Social media is an invention with many wonderful effects. We can connect with people from the other side of the world and learn many interesting skills and ideas. But often that is not the way we use social media.
It can have a negative effect on us as well. We can find ourselves scrolling through the worst content out there, whether because it’s fake, meaningless, or outright harmful. The effects might not be immediately clear, but it does become noticeable after a while.
The first negative effect of social media is that it makes you compare to others. You constantly see others moving, traveling, buying homes, living a life that seems so much better than yours. This can make you feel bad about yourself and your own accomplishments.
But the truth is that everyone is only posting the good things that happen to them. They are not sharing the struggles and the downsides. They are not sharing everything bad going on that balances out, just like you have good and bad things in your life. Stop following people who make you feel bad about yourself.
This applies especially to celebrities and influencers. Even if they seem to have a charmed life, you are not seeing everything behind that. They might construct a phony image because it sells well. This means that their lifestyle is a realistic goal.
Social media is a great tool for many things. It offers a lot of educational and healthy entertaining content that brings value to our lives. We can learn new skills and even make money, investigate our purchases before committing, and achieve a lot more.
Social media can affect your day to day and what you prioritize. You might become way too invested in your looks or your surroundings, always angling to take a photo that will get the most likes. You might focus too much on maintaining your followers at the expense of your real-life relationships. You don’t enjoy what you do, you are worried about looking good when you post the pictures from whatever event or situation you’re in.
Social media can make us more dissatisfied with life. Research suggests that it can intensely enhance and magnify our tendency to compare ourselves to other people, which is bad for our mental and emotional health. It can also feel us as if we have to put our lives on display and, when the reality falls short of the presentation, this can generate frustration, sadness, and anxiety.
Make sure that your social media is curated to bring you what has value, not just what happens to be on your feed. Use it to your advantage to get something, whether it is a positive mindset and positive emotions, new skills and knowledge, or social connections and professional networking that can bring you strong relationships and new opportunities.