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A new year often means reflection. We think about the past, and we ponder the future. Many of us consider ways that we can make positive changes in the new year. As 2015 quickly approaches, I want to take some time to reflect on social media and how it impacts us. My good friends at The Be Program wrote this piece below to kick off our discussion. Thanks to Drs. Nardozzi and May for sharing your important message about being real.

Is Facebook Really Your Friend?

In the world of food and body struggles, we so often point to the media and the celebrity world as the culprit of bad influence. Yet, nowadays, even our “friend” culture on social media can offer the same distorted images and realities of life. We see people taking exotic vacations, looking their best, and thoughtfully typing out status updates that are incredibly eloquent. Logically, we all know that this is just a snapshot in the life of anyone, but emotionally, is this creating the next wave of cause for insecurity? How did we, as “friends,” get to a place where we can just present our best side to one another?

Consider this great quote that has floated around for the past several years:

The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” — Steven Furtick.

Dr. Jennifer Nardozzi, PsyD – Founder, The BE Program
Jennifer Nardozzi, Psy.D – Founder, The BE Program

First, we invite you to simply pause to notice this growing trend. Could we all get a little more conscious to the un-realities that are being presented, or that we ourselves are presenting to the world? Can we stop to see clearly how alluring it is to present ourselves as great, perfect, or all put together? And yet….can we highlight our humanity with more behind-the-scene moments that are not so exotic, not at our best, and perhaps not so thoughtful?

And it’s not that “highlighting” our best moments is wrong; but there is a way to have your Facebook posts be a more authentic and balanced reflection of your life. We encourage you to make a conscious and courageous choice to BE-ing real, which means posting both the highlight reels and behind-the-scenes moments.

Post what it took to get to a success, not just the success itself.

Post pictures of yourself that are au-natural.

Share about the bumps in the road and what you are learning from them. (Do your best to avoid posting “triggering” details that might be harmful to others.)

By doing so, there are several benefits to transforming food and body struggles:

  • It contributes to creating a new culture, where BE-ing real is considered beautiful.
  • It encourages people to come out of the shadow of perfectionism and to embrace reality.
  • It strengthens true connection amongst us as human beings.
  • It gives you the courageous and vulnerable opportunity to face the fear that “If people really knew me, they may not like what they see.”

To truly feel loved by others, you must be courageously seen. If not, you will always question if the love is true and deep. It is the only way to know what real connection is….and we all deserve a little more of this.

BE logo EDHope 200x200About the Author: The BE Program is revolutionizing the way people are getting relief from food and body struggles! Created out of 40 years of clinical experience, the “BE Team” recognized that people benefitted most from brief and daily support while remaining in their real lives. They teach people that how they are BE-ing is the key to knowing what to do, and being successful at it. Enjoy a sample lesson from their exclusive program, by signing up to be a free member with them today at: https://thebeprogram.com/become-a-free-member/

 

Please post your comments. I would love to hear from you. Is Facebook really your friend? And what about the topic of being real? I wrote about this in Life Without Ed. If you have the book, see “Be Real” on page 37.

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  • Olga Kosachevsky

    I don’t really agree with this. On my facebook feed i have quite a few “friends” that fill their feeds with whining, complaining and negativity, and that does not create any benefit. It seems that a lot of people are on facebook looking for pity, or perhaps comfort and support. And i do indeed pity those people that are so desperate that they have to air their grievances out in public and use social media to reach out for things that in my opinion facebook cannot provide – real close connection, conversation, support.
    At the same time i do agree that just as many people use facebook to show off their life, to get “likes” and comments and that way stroke their ego.
    I have been reflecting on this topic a lot actually myself, and i have been reaching the conclusion that for me personally i just need to be on facebook less often, because cultivating real life relationships, or partaking in activities is much more enriching and beneficial to me than aimlessly refreshing my facebook feed fifty times a day.

    • Hi Olga – Thanks for making such a great point regarding the opposite side of the coin (posting only complaints and negativity). In Randi Zuckerberg’s book, Dot Complicated, she talks about sharing your authentic self online. She discusses creating an online identity that accurately reflects your offline one. At the same time, there is certainly something to be said for privacy. People can still be authentic online and not reveal absolutely everything about themselves. I talk about this a bit in a blog post on Randi’s site: http://dotcomplicated.co/content/2014/02/havent-able-share-wedding-photos-facebook/

      Your comment is such a wonderful discussion point. Thanks again for that. BTW: I, too, am trying to log in to social media less in the new year! Happy 2015!

  • Taylor

    I used to find myself not posting a picture to Facebook because I didn’t feel like I looked my best. This is not the best way to use social media. It just makes social media harder. Recently, I have decided that if I do post a picture where I don’t feel like I look my best and one of my “friends” has something negative to say about it then they aren’t really my friend at all. I like the idea of posting pictures from your behind the scenes AND your highlight reel. It’s a cool concept and I look forward to applying this concept in the new year!

  • Nathalie P

    Amazing. I’m just in the process of what I call “Facecrack Detox”. I wrote my own long-winded post on FB announcing/explaining my thought process of weaning myself off, then deleting my account by this Christmas (also posted on my own website blog). My main reasons: disconnection with real people, lack of authenticity with self & by with others, triggers galore on FB (or any other social media that posts insincere/unrealistic photos, comments that trigger me etc). Besides the science-based evidence & studies that show FB and other ‘social media platforms’ are not conducive to mental/emotional & even physical health, I’ve made a decision to consider FB to be unhealthy, based on MY OWN experience. Ironically, I discovered this website via one of the groups I am in on FB which is a “community-based
    organization that seeks to empower and educate individuals and families
    affected by eating disorders in the fitness community.” Strangely enough, as amazing as I think the members there seem to be, that page too has become a trigger for me. I enjoy reading the blogs here and hoping to read one of your books soon (if the library here agrees to add it to their collection!).