People are discussing the negative effects of social media now more than ever, and it is definitely a conversation we should all be tuned into. Yes, social media sites can lead to intense self-comparison, as we see everyone's best self, posted in a way that makes them look like they've got it all together.
Essentially, you're comparing your insides to their outsides, which is not fair. Everyone looks for approval online at one point or another, and being so preoccupied with how your friends, family, and peers view your posts can be toxic.
Social media also leads to MAJOR time wasting and procrastination, which is something none of us need. However, despite all these cons, social media can be used for personal growth, motivation, and inspiration. It doesn't have to be the enemy.
Let's talk about the pros, which I found after I searched through a world of cons.
One, I can find massive amounts of inspiration on social media. Scrolling through Instagram, I see beautiful people living their best lives: smiling with friends, looking at beautiful art, meandering in a cute coffee shop. I see poetry, paintings, dancers, singers- people sharing their passions. I see creativity, which is something I can choose to use as a positive influence on my life.
I can choose to be inspired by these people, inspired to create, to live my life to the fullest, to be better. A small dose of Instagram, Facebook, or Tumblr can give me that kick that I need to get off the couch and do something with myself.
Another purpose social media can serve is giving people a platform to connect with loved ones, as well as meet new people, locally or from far away. The Internet makes these connections so easy, with the click of a button! It's what we do with these connections that matter.
Are you going to be constantly immersed in your phone and what's going on online while you're with your friends and family or are you going to be present and actually connected with them? Are you going to build upon the relationships that bud on the internet or use them just to serve as a distraction?
It's all about the balance and how you handle what's given to you at your fingertips.
So how do you find that balance? To me, its important to limit your time online. If you catch yourself aimlessly scrolling with no purpose other than to give you something to do, put your phone down. Go for a walk, read a book, research something you're interested in, do something creative. You could even take the inspiration you find on social media to help you find something to do IRL!
The world opens up when you power off for a bit. Moreover, instead of posting just for the sake of being present online, posting items you actually care about and are proud of can change the way you view social media. Posting your photography or a status regarding something that you're passionate about can make all the difference!
You can have a healthy relationship with social media. Its just a matter of what you do with your time and resources!