Interested in fail videos to grow resiliency? All too often, social media feeds the terrible habits of us self-diagnosed Type A, perfectionist people. We see perfectly clean and decorated homes, beautifully designed cakes, and people doing incredible feats. Sometimes it’s awe-inspiring to watch. But more often, social media seems to be a black hole comparing of real life to failure.
Thanks to all of my late-night psychology classes, I’ve read too much about how the brain takes in the world around us and affects our subconscious. Until recently, most people believed the things that make us who we are have come from past experiences; social media is emerging as an important factor in how our brains are shaped.
Without realizing it, we start to think the images on social media are what life “should” be. For instance, my house isn’t clean until the pillows are chopped in half, just like in the videos I’ve watched. Or my homemade cake is not good enough because the icing doesn’t look professionally done.
Whether or not we realize the impact social media has on us day to day, studies are showing how it affects us over time. More concerning for me, personally, is how this is affecting my kid.
Even living in a world before having access to smart devices and social media, my little guy already shows a fierce perfectionism streak (cough, he gets it from his mama cough). As amazing and capable as I see him, he doesn’t see himself the same way. When a new challenge proves to be harder than he thought, he tends to shy away because growth is uncomfortable. Not immediately being good at something feels more like failing than learning.
Enter Fail Videos
One way I’ve decided to help combat these feelings is to curate social media fail videos. Or not even fails, but non-perfection. I save videos of professional athletes falling during training, images of cookies that are baked at too high of a heat, or a kid completely missing the target in T-Ball.
I save these to use as talking points about growth, never to put down another person. But these images/videos allow him to see people trying and learning. As much as that professional athletes can do, they have tough days too. Or even better, seeing other kids fall off their bikes a few times before they ride away easily sparks a great conversation about resiliency.
The non-perfect cookies led to a great discussion about chemistry and experimentation in science. (Not to mention how good can be delicious even when the cookie doesn’t match what we have been trained to believe it “should” look like.)
While we can all use a good laugh from the adorable kitten who jumps and misjudges their landing, it is important to make sure the way I share these social media fails are by looking at qualities such as growth, resiliency, persistence, bravery, and other positive qualities.
I hope my little guy begins to understand the difference between seeing what people what you to see and being able to seek out content that reflects the real world as he engages with social media. But more importantly, I hope he learns how important failure is for growth and success, and just as importantly, cheering himself on when things are tough, knowing he can do it with more time and practice.