Too much social media exposure can have a detrimental effect on how we see ourselves.
This is especially true for teenagers, who are still figuring out their identities and are often concerned about how they stack up to their peers.
When we spend too much time on social media, we can end up comparing the highlights that everyone else is sharing to the struggles we’re facing behind the scenes. And we may wonder why everyone else seems to be having so much fun while we judge ourselves for not measuring up.
Social media can seriously warp our self-perception.
We can place far too much importance on likes, comments, and follower counts. Spending hours scrolling each day can even contribute to mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.
But there are also benefits to using social media, like keeping in touch with friends and loved ones and sharing our favorite photos.
Here’s how to find a balance between social media use and preserving your sense of self.
Set Time Limits
Do you sometimes wonder if you’ve been spending a little too much time on social media lately? You can track how much time you spend on your smartphones if you’re concerned that you’re glued to your screens.
When you’ve passed your self-imposed limit, it’s time to put the phone away and do something else. Go outside, grab a good book, write in a journal, or call a friend to hang out instead.
Delete the Apps
Do you find yourself clicking on Twitter or Instagram every time you pull out your phone? You might benefit from simply deleting the apps.
You can still maintain an account, but perhaps you’ll spend less time on social media if you can only access those platforms from your computer. This is especially helpful if you’re always tempted to scroll through social media first thing in the morning or right before bed.
When you follow hundreds of accounts on social media, you might end up seeing content or images that you wouldn’tintentionally seek out. Some accounts can set very unrealistic standards for your appearance, your lifestyle, or your relationships. And so, you may realize that some of the accounts you initially followed and liked, aren’t exactly doing any favors for your self-esteem now.
If that’s the case, feel free to hit that unfollow button! Unfollowing, blocking or deleting social media accounts that make you feel bad or have nothing to offer you in terms of value is an act of self-care.
It can be healthy to take a “digital detox” every once in a while. You can actually delete accounts on most social media platforms for a short period of time and then reactivate them when you’re ready to come back.
If you know that social media is taking a toll on your self-esteem, deleting your accounts is always an option. You don’t need to be plugged in 24/7. It’s fine to admit that you want to step away from social media. You can always come back if you change your mind.
Keep a Healthy Perspective
It’s possible to use social media without negatively comparing yourself to others.
However, it helps to keep a healthy perspective when you scroll. One of the things you can remind yourself of is that many of the photos you see on social media are edited and manipulated and that peoples’ lives aren’t really that perfect offline.
You don’t need to measure your self-worth against images that have been doctored and altered to get as many likes as
possible. When you remember that so much of this content is just an effort to get as many clicks as possible, it’s easier to have a stress-free social media experience.
Struggling with self-esteem and unsure of how to boost your confidence? Contact me today to see if therapy might be right for you.