We live in a digital era, where everything is one click away from us. That has good and bad sides to it!
When we scroll through our social media, our brain releases a feel-good chemical known as dopamine (same goes for sex, social interactions, etc.). Now without expanding on the dopamine part, I want to make it clear that although very common in our everyday life, regular use of social media does take a toll on us(like too much sex, too much food, or too much of anything of a sort does.)
So, why is social media bad for you?
1. Unattainable goals
Whether it is beauty we are talking about, or something completely different, social media has completely shifted the way people see things.
In the past, teens read magazines that contained altered photos of models. Now, these images are one thumb-scroll away at any given time. Apps that provide the user with airbrushing, teeth whitening, and more filters are easy to find and easier to use. It’s not only celebrities who look perfect—it’s everyone.
I have read one very good article on this topic, and the way Norway tackled this problem.
Fake! Fake! Fake! Fake! (this is exactly how I feel when I scroll through my Instagram feed)
Nobody is perfect! Not me, not you, not anybody that has ever lived and walked on our planet. Don’t beat yourself because you have a bit more weight than you should, a stretch mark here and there on your body, or a messy hair on Saturday evenings.
Always, and everywhere, be yourself!
Life is tough the way it is, don’t make it any harder by trying to fit in.
You don’t need to amaze anybody. Love yourself the way you are, and be satisfied with yourself. That is how you become outstanding!
You, yes you reading this, you are unique. Your story is extraordinary, and your life is special. Laugh, cry, shout from the rooftops, be inimitable!
Have you ever felt alone in a room full of people? Or perhaps like you are not being heard, although they are listening to you?
How many times have you gone on a date with someone(or just a casual coffee with a friend/coworker) and felt like you spent more time on your phones rather than talking with each other?
We became slaves of our phones. Put them aside, devote your undivided attention to yourself or someone you are talking to, and say no to the little devil on your shoulder who is cunningly whispering in your ears.
There is a weird trend in the world of social media nowadays, where people seek attention and validation from strangers.
Even among bloggers, there is a certain level of expectations before every published post.
People focus way too much on getting an enormous amount of likes/shares/reads instead of creating a truly magnificent piece of art. (Having more or fewer likes/shares/reads does not necessarily depict the value of your craft.)
Hell, I even know some people that use a person’s followers count to decide whether they would go on a date with them. ( We all can agree that this is a very dumb thing to do).
I am guilty of this sin as well. I mean, most of us who post regularly on social media are unconsciously looking for some sort of validation. Yet what we don’t tend to realize is that those stats do not matter.
You are not a better writer, human being, or anything really if you have more followers.
Whatever you do, do it because you want to do it.
4. Fear of Missing Out(FOMO)
My father and I talked the other day, and he told me:” When you are driving, drop your phone until you arrive at the desired destination or stop. You are not going to miss out on anything important”. I asked him, but what if someone dies? He replied: “Well, you certainly can’t help them then. You can only crash your car and join them”.
We all felt that anxiety at least once, right? Did Tom Cruise find a new wife, did Brad and Angelina got back together, did my neighbor buy a new car, where did my friends go yesterday?
The world is a vast place, and there are thousands and thousands of things happening every second. You can’t possibly stay up to date with all of them.
Disconnect, and give your brain some free time. Devote yourself to whatever you are doing right now, and do not bother with other things.
So let’s sum up some of the most common problems people encounter while browsing social media:
- Unattainable goals
- Validation seeking
- Fear of Missing Out(FOMO)
The only person to compare yourself with is you from yesterday. Be happy in your skin. Learn to love yourself and appreciate all hardships you overcame in your life. Devote yourself to whatever you are doing at a time. Do not think you are missing out on something. You are not. The only thing you are missing out on is time you wasted in anxiety caused by FOMO.
I would love to conclude this “scattered thoughts” post of mine with a quote very dear to me:
If you desire to make a difference in the world, you must be different from the worldElaine S. Dalton