Has there ever been a time when you felt down about yourself? Like you weren’t doing anything with your life, but everyone else had it figured out? Yes? Well, part of the problem is social media.
“People compare themselves to who they see on social media. The con is that you put too much effort into being a perfectionist for social media,” said MSU student James Honey*. “After a while of only seeing pictures of people being successful or seemingly happy, self-comparison occurs and it can be a bitch to deal with.”
When you’re constantly on social media, your perception of what’s real is warped. “People pay too much attention to it,” said MSU student Eve Banks*. “Just the idea that people can post themselves being happy all the time, so you have this idea that if you have a bad day or something like that, other people are doing so much better than you, which can bring you down more. I think that’s something that happens to a lot of people.”
Many people weigh their self-worth based on how many likes and comments they get from complete strangers. According to the New York Behavioral Health website, “Every day chronic social media use may affect trait self-esteem negatively, while state self-esteem can also be affected by incidental use. In fact, research shows that people who use Facebook frequently report higher depression rates and decreased well-being.” It’s seriously unhealthy, especially when you’ve got other things in your life going on.
So, what do you do? Start by doing a social media detox. Delete and deactivate your social media accounts. Take a break from it and turn your attention away from your phone.
Taking a break from your daily feed is hard, but not impossible. Think of it as a chance to do some serious self-inventory. Make a list of your goals and surround yourself with motivation. Follow through and JUST DO IT! The only person who can make you feel better is yourself. Download a productivity app to keep track of your improvements. Do some meditation; get back in touch with yourself.
If deleting all of your social media seems too extreme, try scheduling mandatory breaks from browsing social media. Consider using the Forest app; it’ll prevent you from picking up your phone to scroll through Instagram or Twitter. Even better, just put your phone out of reach and focus on yourself. Also, remember this very important detail about the social media post you’ve looked at: ALL YOU’RE SEEING IS A FRAGMENT FROM SOMEONE’S LIFE, AND THAT FRAGMENT MAY NOT EVEN BE REAL.
Now go detox your way to stability.
*Student preferred to stay anonymous