Over the years, social media has transformed to a huge part of our generations’ daily lives. We find ourselves spending a portion of our day scrolling through social media as tool to stay in touch with others and keep track of what our peers are up to, as well as a way for us to broadcast our lives to others and communicate through our phones. Whether we notice it or not, social media consumes a huge part of our life.
What we don’t fully understand is the impact that social media can have on our daily health and mood. Social media unknowingly has become a big component of our moods and we don’t realize how consuming and addictive it can be. Social media is a way for us to express what we are doing in our lives and it also gives us the ability to create an illusion of ourselves, which can become addictive. It becomes addicting in the sense that you feel like you have to be posting constantly what you are doing and the people that you are with. It becomes an issue when you start living through social media, instead of living your life.
It’s easy to make this behavior a habit because it is just how our generation communicates. We love to post our memories in any shape that we can, and we love to show off the best aspects of our lives. People can tend to have a hard time with social media when they compare their lives. You start thinking that you aren’t doing enough with your life, or you aren’t being as adventurous as you should be. You suddenly feel bad about spending a night in when you see your friends all out together and it being posted all over Snapchat. Social media creates the illusion that we need to constantly be doing something in order to have a fun life. It’s easy to compare friends, money, popularity, or social statuses through social media and it becomes a habit that we may or may not realize.
What is important to remember is that people choose what they want to be posted through social media, which means they are posting their best photos, their best memories, and everything that they want to show off to the world. It is not necessarily an accurate reflection of their daily life. If you find yourself comparing your life to social media, it can be a good idea to try to do a social media cleanse. Taking a few days off of social media can make a huge impact on your overall mood. You won’t be concerned with what everyone else is doing with their life, you will just be focusing solely on yours. When you are able to put down your phone for awhile and distance yourself from social media, you find yourself enjoying your memories more. You are able to take in the time that you are spending with your friends and family.
Don’t get me wrong that social media is a great thing. It’s fun to use and a great way to pass the time. It’s just good to stay cautious that it is not the way to compare your life among others. People use social media for different things, and many people tend to use it as a self-esteem booster. People make it a habit of obsessing over the amount of likes they receive on instagram, and they feel as if the photo is not good enough to society’s standards if it does not receive a certain amount. A “Like” on instagram becomes a sense of acceptance and approval over what you are posting and people obsess over the thought of others approving of them and their life.
If you find yourself spending a little bit too much time on social media, try to remember that it’s more important to live your life than to broadcast it. It’s more important to make many than to share memories. Use social media because it’s fun, not because you want to make your life seem like a false interpretation of what it is.