Almost everybody uses social media. Social media allows you to share with others virtually, you can post, stream, like, message etc. all within seconds. It is both a blessing and a burden.
Social media anxiety is very relevant today and is probably the most known.
‘did she accept my friend request?’ ‘why hasn’t he messaged me back?’ ‘do they like my post?’ ‘why can’t I be as tanned as them?’ ‘how do I get an ‘easy’ life like they have?’
We are obsessed. Addicted. It is instinctive to check what is happening.
91% of 16-24 year olds use the internet for social networking
Social media has been described as more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol
Rates of anxiety an depression in young people have risen by 70% in the past 25 years
Social media use is linked with increase rates of anxiety, depression and poor sleep
Cyber bullying is a growing problem with 7 in 10 people saying they have experienced it
Social media can improve young people’s access to other people’s experiences of health and expert health information
Those who use social media report being more emotionally supported through contacts
We don’t live in the moment anymore. We see everything through a lens whether we want admit it or not. You could see the most wonderful sunset, and your first thought is ‘that would make a great Instagram,’ or somebody may tell a joke an straight away you are uploading it to Facebook to share with the world.
So how can we begin to overcome this feeling of ‘I have to post everything about my life and everybody needs to like it’?
Start by giving yourself a day detox. Sunday is an easy day. Detach from all social media platforms and leave your phone out of reach for the entirety of the day. This idea may be made easier if you have plans for example a big walk around a lake, a day of baking and board games, completing assignment work, tidying your room/kitchen/house. Avert your eyes from the glow of your screen, your thumbs are for more than just scrolling down an already seen Facebook feed. If you want to take photos then sure take your camera out, but don’t see everything as a photo opportunity, see it as a moment. Embrace the now.
FOMO is big. Fear of missing out. By detaching yourself for a while, even if its when your phone dies 1 hour before you get home, you feel like you are missing out on a world of information you need to know, when in reality your mindless scrolling and refreshing isn’t telling you anything. Download a news app, listen to a podcast, educate yourself on something worthwhile instead and learn something new to share.
Friends. Do you really have 4683 friends? Do you actually know them all? Have a spring clean. Having family and close friends can create a more positive atmosphere and environment, seeing what you want to see – and if it still isn’t what you want to see. Delete. I do this every 6 months, if I haven’t spoken to them in that time and have no interest in what they are sharing or doing I will simply delete them (soz, not soz).
Positivity. Follow positive news and posts. Following accounts that promote healthy well-being and share goo things that are happening in the world (or even locally) definitely have an impact on your social media experience. Constantly looking at bad news, although very true and real, it doesn’t need to be covering what great things are happening. I love following national geographic on Instagram – even though it isn’t branded as a positive account, it shares what I feel is positive posts.
Don’t let social media take over you, your life is great, share what YOU want to share and if you don’t like what you see, delete or unfollow.
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