Social Media Is Affecting My Mental Health

In today’s society with all of this social media and quick access to one another, you would want to assume that people would be anything but lonely. However, it seems as if it has had the opposite reaction causing people to instead, feel even lonelier & unsatisfied.

Loneliness is a topic that I feel people don’t openly discuss. I know for me personally, I used to never tell people if I felt lonely. I couldn’t even use that word because I associated it with embarrassment. It was something I kept to myself, which ironically made me feel more alone.

To this day I find myself constantly living my life through and especially, for social media. I would go to certain events and do different things I normally wouldn’t do for more views, likes, favorites, and retweets. I would be so occupied with recording, snapping, and taking pictures of everything that I didn’t even get the chance to experience what I was doing. I was too busy making sure I would have the best content to show people that I was living this remarkable life. The sad reality of it was, nobody really cared about the things I was posting and my life actually wasn’t as it seemed on social media.

I also noticed myself feeling a little more down every time I opened up my apps. I saw all of the nice material items that people owned, their newest accomplishments, their incredible physique. I had more than enough to be grateful for but I found myself perpetually wanting more instead of being appreciative for what I currently had.

Why wouldn’t you feel inadequate when you can easily scroll through peoples’ perfect lives that they display on their page and start to compare your mundane life to the exciting lives others were leading? I’m guilty of this. I’ve had to unfollow certain people because following their page was toxic for me.

Having access to social media has also played a significant role in my issues with trust when it comes to relationships. Numerous times I’ve received messages from guys who, when scrolling through their Instagram page, seem like they have this perfect relationship. It breaks my heart and truly scares me how common this actually is. Just from my experience alone, I’m terrified with the accessibility of temptation whenever you simply open up an app.

This is why I would prefer if the guy I was seeing wasn’t so consumed with social media. I can’t help but wonder, if a brand new girl could be so easily reachable through Instagram, does that mean he’s secretly messaging other girls on his account? Is he posting his accomplishments to impress these other girls? Are these girls messaging him? My mind at times will become restless with these intrusive and overall consuming thoughts.

Another significant reason I find social media negatively affecting my mental health is that I find myself obsessively checking who looked at my stories just to make sure certain people are watching what I’m doing. Specifically, I find myself hoping that the people from my past who didn’t treat me well are viewing my story and seeing how much better I am doing now (pathetic, I know).

The featured image of this post was an art piece I saw at The Broad Museum that really struck a chord with me. “If you’re so successful, why do you feel like a fake?” I like to display this ‘successful’ life that I’m living on my social media but in actuality, the life I live online feels fake.

It truly is all a façade. I’m not always happy. My life isn’t perfect. Paradoxically, I often struggle mentally and emotionally. I just don’t post my downfalls online.

But why? Why do I want to only post my ‘successful’ life to muster up envy and jealousy in others? I guess I’m seeking this validation & approval from my peers who once made me feel insecure & unimportant.

I’m beginning to recognize that I’ve got to forgive and let go. What I was doing wasn’t right. In essence, I was trying to make others feel bad. But in that process, I happened to be damaging my own mental health by being so absorbed with social media & what others thought of me.

There’s something to be said about living a life fully immersed in the moment instead of on your phone. It’s difficult especially when social media played such a significant role in your life. But by slowly decreasing the time I mindlessly waste through social media, I’m aspiring to eventually possess that healthy state of mind. Slowly, but surely.. : )

Cindy

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