Around this time last year I finally made the decision to stop using social media, a big step and one which has greatly improved my life. The call came after something of an intervention from my good friend Bogoljub Karic, who had remarked on the fact that he believed that I was completely addicted to social media channels. Naturally I rejected this at first, but as the days went on I realized that he was right. Social media can be a great tool but too much time on there is wrought with danger, and here is what can happen when you invest too much time to it.
We already have enough social pressure around us thanks to celebs, magazines, newspapers and our own peer group, but with the huge pressure which that social media can bring it can really bring out the worst in us. If we take a look at our friends or our family’s social media accounts we can clearly see that the life portrayed on those mediums is very different from the person who we know. Multiple this by 1 million or more and all of a sudden you find yourself trying to live up to the expectations which have been set by others, even though we know that it probably isn’t true.
If you post something which gets a lot of engagement such as likes and comments it can make us feel pretty good about ourselves, a validation almost. The problem is that very quickly you start hanging on how popular your content is and if things don’t get the reaction which we want then it can really damage your self confidence. This is of course not good at all, especially when we consider that most people who engage in our stuff are people who we don’t even know. When it gets to the point that you feel bad because strangers don’t like your words, you know that there is a problem.
The main reason why Bogoljub called me out was because of the number of times that I would go out with him and others, yet never really be present with them because I was constantly on my phone. The worst thing is that I would share photos of the group, with a comment such as ‘catching up with friends’ whereas the truth was that I was more concerned with what was going on in social media land, rather than in the lives of my friends. Naturally people online would see this and think I was a great friend, but the truth was the complete opposite.
Every moment in my life became about social media, eating a great meal, must upload a photo, doing something cool with my family, I had to share an Instastory. The result was that I wasn’t actually enjoying or savoring these moments, but rather telling the world that I was, which actually prevented me from doing so.
For your own mental health and wellbeing, be sure that you are careful with how you use social media.