If you want to actually read about how social media impacts pole dance, check out the blog hop here, because this blog is about why social media can be detrimental to pole.
Before I jump right into my rampage, I want to state for the record that social media is not evil. It’s a powerful tool to connect, to reach out to other dancers, to learn tips and tricks to improve your dance, to be inspired by all the videos posted on YouTube. Obviously, I write a blog that I think you should read, so I see at least some benefit in social media as a tool for pole dance.
At the risk of sounding like a cranky person born before the advent of computers and unwilling to embrace anything new, get off your damn phone/tablet/computer!
Each person is allotted exactly 24 hours per day to accomplish whatever they want out of life. No one is told how many of these 24 hour pieces they will get. Don’t spend all of them watching and reading pole stuff. (Except my blog, of course. You should always read and subscribe to my blog.)
Do you really want to spend all of them Instagramming pole dance moves? You should allot more time to expressing yourself through dance and movement, and less time watching other people do so. Watching videos on Youtube is not a substitute for practice. It does not count toward the 10,000 hours of practice that Malcolm Gladwell posits are the secret to becoming great. Social media doesn’t really do a lot of anything. Get off your ass and into the studio.
I also despise how limiting social media is in terms of who pole dances. I have many facebook friends who post about pole dance. Almost nothing they post shows any diversity in body size and shape, age, economic background, dance style, gender, or even race. Fuck that. Pole dance can be for everyone, and I feel like social media plays a huge role in excluding others.
I also notice a lot of pole based “fitspiration” memes on social media. I’ve written about Fitspiration before. To summarize. I think it is very, very bad. Fitspiration memes imply that if you practice pole hard enough and eat well enough, than you too can look like a really well muscled Barbie doll or the airbrushed model on a fitness magazine. Fitness is about what you can do, not what you look like. Pole dance is about what you can do and how you can express yourself, not about looking great in booty shorts, having no body fat, and having perfect skin. Ugh!
Finally, there is growing research that indicates that people are not making deep, meaningful connections with each other because they are making lots of superficial connections with people online. Looking for pole inspiration or support is not as fun or effective as doing so in person, face to face.
As I said in the beginning, social media does have a place, so what follows are my suggestions about how to use social media appropriately.
- Decide how much time you want to spend on social media, and then follow through and limit yourself to that much time. Spend the saved time in the dance studio.
- Think about the images you see in social media, and decide if they reflect your values (which hopefully include inclusiveness) before sharing.
- Use social media for specific purposes. If you want help nailing a certain move, look for that, or if you are looking to connect with other pole dancers, look for that. Don’t browse aimlessly.
- Read my blog!
- Avoid fitspiration like the plague that it is. Seriously. Fitspiration is evil. Keep it out of your life.
- If you must use social media, combine it with your face-to-face activities. I want to do a doubles performance someday, so I invited a few friends over, grabbed some snacks, and we all watched doubles videos together and chatted about what we liked and how hard it may be to do the things that we saw. Fun, and it made sure that social media wasn’t replacing face-to-face contact.