There’s no doubt that in this day and age social media has been associated with higher levels of loneliness, jealousy, anxiety, depression, egotism and a large decrease in social skills.
60% of people using social media reported that it has impacted their self-esteem in a negative way
50% reported social media having negative effects on their relationships
80% reported that is easier to be deceived by others through their sharing on social media
The stories we all share and portray on social media are optimistic and usually only show the joyful side of things. With social media, we are made to believe that everyone we know is in really great relationships, taking amazing vacations, and living their best lives. We are all only seeing the highlight reels. It’s easy to compare, even if it’s unconsciously, our lives to the lives of others based on the photos they share.
People are forgetting how to interact with each other in real-life too. Posting photos of dinners and selfies for some are their way interacting with others. Social media is making us think we know everything about each other and each other’s days already, which is causing us to lose the need to talk in person.
The version of yourself that you portray on social media is no doubt constantly seeking validation through electronic likes, rather than actual life. For some, posting what they want other people to see and getting likes, and re-tweets helps them feel better about themselves while also helping them feel connected to others.
Match.com recently reported that 51% of people say social media has made them feel more self-conscious about their appearance.
It’s a known fact that social media users are becoming progressively more depressed when they begin to compare themselves to other social media profiles. But what happens when people begin to compare themselves to their own profile? It’s been shown that if a person’s reality does not match the social media deception that they post on their profiles, they will start to feel as if they are not living up to the greatest form of themselves. Not. Good.
I’m not saying that everyone is like this either. Sure, there are some people that are very confident and are emotionally secure, but a majority of us are at least a little bit affected by the negative effects of social media. I, for one, can’t help it. Yes, we have the #bodypositivity movement, and that is a huge help, but what else can we do to stop us, and especially younger children, from learning that it’s normal to not love yourself and the life you have?
For all of us to acknowledge and accept these effects without any disregard for how it hurts us emotionally is what the core of the problem is. What is social media doing to our sense of self? Are we all becoming more insecure? Is this the new norm? What are we going to do about this?
We need to start loving ourselves. We need to stop comparing ourselves to social media. Now.
For a more in-depth look at the real effects of social media, check out this article: https://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/how-facebook-makes-us-unhappy.