Social media does a lot more than simply looking at posts and mindless scrolling. Yes, it does provide some entertainment and ability to connect with people. However, it can have many negative side effects. Take a look at a few factors of how social can impact a person.
The perfect side of someone
Have you ever noticed the people that you follow on social media all have posts, pictures, and videos that seems like they have happy and perfect lives? That’s because most of the time we see only this side of a person. Social media provides a platform for people to present only the parts of them that they want others to see. When viewing this on social media, we start to compare what we see on the screen versus our own lives. The hard part about this is that we don’t separate our experiences. We combine difficult struggles, hardships, and negative thoughts. This unfair comparison sets us up to be disappointed and negatively view ourselves.
We now live in a world of filters. We are able to alter our appearances in just a click of a button. While it can be fun changing our face to look like a dog or a mirror effect, other filters that erase our “flaws” create another message. This then can plant the seed that our uniqueness or imperfections are not appealing or beautiful. Therefore, overtime we may be uncomfortable taking a picture without filters and then start to see ourselves differently. It feels too vulnerable to show the true and very real person. This impacts our self-esteem and confidence.
Because social media is a big component in our lives, we naturally connect it with who we are. We start to monitor how many people like our posts or how many people follow us. It gives a sense of acceptance when people press the like button. The hard effect of this is that it becomes a quick shift to the number of likes or followers we have somehow reflect our own self worth. Striving to gain likes and be accepted becomes the new goal and we adjust who we are in order to please people that view our social media. A lot of time we then feel lost or unsure of our own identity.
It is important to find the balance between social media, reality, and self-perception. Reflect on how social media has impacted your life and how you see yourself. Think about what it would be like if you were not to go on social media for a day. Would there be anxiety or even relief?