So the past couple of days I have been watching the Social Media Anxiety Debate happening on Twitter with regards to how Instagram puts a lot of pressure on people to post images and videos that project how perfect their lives are on a daily basis. From what I picked up it looks like these perfect life projections are leaving those who see them in a constant state of jealousy, anxiety or depression. So once again I figured I would sit down with a few friends and discuss this topic and this is what came out of it. First we looked at the basic concept of Social Media which is that it is designed to encourage you to have opinions about other people based on what they post. What this then means is that you are now given a free range to make assumptions about other peoples lives which are not always based on reality and vice versa. The need then to stay connected and engage becomes so powerful and instant, that we start basing our existence on these assumptions and opinions formed from a Tweet, a Snap, an Insta-Post etc.
Some of you might think that there is no such thing as Social Media Anxiety and it just pure silliness but let me tell you that studies have shown otherwise. It is said that people, who frequently use social media and have high emotional investment in their social media feeds, are found to have poorer sleep quality, lower self-worth and higher rates of anxiety and depression compared to those who are less engaged in social media. Signs that you may be suffering from Social Media Anxiety are:
1. You are constantly checking your feeds (when you wake up, go to the bathroom, eating, meetings, etc),
2. You are constantly refreshing your feeds after you post to see how many LIKES you get,
3. You are always checking your fan follower/like count and when it drops you go into a brief state of sadness,
4. You become upset when people don’t respond to your messages instantly and your thought process goes into overdrive about what you could’ve done wrong for you to be ignored.
5. You always catch feelings when reading random posts that have nothing to do with you!
So now how do you deal with all of the above and make sure it doesn’t send you on a serious emotional downward spiral? Well to be honest we don’t have the answers, we can only give you suggestions on what you can do to avoid the pressures of being a Social Media Cool Kid!
1. Put a limit to your daily Social Media consumption/activity: Learn how to balance offline activities with your online activities. will always be around so you aren’t missing much.
2. If you don’t have anything to post then don’t force it: A lot of people spend so much time trying to find the perfect post and go through archives of crap just so they can fit in that it ends up sending them into a hectic self-hate process. Your day ends up ruined and your posts also tend to get low to no likes which will add to your depression. DON’T DO IT! There will always be another Champagne Tuesday, Woman Crush Wednesday and Man Crush Monday so relax only post when you have something worth sharing.
3. Stop comparing yourself to others: No one person has a perfect life, we are not designed to show the world our weaknesses so chances are you will always only see the “perfect” and happier parts of our lives on our social media feeds. Also if seeing other people happy makes you sad then you have serious problems and should get help. Never wish for someone else’s life you might just be wishing for a curse.
4. Make time for and focus on the important people in your life: The problem is most people on Social Media are always trying to impress people they don’t know, when they should be spending more time appreciating people they do have.
5. Social Media fame doesn’t last forever: Be-careful what you share with the world one day they will use it against you! Remember we are all going through different struggles and deal with them in different ways. Make sure how you deal does not make someone else feel worthless. #StopInternetBullies
If these image quotes from my friends made you feel uneasy then you my friend are suffering from Social Media Anxiety and need to get HELP!