Social media is present in our everyday life as teenagers and young adults, but it is not as pure as we may think it is. It can actually lead to a deterioration in mental health with upsetting social media posts, trying to live up to the high standards of what is deemed beautiful, and fear of missing out, which is also known as FOMO. There is a rise in mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and eating disorders which arise from these apps. For me, I am constantly wrestling with the good and bad parts of social media, and as much as I try to limit my use, I find myself going back to it stronger than before.
In my psychology class this fall, I had to watch The Social Dilemma on Netflix. To be honest, I was not looking forward to watching it because I am tired of adults making assumptions that Gen Z and Millenials are “addicted to technology,” but it is true. We are. In the documentary, it shows that people who are the engineers of successful social media apps like Instagram or Facebook, to name a few, engineer it to be addictive. People who are the leading names behind social media outlets and the big names in Silicon Valley do not even let their kids get phones or social media because they know the bad effects they have! Anyway, I highly recommend watching it!
In honesty, it is really hard to not go on social media, especially after a long time, and think, “Why am I here, and not doing fun things like them?” or “What is wrong with me that I am not having fun?” or “Why do I not have any friends?” These questions are so common and normal, and most everyone who has social media thinks this to a certain degree. Think more positively and do not dwell on it, because if you think that, then I promise that is all that you are going to see. Our minds are conditioned and wired to think that whatever we want to see is what we are going to! I highly recommend sitting at home and watching Netflix or having a chill day now and then. I also promise you that you have done fun things in your life, and not everyone has the same definition of fun. So, everyone can do their own thing. Someone on social media having fun does not negate your fun that you might have had last night.
I promise you are enough. Stay strong and smart on social media.