10 Signs Social Media Is Messing With Your Self-Esteem

You might think social media is harmless, but make sure it’s not damaging your self-worth and making you feel lousy. If any of the following 10 things are happening to you, then you’re being negatively affected by it and you need to take a step back.

  1. You feel down when you log out. After scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed or checking in with what’s happening on Twitter, you log out and feel kinda depressed for reasons you can’t quite put your finger on. While you might think it has nothing to do with social media, in all likelihood, it does.
  2. You feel crappy about not getting likes. When you post a beach selfie or write some witty as an update to your friends or followers and no one comments or likes it, you feel totally bummed. Watch out — you might be becoming a little too dependent on what others think of you. You’re not a more valuable person if you get more likes and your worth doesn’t suddenly drop on the days when you get fewer ones.
  3. You feel like you have to post regularly. Social media should be lighthearted and fun. If you feel like you have to post daily or else you’re falling behind and have FOMO that’s ruling your life, you’re giving social media way too much priority status in your life.
  4. You freak out when you can’t log on. If you freak out when you don’t have data or network coverage in order to check in with your online friends, this not only signals that you’re addicted to social media, but it could also mean that without it you don’t feel worthy or your life’s not interesting enough. Yikes.
  5. You check up on strangers. You heard about a mutual friend’s new boyfriend and decided to check him out on social media to see if he’s hot. Or, you viewed the profiles of your boyfriend’s exes. This type of stalking can make you feel lousy because you know it’s based on your own insecurities. If you continue engaging in these destructive behaviors, you’re just going to feel worse.
  6. You feel like you should be more. After seeing how thin/pretty/fabulous your connections are on social media, you feel left out. Worse, you feel like you’re not doing enough with your life. Ugh. It’s important to remember that everything you see on social media should be taken with a pinch of salt. A lot on social media isn’t even real, so you’re comparing yourself to standards that don’t exist.
  7. You become obsessed about your relationship. Sharing your relationship status on social media is a way to make things with your partner feel even more official. But there’s no doubt that social media can make you feel sad. When you share that status with your friends and followers, you might worry that something’s going to happen to cause you to become single again and you’ll feel shame at the world knowing. Again, stop caring so much about what others think. You’re the only one living your life and you’re the only one whose opinion about your life matters.
  8. You stalk your partner. Social media can give you juice about guys, but it also makes it really easy to stalk people. Not just those random people you don’t even know in real life—I’m talking about your partner! If you’re using social media to stay in the loop about what your partner’s doing and checking up on who’s posting on his FB wall, then you’re bound to feel stressed out and insecure. It’s really easy for things online to be taken out of context.
  9. Filters are your BFFs. If you can’t post a selfie without first putting it through a ton of filters so that you look your best, this could be because you want to project a perfect appearance to the world. Who are you without those filters? If you can’t live without them, then maybe you’re afraid to show the world who you really are because you don’t rate yourself highly enough.
  10. You feel better when you’re logged out. Although you might feel down after checking out connections on social media, if you feel better when you’re offline then that’s saying something huge about how social media affects you. If it feels like the toxic partner who brings you down, and you feel better when you’re away from it, then you know what to do. Log out for good!
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.