I have such a love-hate relationship with social media. On the one hand, it gives me instant access to the lives of so many people who I wouldn’t be able to keep in touch with otherwise. I can see pictures and updates from people who live far away. In that aspect, it’s wonderful! So, what’s the other side? I’ve noticed a couple of terrible ways in which I use social media. I’ve also noticed that it’s not just me. Collectively, social media may be bringing us down and actually harming our mental health. If you’re a social media addict, check out these ways in which our growing obsession may be hurting our mental well-being.
We Stay in the Gossip
Admit it; you’re a stalker. You might not literally follow another person around, but we all do our fair share of Facebook stalking in order to find out the latest scoop. Oh, you have a new boyfriend? Well, let’s obsess over every comment he has ever made to another female. Oh, you saw a discreetly typed status update? Well, let’s check their history to see who they are talking about. Maybe we’re not supposed to know everything all of the time. Maybe some things are better left unsaid (or typed), and just maybe we’d all be a little happier if we stayed out of everyone else’s business. The more “in the know” we are, the more likely we are to be stressed or upset about situations that aren’t even ours. You really want to improve your mental health? Mind your own business.
As a society, we have become incredibly self absorbed. We want the attention. While wanting some attention is completely normal and natural, it’s not normal to want all of the attention or to obsess over the amount of attention that we get. How many likes does my Instagram post have? What are people saying about me? Let me tell everyone about every moment of my day because … well, I’m so important. This is not a healthy state of mind for anyone. This places a lot of pressure on yourself, and according to research, actually diminishes your self-esteem and happiness. You’re feeling overwhelmed? Take a little pressure off by getting the attention off of yourself and letting someone else have it for a while.
Social Media Doesn’t Allow Mistakes
I’m so glad social media wasn’t around through my teenage years. I would hate to think that every stupid thing I did was now online for the rest of eternity. The more we use social media, the less likely we are to be able to let things go. You made a stupid mistake? You made a fool of yourself? You said something silly? To maintain your mental health, it’s imperative that you let these things go. They don’t matter because EVERYONE makes stupid mistakes. With social media, letting go becomes a lot more difficult. Not only is it there for everyone to see, but also for everyone to comment on. If you want to boost your mental well-being, don’t post everything you do online. Instead, use social media wisely, and you can have the best of both worlds.
So, is social media all bad? No. It most definitely has its place in the world. It’s wonderful to be able to stay in contact with others. It’s wonderful to share ideas and opinions. But, for the sake of your own mental health and happiness, use it the right way. Use it for good, and you’ll find yourself a lot happier in the years to come.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.