Olivia Ponton Gets Real About the Pressures of Social Media

Ten million followers means ten million opinions

Photo by Anouk Morgan

Photo by Anouk Morgan

Hey guys! It’s Olivia Ponton. I’m back today with Sports Illustrated Swimsuit to share my tips for facing the pressure that comes with being on social media. BUCKLE UP EVERYONE!

Before we begin, it is important to note that I have personally been through a lot on social media in the last year, particularly on TikTok. I have been on TikTok for over a year now, striving to create fun, positive and happy videos for people to enjoy. With all of the amazing things that TikTok has brought me, I’ve also learned a lot of life lessons, the biggest being Newton’s Third Law, that “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” This applies to the world in so many ways, not just in science, and in my opinion, very much applies to the world of social media.

Indeed, what began as a fun hobby with my friends turned into me moving to Los Angeles and joining the Hype House. All of a sudden I was one of the most-looked-at young women on the app. Growing up, I had always loved being in the spotlight, but this was an entirely different level of attention. To this day, I do daily exercises with myself to relieve some of the pressure and remind myself that I am only 18 years old. I’m still trying to figure all of this out.

Now for the good stuff, my tips!

I’ll start off strong, with my most important and valuable tip: daily affirmations. This one took me a while to figure out and when it finally clicked, my mental state changed drastically. It was like a light bulb went off in my head. I personally write my affirmations on Post-It notes and stick them on my bathroom mirror. I write phrases as simple as “You look hot today,” “I am happy,” “You are ENOUGH,” “The world doesn’t hate you,” and “You are loved.” These notes have changed my perception of myself in an incredible way. I know other women struggle with their self-image and self-confidence the same way that I do. Since I look at myself in the mirror about 20 times a day, these brightly colored notes are there to remind me that I am beautiful, I am loved, and I am enough. Please try it if you’re struggling, this method is 10/10.

Second, I would say your own perception and mindset on life is everything. Let’s take social anxiety for example. Even though I’m incredibly open on social media, I often struggle with social anxiety in real life. I worry that people have a preconceived notion of who I am from my social media before actually meeting me. I’ve learned that my perception and mindset going into any social situation changes everything. Say I am going to a dinner with six new people -- if I do the math in my head, I realize that including myself there will be seven people. I’ll start to have anxiety that I will be the odd person out, that’s just how my brain is wired. A tool I use to change my perception is to try and focus on the happiness and gratitude I can find in any situation. Instead of dreading this terrible scenario where I feel I will be left out, I focus on how grateful I am to be spending time with a small group of new people and how happy I am to have an opportunity to make six new friends. How amazing does that sound now? This works so well for me, so give it a try if you also struggle with social anxiety.

My last tip is don’t ever give up! There are so many haters out there. Sometimes it feels as if there are more haters than there are people who love you, but remember that love always wins over hate. Keep doing what you love and don’t let other people’s words affect you. On social media, people can recognize a real smile from miles away. Stay true to yourself and the things you love, and you will prove anyone who doubts you wrong. I have been focusing on posting what I love for months now, and it is much more rewarding. I don’t have enough hands to count how many times I’ve wanted to quit, but I choose to keep going and stay true to myself. If you ignore the haters and focus on yourself, in six months you will see how much has changed and you’ll realize their opinions no longer matter to you! I personally gain a lot of motivation from my haters because that’s how stubborn I am. I have this secret little feeling inside that wants to prove every person that has ever been mean to me wrong.

ANYWAYS I love y’all. Stay strong!


Read more from Olivia Ponton here!

SI Swimsuit