There’s no denying social media has plenty of benefits including bringing the world closer together. But like all goods things there are the down sides.
Take for example, the idealist photos of paradise holidays, being photographed next to a celebrity or fast car. The body beautiful showing off their physique. We’re all probably conscious of the anxiety and stress we feel looking at these photos but we still interact with social networking regardless.
Only the other day I overheard a conversation between two young girls in their twenties discussing an Instagram post. “God I wish I was that skinny and pretty” both girls said to each other self consciously. Both deeply thinking about the reality versus the ideal.
Only recently Selina Gomez has ranted on about cutting her social media ties and not posting as often on Instagram. So it got me thinking, could social media be causing us unnecessary stress without realising it?
I began by looking at my own social media interaction. On a daily basis I was opening Facebook every two hours daily, followed by Instagram, then Pinterest and occasionally checking in on LinkedIn. Without realising it, I was obsessed but a little of it was down to pure boredom too. So I decided to manage my social networking and limit time spent.
I tried not to interact with any of the social media apps but it was hard. It was like my phone was calling me, it felt like an addiction. I just couldn’t help myself but open the apps. I hid my phone away in my handbag, it was the only way to ignore my phone. Surprisingly as the day ended I had no urge to check my apps on my phone. I admit I felt free.
We’re so concerned with how others receive us and the need to be liked, that we forget who we are as a person.
But then the following day I got asked by a close friend, “did you see my post on Facebook last night?” I haven’t I replied, she was concerned I hadn’t liked or commented on her post as normally I do. I could see the tension in her face. She was worried, it’s a worry I fear every time I post online. I told her I was spending some time away from Facebook. The signs of relief hit her face, as we carried on talking about what she posted. A cake she had made the day before, the proudness of her creation.
It’s like we’re so concerned with how others receive us, we so want to be liked, that we forget who we are as people and forget about the art of conversation.
So far I’ve tried to spend a week away from social media. It’s not easy but I certainly feel more relaxed and happier. It’s made me appreciate what’s around me. Life’s too short to feel unhappy.
How to recognise social media is causing you stress.
- Are you constantly comparing your life to others online?
- Does social media make you feel depressed and incompetent?
- Are you constantly checking up on status updates?
If you answer yes to any of the above, social media is definitely causing stress and depressing. It’s time to make a change for the better.
Six steps to help
1. Monitor your usage of social media.
2. Manage time spent on social media
3. Avoid online confrontations
4. Use social media to learn only
5. Be selective about your online contacts.
6. Unplug from social media altogether
Don’t Let Social Media Stress You Out
Social networking does has its positives and its negatives.
On the one hand, it allows you to keep up with what your friends are doing, and maintain long distance relationships. Plus it’s a good way to keep yourself entertained when you’re bored.
However we’ve seen that without careful use, you can end up a victim of stress and depression. It’s important to constantly check yourself and how you use social media. You’re the judge of the content you expose yourself to. Create healthy boundaries between yourself and social media.