Limiting our use of social media can actually give us a mood boost while spending too much time scrolling just might send us spiraling downward. If you’re wondering if you need a break from those accounts, here are some warning signs that Instagram, Facebook and the like are damaging your self-esteem.
Using a filter is a must for every single selfie. Taking the perfect selfie is an art form. However, nobody’s face is flawless and imperfections are beautiful. While using filters can provide artistic touches to your Instagram photos or maybe even mask a pesky pimple, you also should be able to post a candid photo without the touch-ups. If you’ve hit the point where you’re obsessing about every flaw, wrinkle, red spot or bump, you might need to step away.
You can’t live in the moment without sharing the moment. Life is about living, and this means that you don’t have to post a photo or tweet at every single event. If you can’t enjoy the moment without capturing it for the world, you’re missing the big picture and quite likely the memories. Updates shouldn’t be used to validate the worthiness of life.
Likes and comments can make or break your day. Receiving a like, a nice comment, or a follow feels good. But if you become despondent when that feedback doesn’t happen, you could be logging on for all the wrong reasons. Your self-worth should not be measured in likes and follows.
Your friends’ posts and pictures always lead you to compare your life to theirs. We all get caught up in the fairytale world that is social media, and it’s easy to see the lives of others as better than or more ideal than our own. Still, it’s important to remember that social media lets us show our friends what we want them to see. Reading updates shouldn’t always create feelings of jealousy, resentment, or competitiveness. Social media isn’t a life competition, it’s a fun diversion.
You can’t put the phone down for fear of missing out. That phone goes everywhere with you—the dinner table, the bathroom… you can’t put it down. You have no tech boundaries because you don’t want to miss an update. Nomophobia is real and it’s a problem. Your happiness isn’t tied to that cell tower and your self-worth should NOT depend on receiving the next update.
You’re guilty of oversharing for approval and feedback. Some pieces of your life aren’t meant for public consumption. If you share everything, then you’re sharing too much. Oversharing could have many negative consequences, and a like, share, or retweet isn’t worth the possibility of losing a job, jeopardizing a friendship, or putting your personal information at risk. Set boundaries and don’t stray from them! Or take a tech break.
You’ve stopped nurturing your real-life friendships. If you’re so focused on updating and posting photos that you’re ignoring your real-life friends, then you may be relying too much on the virtual world of friendship to boost you up. Spending time with friends is a mood booster, and sacrificing quality time with your nearest and dearest in favor of social media might be a sign that your self-esteem is much too dependent on social platforms
Logging onto your accounts induces anxiety, not curiosity or excitement. Yes, we’ve all received hateful comments on social media and it’s awful, but most of us delete the negativity and move on. If you can’t stop feeling waves of anxiety over what you might read or see, and if the negativity stays with you, you need to step away. Social media should not make you feel awful.
You’ve turned into a troll. Are you bringing the negative to Instagram? Are you trolling other users’ photos to make you feel better? Stop. It’s not OK. Trolling is horrible, and if you’ve become that person, then you need to figure out why… and log off!
You can’t stop comparing your body to the women’s you see online. Photos can be tweaked and filtered, and what you see online isn’t always the true picture. There also isn’t just one definition of beauty. How we define beauty is subjective and all bodies are beautiful. Social media shouldn’t lead you to rip apart every feature on your body. If those photos are sending you down a path of personal body-shaming, log off for your own happiness and well-being!
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