22 Oct The Impact of Social Media on our Wellbeing
Social Media was designed to be just that – an opportunity for us to find new ways to become social. Since the technology was developed, and continues to be advanced – what have we learned?
The various platforms offered on Social Media are an incredible way to stay connected. The world is now a ‘smaller’ place, and what used to keep us far away from one another – physical distance – is now a non-issue. We are able to maintain relationships that otherwise would’ve faded away by lack of physical contact.
What we didn’t consider – is that like any other ‘miracle’ solution – there would be room for abuse and harm.
This connection app technology has become a way for us to hide. We create lives and pictures that don’t exist – feeding into low self-esteem and discontent. Often we scroll mindlessly through social media – missing out on opportunities to be present in our lives. We avoid doing actual work on ourselves by living in a fantasy world. We cling onto the hope that somehow our real life will eventually match the one we portray.
Our anxiety and unhappiness increases and is only momentarily relived by receiving some attention from a stranger in our pretend world with a like or a comment.
So what now?
Should we rid ourselves completely of the whole thing? Well no. In fact the opposite. We have an opportunity to learn how to become more real, more connected and more present. By practising boundaries with social media and using it for more beneficial purposes like joining healthy communities and asking for help when necessary.
We are not alone, and social media is absolute proof of that. There are self-help groups, group coaching opportunities, exercise clubs and a million more options available at our fingertips. The trick is to stop living through social media, but rather using it to enhance what we are doing in our real lives. We have been doing it back to front.
If scrolling through Facebook isn’t making you feel happy – try something different. Go outside. Make a call. Exercise. Connect. This won’t take away your anxiety or depression totally – but you will be surprised at the difference it makes.