure talent and nothing like I’ve ever seen before.

After having real sex, a man has the option of finishing or not. Sometimes you just want to enjoy the feeling, then take a break and maybe cuddle naked together in each other’s embrace. That’s not an option for the people who provide your on-screen entertainment.

In porn, our bodies can be close, but not so close as to cover what viewers want to see. Sometimes performers will meet up after shooting a scene together to have sex again off camera just to have the experience they were missing. To be a porn actor means to sacrifice certain intimacies to create the sought-after illusion.

I prefer real sex over porn sex when it comes to having sex overall, yet I’m grateful to know how to do both and separate the two. I’ve been a performer my entire life, so the job is not difficult for me. I do, however, appreciate a sexual partner who does not require a performance behind closed doors. It’s so much more romantic.

Real sex allows heaving breathing without exaggerated or unnecessary exclamations. A simple “Oh yes.” or “Just like that” will do. It means connection; a total disregard for anyone else in the room, let alone the world. It’s a passionate dance in the heat of a moment in time; not planned for a stage with spotlights and an audience, where the audience then feels compelled to dissect and criticize your encounter.

People mention all the time how inexperienced viewers shouldn’t take to porn to learn about sex. Although I agree, I don’t know where else you can actually view sex unless you happen to walk in on two people accidentally.

Porn is made for viewers to see different forms of sexual acts, and sex education is its own category. It’s the responsibility of the more experienced adult to share accurate information, separating the realities of intercourse from a circus act such as porn.

Pornography is one of the hottest commodities in the world and does not seem to be going away anytime soon. So my wish is to create a harmonious environment for all to understand the complexities of human sexuality. My desire is for everyone to know and be sure of the fact that porn is entertainment, like a WWF match. All the while, real intercourse is beautifully spontaneous and unscripted, like a street fight.

Dating As a Porn Star

Dating for me is not the easiest thing in the world right now as an adult film actress. Then again, when is it ever? Besides the stigmas that come along with my job (like being quick to get in bed with or being super hungry for sex at all hours) I usually deal with the basic navigations of dating too.

I think it’s important to heed who you allow into your life, especially when dating. This is why I date with two different categories in mind: Is this guy a beneficial one or a potential partner? I know I may upset some of the men I’ve dated in the past if they’re reading this and never considered this factor during the time we were together. Nonetheless, it’s a guideline I’ve lived and dated by to protect myself as a woman in my position.

Dating a porn star is a bit like winning the lottery, great in concept, but hard to handle” – Ryan Driller

Beneficial Guys:

A beneficial man would be one who greatly enhances my life in exchange for my companionship. He would either give me great sex, access to connections I need to network in a group or be a travel companion.

There are men I’ve dated purely for the sexual interactions we have that turn out to be the only real connection between us. There are men I’ve dated who loved to bring me along at networking events and introduce me to people I should know based on my goals. I enjoy those men because they want to see me thrive as a woman, in exchange for my company. There are men I’ve dated that I would only see when it’s time to jet out to some tropical island and relax for a week under the sun.

Although that sounds like a dream way to date someone, imagine the loneliness felt when the vacation is over and you’re back in your studio apartment. This is why I also date men who could be a potential partner for me to marry in the future. I don’t see these men very often, but when I do it’s absolutely magical.

Potential Partners:

“…it takes a monumental human to be in a relationship with a porn star. The levels of understanding, patience, energy, and the complete lack of jealousy you need to possess to be with these creatures is colossal.” – Samatha Bentley

These are men who are usually in the same age group as me, who are on similar levels in life, who I could possibly bring home to mama. I’ll more than likely introduce myself to these men with my birth name. A potential partner for me is someone I envision to be my husband in the years to come. These men, I date with strategy and extreme care.

A lot of people may wonder what kind of man would accept a woman with the lifestyle I lead. I’m here to say that there aren’t many, but the ones who do (and are sincere in doing so) make life truly worth living and love worth fighting for.

 

There really is someone for everyone. The challenge is taking the steps to get aligned with the right people. I’ve been working on myself a lot lately since I’ve gotten more serious about dating. I’m trying to work inward, hoping to create outward results. I take more yoga classes during the week, study subjects I want to master through online courses and listen to inspiring audiobooks like Oprah’s What I Know For Sure. It can also be a challenge to meet new people as an introvert.

If I lock myself away too long, a stagnant circle of the same men will form in my life. I’d like to keep moving forward with each blessed day to find the piece that fits my puzzle. How frustrating is it to try and make pieces fit when they’re not mean to? So I force myself to be social in settings that interest me, and the journey continues toward my true self and the yin to that yang.

Boxes

Packing up to move has really been rocking my boat. Between having thumb wars with packing tape and taking giant leaps over cardboard boxes, I’ve been in a cluster of sorts. At a dinner party, I’ll put on a sweet face and convince everyone that everything’s peachy; As if my clothes aren’t all strategically packed away. Moving is a bitch I like to handle with poise and a hair flip.

I started packing about two weeks ago, looking up tips online and making boards on Pinterest. I chose Sundays to donate my household items and old clothes that would categorize me as a hoarder. I’d ask myself, “Is this something you want to take on your new journey?” If not, I’d part with it in the hopes it will make someone else very happy.

It’s been so surreal; Boxing up my apartment like a dwarf, all the while accepting Snow White’s invitations to brunch. Marni Amsellem, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist at Smart Health Psychology, says that even though moving can be exciting, exciting things are often fraught with stress. One way I’ve always managed stress is through meditation.

At the start of every morning and the dusk of every evening, I stop and center myself in preparation for life’s many challenges. With eyes closed, I like to pause and envision the world working around me. With each deep breath, I draw in strength from an inhale and exhale weakness, doubt and worry.

The bright side is where I want to stay. I’ve been looking toward the light at the end of the tunnel.  If my neighbors peeked through the towers of stacked boxes, they’d find me dancing naked to house music getting high off black permanent markers.

There’s a calm eye at the center of this storm because I’m secure in knowing it’s all going to be okay post move. I know I’m moving toward something greater than what I have now; Something I can’t reach if I remain in this current situation. So I’m boxing up and letting go.

HELPFUL ARTICLES I read this week: 

How to Cope with the Stress of Moving

Balancing Life While Moving 

5 Ways To Stay Positive During a Move 

 

I Know What You Did Last Year

Oh, man. How would I describe my entire experience of the last twelve months and boil it down in a nutshell?. I can say that this has been a year of advantaged freedom. I did most everything I wanted to do without fear; from traveling through Europe to taking as many skill classes as I could muster the courage to try.

I’ve been auditioning for mainstream films just to get the hang of it. I’ve taken international trips without notice, just because I could. Sometimes, I’d sleep in till noon just because I felt like it. This has been a year of doing the things I imagine myself doing without anyone telling me I couldn’t; which has its consequences, but I wanted to take charge of this rare moment of flexibility in my lifetime.

I went this entire year without committing to a stable relationship. I wanted to do the work it would take to heal as much as I could from not only my last break-up but all heartbreaks that have come before. I wanted to fall in love with myself without creating some false idea of who I am through the energy of someone else. This year, I told myself I would take as long as it took to feel truly eligible for my own idea of a great man.

I’ve been through numerous amounts of fleeting new friends and I’ve even reconnected with old ones I never thought I’d speak to again. Those reunions were precious to me and I’m grateful for our evident alignment, and also proud of myself for allowing that love back into my life.

I’m sitting here, comfortably, worry-free with endless possibilities at my disposal. I think about all the people around the world who would kill for my freedom and ability to choose whatever direction they wanted to move in whenever they felt like it. It may seem like I’m bragging somewhat but I’m only able to see this light, having come from so much darkness.

I don’t want to misuse this blessing and a lot of times it doesn’t feel like a blessing at all. There’re still deep waves of depression that wash over me from time to time. What keeps me going is the knowledge that everything I’ve been through and overcome has made me stronger, more experienced, wiser and more prepared for so many challenges life may have for me in the future.

A lot of times I get very sad when I think about the high contrast between where I am and where I want to be. I refuse to accept the limitations of the stigmas that surround my current occupation as a porn actress. I have dreams and ideas that frighten me, but they’re mine all the same. Many times I get discouraged because I haven’t found a tribe of people who share the same ideas for a future, who might be able to help me or lift me up in times of doubt. But that’s okay, and I’ll carry on until the day I do.

I know that one day when I’m making all the right choices, the right people will come along. Every day I pray to make my heart more receptive to those kinds of people; those kindred spirits. I fear I may have already run some of those people out of my life and didn’t even know it. But, I have to believe that’s okay too. Because every moment of our lives are defined by the choices we make and if I wasn’t ready, then I just wasn’t ready.

This year I want to overcome a lot of the self-sabotaging thoughts that hold me back from taking chances, like: “You’re too damaged to fall in love so easily.” “Your porn career will overshadow you and hold you down farther than it would anyone else.” “You’re too stubborn for anything good to happen on its own.” “You have to think twice, if not three times, before taking a risk because you’ve been through too much already.” “You won’t be anyone other than a sex symbol” “Everyone you meet will recognize you, look you up on his phone and start whispering about you, causing you to become uncomfortable wherever you go.” ALL LIES.

My birthday’s in January, so I’ve already started planning what I’ll do for myself. I’ve booked a trip to Bali, Indonesia where I’ll stay at a nice, boutique hotel on the beach, meditate, meet with a shaman, learn to surf and reconnect with myself even more.

I’ve also gone through my old photos to put together a birthday album. Looking back at how far I’ve come, I think I’ve come a very long way. I can pinpoint moments when I wanted to simply give up. I’ve wanted to call it quits more times than I can count and sitting here today as I take a deep breath in my cozy Georgia house with my family downstairs cooking a hot meal on New Year’s Eve makes me so grateful I didn’t give in to those deceitful thoughts.

We have all done things we’re not proud of and desire to erase those pages and start over, especially when we see other people who seemingly have it better than we do. The ability to keep going is one I’m forever grateful for. Looking back, I’ve always known I’m meant for a great mission. I know in my heart that a sex symbol is not even the smallest grain of who I’m meant to be. So each day I’m given is one I have to cherish, making new choices to move forward towards that ultimate individual.

Sometimes when I don’t know what to do, or I feel like I’ve done all I can as a woman on her own, I do nothing. I sleep. I read a book. I meditate. Sometimes it feels like it’s not enough, but I refuse to burn myself out. I refuse to take steps in a direction that’s not my own. I know people who truly believe that if they’re not working nonstop they’re not doing enough. That “Money never sleeps, so I won’t either” mindset is one I’ve never had. I have always enjoyed doing things I’m good at for long periods of time, but if I’m tired, anyone who knows me can tell you, I’ll rest.

This year I want to feel more assured in my choices, that each step I take is one for my own true greater good. When I’m blessed with children, I’ll take steps for them. Until then, it’s just me and the spirits that guide me.

I like being able to hear them, to feel them surrounding me when I’m still. There’ve been times when I was moving way too fast to hear or feel anything but what my eyes could see. The time I considered myself an alcoholic after four different trips to the hospital for alcohol intolerance and regularly attending AA meetings was a trying time; However, I’ve decided not to let anything control me in such a way that I feel powerless to it. So I’ve done the work to overcome that battle, and that’s a personal choice I know everyone doesn’t have the will to pursue.

There are so many things still I want to do with this life and so many things I wish could have transpired differently, but I’m thankful all the same. This year, I hope to listen more, not only to myself but the wisdom that surrounds me and the voices I feel are spoken for my ears alone. This year I want to attract friends, lovers, and opportunities set in place for me to enjoy without guilt or shame. I think it’s high time I allowed myself to live without so much fear or mistrust of my own life path.

Overall, I want to leave a lasting legacy of a girl who never gave up. I want to continue moving toward the things I love that make my heart sing; Listening to criticism but not letting it discourage me, taking risks that I believe in, and building a life I can be sure my family and future children will be proud of.

I don’t exactly know what this year holds for me since I’m on the verge of walking down so many different paths, from taking a job as a flight attendant to acting in major mainstream films, to continuing my work as an erotic artist. All I truly know is how grateful I am for my opportunities and the love I receive from my family, and how grounded I’ve become in my own self-assurance. This year, I’d like to expand on that growth and do all I can to help others grow too.

A Pornography

Here’s an awesome poem by Paisley Rekdal, an inspiring author from Utah. I came across this piece last week and just knew I had to share it here in my diary.

A PORNOGRAPHY

By Paisley Rekdal

There was a time when I watched it happen.
Strangers pressed to other strangers
in one bed, clothes on, air humid
with the cloying scent of fruit juice
and vodka; none of us
giving into another and yet unwilling to leave the scene
of that possibility,
pretending to sleep, actually sleeping.
Then waking again to slip a hand
over a shoulder, slide a finger
inside the waistband of a skirt; so young
(we are even now still
so young) in that hotel room
turning blue then lighter blue.
We wouldn’t have tried for more:
the kiss, the button; firm, white shape
of an image slipped wholly into the mind,
acted upon, dreamed upon,
filling the thin vessels of the lungs.
Earlier, a film, its forced sounds
of lovemaking. The tension I felt winding
into the muscles of some of the others in the room.
I remember I left for awhile.
We all left for awhile;
even the music was frightening. How
to strip ourselves like that, point
at the places that were wanted, plucked
and peeled; speaking the words, hearing them form us,
the nature of what we were
and could do to each other?
The music, the rocking, the sobbing.
The man called the woman by parts of herself.
Some laughed at this. I remember
I must have been one of them.
In the morning, the hotel room was turning white.
After the long night, hands were slipping
and unslipping, moving over the flattened pillows
as if in hopes something small could still satisfy us.
Someone turned and looked at someone else;
we all heard it. Legs
shifted, sheets slid themselves down waists
or shoulders, tightened again at the necks
of those pretending to sleep as the unblinking sun
crawled in our window.
From another room, coughing,
We all heard it.
Someone looked at someone else.
The room turned white. The air began clearing.

Paisley Rekdal, “A Pornography ” from The Invention of the Kaleidoscope. Copyright © 2007 by Paisley Rekdal.  Reprinted by permission of University of Pittsburgh Press.

Stay Up!

Uploading on social media used to be so much fun! Now despite the hundreds of comments I get under my photos, telling me how great my photos look, I still get overwhelmed and feel pressured by social media involvement. I took a six-month, social media cleanse only to jump right back onto the stage of the cyber circus.

It’s not usually realistic to wake up and feel so vibrant that you’d take a selfie in bed. If I didn’t feel the expectation to share my life with the Web, I could go weeks without posting online. There must be so many other people who feel that push-and-pull from the tug between wanting to be present and posting.

When we were traveling around Europe last month, my girl-friend and I argued a lot about taking the perfect photo. Instead of snapping a picture for memory’s sake, I always felt the pressure to take a photo from a perfect angle, with the best lighting, as she posed in a curated Instagram pose. It was exhausting.

I noticed how she would check her social media pages each time she got connected to Wi-Fi, whether we were on a tour or at a restaurant. I also noticed how different her energy felt when she didn’t have access to Wi-Fi. So needless to say, I noticed the imminent rise and fall in her mood based on what she saw on social media. There were times I wished I could throw both of our phones into The Mediterranean Sea.

An article in Psychology Today describes the useful adaptation of social media mindfulness. It can be very uplifting to understand how the world of social media works in the first place. “People who have problems with social media–whether it’s severe FOMO (fear of missing out), negative social comparison, need for validation or overuse–will have similar issues in other aspects of their life.  Rather than avoid social media, it is more effective to identify behavioral problems and learn skills to address and manage them, such as goal setting, self-regulation, and self-control.”  -Pamela B. Rutledge Ph.D.

This review by the Digital Journal highlights the different social media stresses and suggests how to keep them at bay. I don’t want to conform to a culture of constant disconnect. How do we stay present and live happy lives, outside of the unrealistic simulations projected from our cell phones?

CHOOSE WISELY

Be discerning about who you follow.

GET REAL

Choose to engage with people who share real, imperfect information.

FIND THE GOOD

Look for ways to engage in the good and counteract the bad.

 

LOG OFF

Take a social media cleanse.

 

If you haven’t done a cleanse before, I encourage you to try it. It’s amazing, total bliss. “Figuring out what makes people happy or unhappy is always messy, and much of the existing research is incomplete. But based on what experts know today, taking time away from social media seems more likely to brighten your day than bum you out.” -Markham Heid

This piece from Time questions how the rapid advancement of social media has affected the human psyche. I’d like to be able to keep up without feeling like a swimmer caught in a sea storm. The Buffer App explains how important positivity is on social media, whether you post it or perceive it. To be positive online generates positive feedback, leading to a positive experience overall.

Since there’s no way around it, the only solution to dealing with the pressures of social media is to work through it. Having a schedule for posting creates structure in such a chaotic world of constant posts. Follow pages that ignite inspiration rather than comparison. Take breaks if you need to! Don’t be fooled into believing the phrase “pics or it didn’t happen”. Life is just as beautiful lived through your own eyes.