11 Things Social Media Has Made Me Feel

11 Things Social Media Has Made Me Feel

... and has probably made you feel too.

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Social media is something we are all extremely familiar with. You can connect with your friends, post pictures of landscapes, selfies, group pictures, etc. Show everyone in the world what you are up to, what you're proud of, or what you are upset about. It seems pretty cool... but social media certainly has its downfalls.

Here are 11 things that social media has made me feel.

1. Fat

A word we don't use so often anymore, but a feeling we all think to ourselves. Whether you are 130 pounds standing 5'5 or 200 pounds at a short 4'9, social media makes you insecure about your body weight when you see a beautiful girl posted up in an awesome swimsuit with thousands of likes. Being comfortable in your own skin is a thing of the past thanks to social media, photoshop, and girls that have learned how to take the perfect photos under the perfect lighting on their seemingly perfect vacations.

2. Insecure about specific physical traits other than your body weight

Body weight is one thing but eye color, shade of teeth, straightness of teeth, skin tone, hair color and hairstyle are completely different topics. You can't truly change your eye color, so you start to think about wearing colored contacts since Isabelle took a "golden hour" photo and her green eyes looked so perfect. You've already had braces, but your teeth never seem to be white enough. Apparently, brown/dirty blonde hair is out now, so you attempt to dye your hair lighter in hopes to look as good as the photo you just scrolled past.

3. Self-conscious about my likes and dislikes

Things come in and out of style like crazy. It changes day to day and social media is what helps people keep up on what's "in" and what's "out." One day, you are out of your mind if you think blue eye shadow looks nice on you, and the next week everyone's wearing it. If you can't keep on with the trends then you just won't get the likes, and that's what social media boils down to. This doesn't only apply to makeup and fashion statements, it applies to sports teams, politics, celebrities, restaurants, and every other tangible thing you can think of.

4. Unlovable 

As dramatic as it sounds, people that are in relationships post all the time about their significant others. Sometimes it makes you feel a little lonely, or like you aren't good enough or pretty enough. When you see a man buy his girl friend flowers weekly, it makes you wonder if you will ever find someone that surpasses those standards.

5. Needy

Being "needy" has a negative connotation. You see one girl tweet about how she's upset and needs someone to talk to, and that tweet gets hundreds of likes. So you try to do the same thing for a few reasons. 1. Why not? 2. It would be nice to know that many people cared about you. But the thing is, you wouldn't be feeling that way or even having that thought process if it wasn't for that one tweet or that one girl that got all of those likes on that tweet. It really becomes a play on insanity.

6. Incompetent 

You see all of these people just slaying life. They seem to be getting every job they apply for, getting straight A's in college, and really just "living their best lives." Yet, it's hard for you to get out of bed some days. You wonder how these people do it and show no sign of struggle. So you just chalk it up as being inadequate for basically... life itself.

7. "Really f*$king sad or really lit" 

... as quoted from a 16-year-old boy. You can see here, the proof is in the pudding and living on an emotional roller coaster like that thanks to social media is unhealthy.

8. Dependent 

You use your phone for security everywhere you go. The first thing you do when you go somewhere and feel even the slightest wave of awkwardness, you pull your phone out and scroll away. It's a coping mechanism that isn't healthy. It makes it easy for you to avoid conversation which could be good at times but is also a bad habit to build.

9. Anxious

You see your crush liking another person's photo, and it makes you anxious. You start thinking about the meaning behind it and you spiral down into why you aren't good enough and why they are giving other people their attention. Again, it leads to insanity and once you start thinking that way it's hard to escape.

10. Angry

Anxiety and anger often go hand and hand. After your anxiety goes away, you begin to feel tension and maybe jealous about the lives these other people are posting about. You may even feel anger towards the girls/boys that post these photos because they inevitably catch the attention of your significant other, which completes the circuit and you go back to feeling insecure.

11. Depressed or simply sad

All of these things lead to depression or sadness. Social media tends to make you feel like you aren't good enough or maybe that you won't amount to anything. Even the "prettiest" girls and the "hottest" guys with the most likes see someone on social media that they envy.

At the end of the day, you have realized that social media makes you feel this way. Yet you still don't want to get rid of it? Why are we so addicted to social media, and how do we stop feeling these things? Even though you may not feel them daily, I know we have all felt at least one of them at some point. Why can't we simply delete the apps off our phones? Why do we always make excuses not to? What will be the next big thing to keep us chained to our cell phones?

The most important thing is that we understand what social media is doing to our brains and that we do something about it.

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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I Limited My Social Media Usage And I Challenge You To, Too

My worth is not defined by the amount of likes I get.

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Every morning at 8 a.m., my alarm goes off, I roll over, and the first thing I do is check my Snapchat only to open a bunch of pictures of the top of someone's head, or the wall, or — my favorite — a black screen. This is something we're all guilty of, myself included. We all know that social media is becoming an addiction amongst us, so why do we still use them in an unhealthy way? Why are our friendships defined by who has the longest streak? Why are our perceptions of others based on the most perfectly posed presentations of people? Why is our self-worth dependent on the number of double taps or shares or comments?

My world used to revolve around social media.

Every time I posted a picture on Instagram, I would constantly refresh to see how many likes I had accumulated. The worst part about that is I would get upset if I didn't get any likes in the seconds between each refresh.

If I got bored or had some downtime between classes, I would spend hours just scrolling through the same posts, hoping to find something different.

So much of my life was wrapped up in the superficiality of social media posts to the point where I no longer knew who I was. I would see pictures of my friends who ended up at the same college and feel left out, I would see girls from high school joining sororities, I would see people looking so stunning and having so much fun, and I let that be the thing that influenced how I felt.

Social media consumed me. It made me forget all the wonderful things I have in my life. It made me value a photo opportunity more than just enjoying the moment for what it is. Let me tell you that a moment is no less valuable just because it isn't visually appealing.

I've recently started using the Screen Time feature on my iPhone. I set a two hour per day limit on my social media usage, and when that time is up, I can no longer open the apps. Since then, I've been spending more time face-to-face with the people I care about. I've reconnected with old hobbies. I feel less stressed. I stopped comparing myself to others. I learned to be happy with myself.

I limit my social media usage because all the time I've spent aimlessly scrolling through Instagram is time I could've spent going for a walk and enjoying the warmth of Spring.

I limit my social media usage because I value face-to-face interaction. I value hugs and laughter and all the other things you can't get from a screen.

I limit my social media usage because it hurts my feelings when other people are on their phones when I'm trying to talk to them so how can it be right that I do that to someone else?

I think about how dependent on social media we have become, and it makes me so grateful that the sun is too bright to see our phone screens outside and that the mountains raise too high to have good cell service. I'm grateful that my friends make me laugh so hard that I don't even think to check my phone.

So, I challenge you to separate yourself from your social media. Even if it's just for a day. See how your life changes.

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