Ever looked at someone’s social media and thought to yourself, “Wow. I wish I had that life.”? Well, you are not alone.
In this digital era, many people (not just teens and young adults) pass their time scrolling through social media, looking at feeds of their favourite singers, actors and even friends and acquaintances. Social media has changed how we connect with others. We are able to get updates and information much quicker. But like any technology, social media also has its own dark side.
While using social media platforms, at some point, we start comparing our lives with the seemingly perfect and ideal lives of other people, resulting in great dissatisfaction. I have been through that: looking at stories of friends or influencers, and a wave of sadness washes over me, feeling that my life lacks that element of ‘perfection’. And it is not just the awesome, aesthetic, gram-worthy places and lives people live; social media also makes us compare our bodies with the air-brushed, filtered photos of models and online influencers.
Instead of making it easier to connect with others and helping us build better relations, I have found that social media instead makes us more envious of other people, pulling us into the abyss of comparison and destroying our mental health. To limit FOMO and negate sadness, it is important to understand how social media affects us.
Firstly, you need to note if you have the symptoms of social media sadness. These include:
- An overall drop in the mood while using social media.
- Feeling empty or lost after reading a friend’s happy tweet or looking at their upbeat story/ post.
- Compelled to scroll through their feed, or as we say it, ‘stalk’ their account.
- Feeling a sense of self-loathing and despair after using social media platforms.
If you have faced any of the above situations, there is a high chance that you are negatively affected by social media. No need to feel bad about it, though; many of us have been through the same sensations because we humans are inherently competitive beings. We love flaunting. This results in a society where everyone wants to show how perfect their lives are. Unfortunately, many of us tend to forget this fact while scrolling through social media, and this is where problems start.
So, what is the solution to this? Well, I found the below tips helpful in combating social media sadness.
Remove boastful people from your following
Note which profiles are many you feel sad and envious, and unfollow them. Even if they are friends, boastful people will do more harm than good, and you can always keep in touch with friends over messaging apps.
Limit your social media time
Don’t spend every waking minute of your day on social media. Indulge in other activities that will make you feel good, like playing with your pet, going for a walk, reading a book or watching a movie. Limit your time, and stick to it.
Don’t be afraid to share your own good news
The point of social media is to connect, so don’t be afraid to share your own life happenings on social media. There is nothing wrong with sharing your achievements and highlights on your profile; just make sure you do it with the right people.
Using social media to connect, not compare
Lastly, remember that social media is for connecting and having positive interactions, not for comparing your life with people you don’t even know. Keep your focus where it belongs. Take a genuine interest in people’s lives and opinions rather than making everything a competition.
You don’t have to quit using your social media platforms completely. They are great tools for staying in touch, connecting with clients and promoting your business. Rather just watch what you follow and consume, look at everything from a balanced perspective and be willing to take a breather when necessary.