Let’s get all philosophical for a second. Are we, as humans, becoming more and more obsessed with the online world and the way we present ourselves to our digital audiences? If it’s not buying followers, it’s chasing likes. Social media is taking over the way we communicate, the way we share our stories, and the way that cultural norms, beliefs, and behaviors are formed. Are we all doomed?
Here’s some reasons why social media may be negatively impacting your mental health more than you think…
It provides you with a distorted version of reality
What we see on social media is not always the truth. We rarely see the negative aspects of people’s lives, so we should always remember that social media only covers a small percentage of what is actually happening. Behind the false smiles and perfectly-filtered selfies, there’s often a much darker truth. Someone could be coming across as incredibly happy online, but in reality they’re depressed, suffering from low-self esteem, and simply seeking approval.
You become obsessed with gratification
The nature of social media means you’re continuously seeking validation. It’s all too easy to become obsessed with getting as much attention as possible when you make a post. Posting a pre-night out photo with your pals can turn into a night of obsessing and fretting… As sad as it is, counting those likes as they roll is an all-too-real behavior for some people.
It provides you with unrealistic measures of happiness
Happiness should always come from within. Never should happiness come from getting lots of compliments on your newest selfie… and if it does, then that happiness won’t last forever. The never-ending influx of ‘perfect selfies’ is completely distorting the way we view ourselves, and as a result, these online images are forming unrealistic standards of beauty that will only have dire consequences on our mental health in the long run.
It forces you to focus on others rather than yourself
There have been hundreds (and thousands) of psychological studies suggesting that social media can have a huge negative impact on our confidence, our self-esteem, and the way we view ourselves. This is especially the case when it comes to our appearance. Social media is a narcissistic breeding playground for our deepest and darkest insecurities, and far too much of our negative emotions come from comparing ourselves to others. It’s time to focus on ourselves!
It distracts you from the moment
When was the last time you went out for a meal and didn’t take a photo of your plate before you ate it? Be honest with yourself… We really need to start living in the moment, the NOW! You will soon begin to feel the benefits of paying attention to what is going on around you rather than what’s happening on your screen. Look up. There’s a whole world out there for you to explore, and it won’t be there forever.
So, you heard it here guys. It’s time for you to switch off. We know this type of social media worry and panic is tiresome in itself, but there’s undoubtedly some truth in the concerns. Start to think about how you can slowly decrease your social media use, and start to look at the world in the way we were always meant to – through real-life experiences, not through a screen.