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Social media is affecting your mental health. Many people wonder why or how.
The irony, I am writing this about social media to be posted on social media.
We have become addicted to social media. Social media is just like chocolate and alcohol, it is great in moderation.
On average teenagers spend nine hours a day on social media. The average adult will spend five years and four months over a lifetime on social media. Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook the list is endless. You may have seen the news recently that children as young as 12 are on social media and they feel the pressure it brings, but it's not just children that it's affecting. It is affecting us nationwide young and old.
We scroll through Facebook or Twitter comparing everyone else’s highlights in their lives to our low points. We are always looking to see who likes our statuses, whose commented and if anyone has ‘hearted’ it. “I have two likes on my profile picture, but that other girl got 15 likes.” You start to question why. Your mind goes into overthinking mode.
Is she prettier than me, is she more popular than me, maybe I should use a filter, should I take that photo down? Again, the list is endless.
We spend our days comparing our lives to others and we shouldn’t, it is making you anxious, depressed and lonely. Loneliness is a big issue at the moment. How can I be lonely when I have 150+ friends on Facebook? The answer is out of the 150+ friends ten or more are your actual friends but how many of those ten do you meet up with? Maybe two or three.
We are addicted to social media. Addicted is a strong word but it’s true. Most of us scroll through Twitter or Facebook when we are supposed to be going to sleep. You can’t sleep so you pick up your phone to see if you have any notifications. Then you will try to sleep but you can’t it's late at night and you just saw a status that someone had a successful interview and got the job. Every interview I have had so far, I have been rejected. Why what am I doing wrong? Are my grades not high enough, is my degree not good enough? Am I not good enough?
You only see people’s high points in life on social media; you see people going on nights out, parties, gigs, and other social events and if you’re an introvert like me, you think why can’t I be like them, why can’t I go to parties maybe, I’d get more likes if I went to a party. You also see people getting on with their lives having children, getting married. You start to become anxious as you haven’t had any children yet. You are not even in a relationship.
There you go again, it's two in the morning and your mind has drifted again.
We all should make a goal this year and that’s to limit the use of social media and to stop using filters on every photo you post as no matter how many likes you get. You are beautiful. You are brave, you are you. Instead of scrolling through social media before you shut your eyes, why not turn off your phone a few hours before going to sleep and relax in the company of family or the people around you. If you can’t sleep read a book, put on some calming music. I can guarantee you will sleep better and feel better when you look up from your phone and see the world from a different perspective.
We need to stop comparing our lives to other peoples because:
We are good enough.
We are unique.
We are beautiful.