We live in a world that thrives off being the best; having the highest paying job, the fanciest cars, or the biggest homes, not to mention looking physically flawless. For many of us looking in, as we watch (or scroll) through the story these individuals create online, we tend to start comparing our whole being to these people. How do they make everything they do look so effortless?
Creating the Illusion of Perfection
It’s been a problem for decades. At one time it was a flip through a magazine, but now it is literally in the palm of our hands. Some social media influencers are there in an attempt to inspire us, but unfortunately, most of the time they just leave us feeling worse about ourselves. How is she so skinny? Why doesn’t this product make my skin look like theirs? Their house is perfect! Even people in your circle tend to post pictures of how wonderful their life is, even during a pandemic. Their house may be cleaner, or they may post stories about how wonderful their time together with family has been. Meanwhile, you’re feeling like there’s a constant rain cloud hovering over everything you do.
For those struggling with things such as depression, poor body image, or a lack of self-confidence, scrolling endlessly through pages of flawless lifestyles and beautiful people becomes too much. Too much time spent on social media can be downright unhealthy for our mental health. According to a recent study from the American Psychiatric Association, one-third of adults who use social media stated that it was harmful to their mental health and only five percent of users said that it was positive for their mental health.
How to Manage Social Media
You’re not alone, though, and you know what else? All those pages of people and lifestyles are not perfect, but deep down, you already knew that. Here are several tips to help you keep scrolling and to love yourself and appreciate everything that you are achieving every single day.
Limit your time spent on social media
It’s hard not to scroll endlessly on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or any other platform. You can blink, and suddenly it’s been hours since you went on to “check on your feed”. Reality check—social media can interrupt in-person communications. Have you ever been so deep into your feed, and maybe a friend, parent, or spouse has to yell your name just because you’re completely zoned in your phone? By being buried in your phone, you’re missing out on so many in-person experiences. Lift your head because there’s a beautiful world in front of you. Try scheduling certain times each day when you’re on social media. Make small adjustments, such as not checking your phone during meals or when you’re hanging out with friends and family. Another great idea is to not keep your phone near your bed to avoid the temptation of scrolling on it just before you fall asleep.
Schedule regular time outs
Several studies have shown that when a person takes even a week off of social media, they have decreased stress levels resulting in higher life satisfaction. Quitting cold turkey is not necessary. Even users who cut it down to 10 minutes a day showed positive effects on their mental well-being. You may also find that a few short spurts on your favorite platforms each day can help you feel better rather than spending hours exhaustively scrolling through a site’s feed. Finding the right method that works for you may take some trial and error, and that’s okay, just make sure to give yourself some breaks from social media as often as possible.
Create your own space
Research has shown that individuals who exclusively browse other people’s posts are more likely to feel worse about themselves than those who post their material and who actively engage with others online. Social media platforms such as Instagram’s newest feature REEL videos and Tik Tok, allow users to create quick videos using music and pictures or videos while having some good old-fashioned silly fun. Got a favorite place you love to hike? Make a video showcasing its beauty. Great dancer? Join in on all the fun Tik Tok dances, even throw some bloopers in. The main idea is to have fun with it all and to use the space to create something that brings you joy.
It’s okay to unfollow them
Next time you get a chance take a glance at your online friend’s list. Is this a group that leaves you feeling happy, inspired, and motivated? Or are you constantly triggered with envy, comparing yourself to every one of their posts? Sometimes we follow certain accounts because at first, we do love their feed. Over time, however, we may become bored, upset, or unconfident. Unfollow these accounts. Not ready to unfollow quite yet? Mute their posts.
In the end, the thing that matters most is you and how you feel throughout your day, in real life. Do your best to remember that there are a gazillion filters that people use and that chances are, it took them hundreds of takes to get that perfect shot or video that is full of flawless transitions. Let go of the comparisons and be patient with yourself.
Scrolling through photos and videos on social media, or reading Facebook and Twitter updates can be physically and mentally draining. It’s hard not to compare yourself to the millions of people who post about their seemingly perfect life. Someone is always having more fun or achieving greater success. The constant social media rabbit hole that we can spiral into leaves many people feeling awful about themselves. Studies continue to show how social media can have damaging effects on a person’s mental well-being. There are ways to help you use social media while also taking care of yourself, both mentally and physically. Social media should not make you feel bad about yourself in any way. If you or someone you know is struggling with stress or any other mental illness such as depression or anxiety, call us. Let Achieve Concierge be there to assist you. Call us today at (858) 221-0344.