Using Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat is exciting and fun. However, these and similar apps can sometimes provoke feelings of loneliness, resentment or inadequacy. In addition, our online time may distract us from other things we'd like to. or should do.
In the age of social media and filtered lives, we seem to forget how to connect with ourselves and with other people around us. With so much information, photos, and advertisements spinning around our social media and the internet in general, it is so easy to lose focus on ourselves. Social media puts enormous pressure to change who we are and the ways we present ourselves to others.
We feel constantly pressured to filter almost every aspect of our lives and show nothing but the faultlessness to others. While social media allows us to keep in touch more easily and to witness end endorse other people’s achievements, it may, at the same time, lead to profound isolation and loneliness.
The Link Between Social Media and Loneliness
Without thinking twice, we keenly share some of the most intimate moments of our lives with millions of digital friends, at the same time witnessing "perfect" moments our friends' post. However, most of us struggle when it comes to sharing our feelings with a close friend, a family member or even our psychotherapist.
Even though it's absolutely fine to enjoy the photos and products you set your eyes on online, it's just as important to remember to stay connected with yourself and to acknowledge that you are perfect just as you are.
Under constant pressure from social media to filter and adapt, many young people tend to sacrifice their beliefs, values, needs, and emotions, just to fit in. Unrealistic expectations, social pressures, fear of missing out (FOMO), and comparing ourselves to others make our experiences seemingly dull and isolating.
In an attempt to make our lives glossier and more exciting than they really are, we often forget how to be authentic. Furthermore, when we witness all those fabulous, polished lives other people present in social media, our own lives seem so imperfect, insignificant, and boring. As a result, we feel extremely unhappy, lonely and isolated.
How to Balance Social Media Use?
Stay authentic. Being true to yourself doesn't mean you have to be offline. It means that you are aware of how you present yourself in social media and whether you like it or not. It also means asking yourself how you feel about what you’re seeing on social media.
Reflect. Take a moment to mindfully reflect how you feel when you use social media. Ask yourself whether you enjoy using it to relax or connect with others. Also, consider if there are times when social media makes you feel upset or isolated and whether you want to use it less.
Practice mindfulness meditation. This can boost your awareness of why you are on social media and whether you need to take a break. It can help you create boundaries on when, why, and how much you are going to use social media.
Take a break. Try taking a break from your phone or other devices. For example, avoid using your phone right before you go to bed (turn it off at least 15 minutes before bedtime) or in the morning when you wake up.
To balance social media, you don’t have to cut it off. You just need to use it wisely – simply balance what you're doing so that it makes you feel comfortable.