One of the most helpful and the most damaging things which we currently have in our lives is social media and we all need to be aware of the dangers that it poses. This is something which the brilliant William Sherlund has been discussing recently and thanks to his input I have been far more aware of the damage which my time online has been doing. I have spoken to a number of friends about this too and it has become very clear that they also feel the same. Collectively we have taken the decision to step away from social media and here is why I think it is a good call.
Working Over Nothing
There is nothing wrong than having concerns around things that happen around the world but it is worth remembering that there is only so much which we can actually impact. For example if you are concerned about world poverty and hunger then you can volunteer or you can donate money to help. Spending time on social media however will open up information about all of the world’s problems and you find yourself very quickly feeling down and concerned about things which may be sad, yet things you have no control over.
Inability to be Present
Something which William touched on that certainly rang true with me was this inability to be present despite painting the picture that you are. The example which he gave was taking a photo of yourself with friends in a restaurant and then sharing it to your social media profile there and then. Whilst you are telling the tale of spending this wonderful time with your friends, in reality you are looking for people on the outside to validate you and your experience rather than actually spending time with your friends.
It is fair to say that in the main the face which we paint of ourselves on social media is absolutely nothing like our real lives. What this does then is create a world where everyone is doing the same and we find ourselves measuring up to them. Imagine that you could feel bad about the way you look, because of a fake image which someone else has put up, who is also unhappy about the way that they look. Social pressure is awful and it affects so many people in a negative way.
If not used correctly then social media is something which can significantly harm your mental health and it is important that we learn the importance of stepping away from it when things get too much. Studies have shown that our self confidence and self esteem are lowered after spending more than 1 hour per day on social media, this is a worrying statistic which we should all be concerned about.
Be present and be real, get off social media for a little while and you’ll feel great.