Not everything that happens on social media is peachy. This embellished reality hides another less charming one. Behind all the glamour, luxurious vacation pictures, and filtered selfies that give that “wow” factor, the reality is not what it seems. Social media is like a race between the number of likes and followers. Younger people and teenagers can go to great lengths to get as many as possible.
If you can’t imagine your life without social media, you’ve probably fallen victim to social networking sites’ intense power over the public. Chances are that you’ve also experienced some adverse effects social media has on people. Unfortunately, the harmful effects of social media are all too real for many of us. Let’s look at the negative impacts of social media on real people, which happen every day.
- FOMO (fear of missing out)
- Unrealistic expectations
- Negative body image
- Stress & Anxiety
- General addiction
- Unhealthy sleep patterns
I found this video very interesting: How our brain changes with social media interaction.
To help avoid these negative impacts, you must learn to be mindful of all situations. To be mindful means to be more conscious and aware of our patterns. Since much of our social media use involves mindless scrolling, the best way to take control of our use is first to be conscious of how we’re using social networking sites in the first place; this not being the most straightforward task to accomplish; here are some ways to help.
- Taking a break from social media allows you to rest, recharge, and regroup. I don’t find this an easy task, but setting reminders or social time limits on your phones does help. You can clear your mind to prioritize yourself and other aspects of your life.
- Change your perspective. You can improve your social media experience when you choose to view things from a positive point of view. Viewing things positively also creates a positive mindset. Therefore, you are more likely to find joy, inspiration, and laughter on social media.
- You are in charge. Ultimately, you are responsible for your emotions, not anybody else. It takes a strong, willful mind and a lot of practice, but it works. It is not Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or other forms of social media. It is YOU. You can help manage your emotions by staying in control despite the harmful effects of social media.
I just ended up getting annoyed and exhausted from seeing the same people and scenarios on social media; I started to unfollow and delete anything that physically made me feel unhappy, irritated, or negative. We only live once, so why let another person or situation take our energy? I’ve trained my brain to think this way. For example, does Kim Kardashian’s weight loss situation bring positivity into my life? No! It only makes me upset and anxious that millions of young people find her a role model, idol, mentor, etc. So instead, I choose to block and hide posts about her because it brings no value or happiness feelings to me. So with all the negativity that virtual life gets, there are ways we can combat them and move forward positively.
Do you have a way of turning the adverse effects of virtual life into positive ones? Please share below.
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