We’ve all been there where we catch our self scrolling through Facebook. We think “oh she got it so good, if my life was like hers I’d be set!” or obsessing over the amount of likes on a picture we’ve posted. This can seriously affect our self-worth
We’re scrolling through Facebook looking for some excitement, some dirt on somebody else or judging pictures that we see of other people we barely know. Comparing what we see on social media to our own life. The biggest problem is what we see on social media is typically only the fabulous parts of somebodies life!
Social media is so big right now, it is almost impossible to avoid. In some cases social media is fabulous, but it has to be used the right way. There are many issues that can arise from social media that can affect your life negatively.
Problem # 1: Allowing others to define your self-worth
Humans love approval- right from when we were born we thrive and learn based on approval from our parents and other people in our lives. Once we begin school we begin to thrive on approval of our peers. Once social media becomes a part of our life this level of approval from others begins at a whole new level.
The main point of posting to social media is typically looking for likes and comments from people we don’t know personally. This focus allows us to feel defeated if people do not enjoy what we post.
If you are posting to social media change your focus of why you want to post so that you are posting things that make you happy and you want to share it in hopes it will make others happy as well, instead of relying on their approval to make you happy.
Problem # 2: It becomes an addiction
An unhealthy habit that is not beneficial to your life. We all associate the word addiction with substance abuse, either alcohol or drugs. But addiction can thrive off of anything that creates “pleasure” signals in our brain. It could be exercise, food, or even technology/social media. We get a rush from the approval we feel when somebody likes our photo.
Having an addiction affects self-worth by minimizing control of your actions, which can feel defeating. Self-control and self-discipline are two very important characteristics to possess in order to maximize self-worth. Working on self-control & self-discipline can help you break the habit & the addiction to social media.
Problem # 3: Unrealistic expectations
Social media can create an unrealistic expectation of how life is or should be.
It is important to remember what we see on social media are the best parts of somebodies lives. Life is not picture perfect.
Of course when we get the choice, we want to put forward the best parts of our lives, we don’t want to share the days that we spend watching tv all day and eating junk, or when you just feel down. You want to share with others what’s good in your life.
This is fair, but it does not give off the full picture.
Scrolling through Instagram you will see perfect meals, perfect bodies, perfectly dressed and well behaved kids, what you typically do not see is the mess in the kitchen, how messy the kids are after every meal or the pile of clothes in the laundry room.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a sucker for nice pictures on Instagram, I tend to find them motivating, but I also have to remind myself and realize they are not a full depiction of reality.
“We must focus on how to cope with the chaos of life, not how to eliminate it”
-Sarah from Mind, Mint, Move
You can try and try but if you are trying to reach a picture perfect life, you’re never going to get there, life is messy behind the scenes, it is chaotic at times. We must focus on how to cope with the chaos of life, not how to eliminate it.
Realizing that the parts of everybody else’s lives we see on social media are typically the happiest, prettiest parts of life.
No matter how great someone’s life looks online, everyone get sad, frustrated, overwhelmed, disappointed, etc. What we see are posts, pictures, appearances, we do not see the emotions or thoughts behind the posts.
Everyone has insecurities, weaknesses, strengths, you just never know what other people are dealing with, you usually only know your own struggles, along with other peoples highlights. This creates a skewed vision of our own life. Thinking you are the only one who has issues.
What to do about it?
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Evaluate & limit or eliminate social media use.
I find myself scrolling through Facebook looking for something exciting. I usually end up bored and feeling bad because of the time I’ve wasted.
As previously mentioned social media can become addictive. As with any other habit you have to break the cycle you can check out The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg to help you with this. The Power of habit is a fabulous book on how habits are created and how you can change them.
Some simple tips to limit social media use are:
- Leave phone at home if you go on vacation
- Leave phone at home is you go out to supper with friends or family
- Or simply assign a day of the week where you put your phone out of reach. Only check it once to see if there is anything urgent that must be dealt with
So if you are working on self-worth I would say social media is an important thing to consider & limit or even eliminate. If you do continue using social media remember to post things that make you happy and you want to share that happiness with others, ensure it does not become an addiction and you can go without it if needed, & keep in mind the reality behind these beautiful, seemingly perfect posts!
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