6 Signs Social Media Is Negatively Affecting Your Self-Esteem
Social media should be all fun and games. Unfortunately, that's rarely the case.
While Instagram, Twitter and Facebook allow you to stay up-to-date with all the people in your life, having constant access to everyone else's world can have some frustrating side effects. Being constantly bombarded with pictures of seemingly perfect people living supposedly flawless lives can take a toll on your self-esteem over time.
If you've been feeling down and you don't know why, social media might be the problem. Keep scrolling for six signs social media is negatively affecting your self-esteem.
You Get Anxious Scrolling Through Your Feed
If you're worried social media might be affecting you in a negative way, you first have to pay attention to how you feel when you're using it. Social media can have profound impacts on your mood, especially if you feel like you're not measuring up to what other people are doing. Scrolling through your feed can cause a lot of anxiety, as it makes you feel like everyone in the world is prettier, more successful and happier than you are. If you find that scrolling through your online accounts makes you nervous and uneasy, you're probably experiencing a dip in self-esteem due to social media.
You Compare Yourself to People Online
Comparing yourself to other people is just part of human nature. Should you fight against it? Of course. But you also have to understand that it's a natural reaction for everyone. However, comparing yourself to people online can really affect your own self-confidence.
If you find that you're comparing yourself to other people and wishing you could live the life they have, you might need to reevaluate your relationship with social media. When you start to feel dissatisfied with your own world because it doesn't look like what you see online, your confidence in your own abilities will slowly start to fail. Comparing yourself to an online highlight reel is a surefire sign that social media is negatively impacting your self-esteem.
You're Plagued By Constant FOMO
In addition to showing the highlights of other people's lives, social media also gives you an in-depth look at all the things you're not a part of. Seeing stories and images of your friends hanging out without you, your crush connecting with someone else or even an acquaintance heading out on a lavish vacation can understandably make you feel small.
However, you can't be part of everyone's activities all the time. If you're experiencing a constant sense of FOMO, social media is probably having a negative affect on you. It's okay to be sad that you're missing out on certain activities, but you can't allow that to affect your own sense of self-assurance.
You're Overly Focused on Followers, Like Counts and Other Status Markers
Status markers are a natural part of social media. Follower ratios, the amount of likes you get on a photo, the number of comments you receive—it's all just part of the territory. However, if you're overly concerned about your social engagement, you might have a problem. At the end of the day, most of those online status markers are meaningless. You can't stop yourself from considering them, but you can allow them to take up too much space in your thoughts. If you find that your mood and attitude changes depending on how many likes you get on a photo, social media has much too strong of a grip on you. It indicates that you think your worth lies in your social media, which means your online presence basically determines your self-esteem.
You Spend a Lot of Time Curating Your Feed
Much like the status markers mentioned above, building a social media feed is just part of having an account. But it's all about the time you put into it. Curating the perfect feed shouldn't take up your whole life, nor should you occupy all your attention. Social media is fun, but it's not reality. If you spend hours upon hours choosing the perfect picture, editing your photos to perfection or coming up with a witty caption, your self-confidence is likely tied up in your social media. You're seeking outside validation, without first understanding that you have to be comfortable in your own skin. It's okay to build the "perfect" feed—it's not okay to commit more time and energy to your online presence than you do to your IRL self.
You're Jealous of Others' Online Success
Jealousy is the little green monster that almost always indicates something bad. While it's easy to blame jealousy on outside factors, it usually starts within you. If you find that you scroll through your feed and feel constant envy about the success of others, you can conclude that social media is negatively affecting your self-esteem. Jealousy results from a place of insecurity. You don't want others to be successful because it makes you feel like you aren't. Your confidence is tied up in what you see online, instead of originating within yourself. You can't expect others to fail in order to make you feel like you succeed. If you find yourself jealous of other people's online life, you may need to take a step away from social media and focus on your own self-confidence.
Maybe you don't have a problem with the internet, but your friend might. Click HERE for how to deal with a friend who's too consumed with social media.