How Social Media is Affecting Our Mental Health?

Exploring the idea that social media is not good for our mental health.

“I’m ugly. Wow. I look really ugly. Why she looks so much prettier than me? What if I had clear skin and a nice lean body just like her? Maybe I would be pretty too.”

“He’s only 15 years old, what am I doing with my life? I should be ashamed of myself.”

“Hey! Ten likes! Nice. All of my efforts editing this picture paid off.”

“Wow. I’m fat. Ughh.”

“What should I post; I don’t have any decent looking selfies.”

“Let me check what she’s doing lately. I haven’t seen her in years. Wow, she looks so different here from what she looks in real life! Why she went to study abroad? She’s not that smart!”

“One more like, nice.”

Welcome to the typical monologue that so many of us have with ourselves every day while scrolling down social media.

Unfortunately, many of us can’t even distinguish it happening, because everyone thinks the same.

Social media is a very toxic place, but we don’t think about it, and we don’t talk about it seriously. It could be a very toxic place, but it could be a very positive place. When I say positive place, there are a lot of people I follow that make me feel good. I love looking at their photos; I love everything they have to say in their captions. They overall make me feel a better person.

And then there’s that side of social media that makes me feel useless. I have realized that I was on social media way too much and not only I was on social media, but I was too consumed with the thought of what I looked like on social media and how people perceived me on social media. I was posting things on social media for a reaction from a specific person. I reached to that point, where I got upset by someone not viewing my social media.

Just three days after New Year, I was diagnosed with acute urticaria and insomnia. That was the first time I had been really sick in my entire life. I wasn’t allowed to use any form of media. I was instantly trying to check and use my phone. I got distracted by my thoughts and imaginations. In the dark, when everyone was asleep, I had countless thoughts, I couldn’t sleep. Recollecting everything as I wait, I was going dark. There was nothing wrong, but there was an issue in my mind.

I set all these mental goals for myself. I held myself up to such high expectations of myself. It made me think of things that happened in the past till the present. During the past few years, I felt like I was doing so much for my body and my mind and it won’t let me do anything, except being sick and depressed.

I’ve been depressed around 6 years; I can’t remember what it’s like to not be depressed. I rarely talk about it because I don’t like feeling sorry for myself or talking about my depression. The thing about depression is that you don’t feel happy easily at all. Trying to enjoy my life, while trying to show off for the rest of the fake reality world you watch on your phone was not an easy task for my depressed self.

We compare ourselves to perfectly crafted images of people’s lives.

Social media lead me to compare my life to other people’s highlights. I had to make sure that I’m conscious about what I was consuming and that I was using social media instead of it using me. Instagram was getting kind of sickly for me; it was becoming so incessant with me to the point where it was all about numbers and social status. I would pose and take pictures and spend hours editing them.

So I took the opportunity and decided to quit social media to give myself some focus on the bigger picture. That’s when I started to ask questions, and have since started to think about social media’s effect on our lives. I immediately found out that I wasn’t the only one who was dealing with this issue.

According to recent research by psychologists, social media use for individuals is associated with a number of psychological problems, including anxiety, depression, loneliness, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and addiction. Their usage is entangled and their mobile nature gives to unnecessary checking habits, which often arise from the ‘fear of missing out’. When it comes to reducing individuals’ use of social media, we cannot change it overnight. Individuals are responsible for their own social media use.

We are feeding our minds, ideas, thoughts, contents, and emotions as we scroll up and down in our lives. The problem with social media is that it’s programmed us to behave in ways that are dangerous for our mental health and self-confidence.

May your life someday be as awesome as you pretend it is on social media.

On social media whole life appeared to be so perfect, it seems like people always eating out, always on trips, having the best grades, and having happy families. We shouldn’t judge a person’s online life, because we don’t know their offline life and their character. We don’t know their offline reality, because what happens is, we begin to compare ourselves to people’s online controlled images.

And the thing is that we all want to tell the world all the great and positive things about us. But, what we cannot do is compare and criticize ourselves against what we perceive other people’s lives to be. We’ve been programmed to always play a game of catching up with the next person that is competing with the other person. Instead, what we should do is embrace where we are in our individual journeys.

Social validation is when you write a post or upload a picture and then spend hours rearranging the caption to come up with something that people will like. You take about 40 different selfies and they all look exactly the same. Your friends or your family will help you to narrow down the top two or three. Then, you will try on different captions and different filters and selected picture makes to the world, where perfect images and captions exist.

People actually experience identity crises because of this kind of social pressure thing on social media. Social validation is when social media users are constantly posting for likes and attention.

We have expanded our ability to think, to create, and the feature that makes all human. How is that expanded? Everything is available on the Internet. We think that everything is at our fingertips, instead of spending time and gaining knowledge by learning. There is nothing to be learned if all information is on the internet that could be available to us in a second through a search machine. The Internet programmed us to get our knowledge through search machines.

In reality, we should look within ourselves for the questions, instead of seeking answers online. It is true that social media is killing our social life. But to fix that, we can use social media as a social good to add value to our lives.

Every time I use social media, I remind myself to keep it real because the moment you start using it for others everything goes wrong.

There are two things that can help all of us to have better online experiences.

.

It’s not about the numbers and likes. It’s about being clear with ourselves and being honest about what our intentions are. Is it to motivate, to express, to criticize, or to bully?

When you like yourself for who you truly are and appreciate what you have to offer to others, you will not find yourself seeking social attention online. Ever since I took a break from my social media and focused on my personal life, I’ve been able to regain my time and my values more than ever before.

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color me blue

for me, writing is just one way of being creative, & so far has been the easiest way to get my feelings and thoughts out. i don’t see myself as a writer (: