Social media has created a culture of voyeurism where we spend hours of our time examining the online lives of other people, wondering about their real lives on the other side of the screen. In the meantime, you are spending your real life on the other side of the screen, looking at the screen.
- When you spend more time looking at other people’s profiles, you feel badly about yourself: You find yourself feeling worse about your life on the other side of your screen as you compare yourself to the people on your screen. A picture and a caption, likes, double taps, and other digital accolades cannot tell the full story of what is happening for that person in real life. You can never know at what cost that picture comes. Numerous social media “stars” have come forward about their struggles with body image, mental illness, and the ways that their “fame” on social media has affected them negatively.
- You find yourself obsessing about checking your updates on social media: Social media and your activity on social media doesn’t define who you are. Obsessive and intrusive thoughts about social media activity is a sign that social media is wearing on your mental health. If you find yourself obsessing about social media you need to take a break to start focusing on other areas of your life not involved with an app on a screen. Social media is not the real world, but a digital representation.
- You find yourself obsessing about other people’s updates on social media: You might find yourself obsessing about other people’s updates on social media, which is an indication that you are obsessing about the way other people are experiencing their social media life. Some business of social media relies on your obsessing about their updates. If you are just a regular user of social media and you find yourself jumping to check on it, it’s a sign that the reward and pleasure system in the brain has started developing an unhealthy association with social media.
If you are struggling with an untreated mental health problem, you might be turning to social media to cope with difficult feelings. Avalon By The Sea offers primary mental health care through residential treatment. Our treatment programs are an opportunity to reconnect to what matters and learn to live healthily with our mental illness. For a confidential assessment and more information, call us today: 888-337-2602