Social media has become a large part of people's lives in our modern era. So much so, that it's nearly impossible to have any mystery surrounding you or those you know because everything is always out there. Millennials and teenagers, especially, likely spend far more time on social media than older people.
This is both a blessing and a curse. While it's a positive thing that networking is that much easier because of this, and pretty much any information we need is at our fingertips, being on social media itself can affect any of us negatively. Whether it's because you feel you're the only one not succeeding in your group of friends because of what they post, or you can't help but compare yourself to the Instagram models, it's bound to wear on you.
But there are significant signs to look out for if it seems to be truly affecting your self-esteem. It's important to recognize them before it overtakes your life.
10 Your Mood Is Negatively Altered After Being On Social Media
It’s easy to see why perusing social media for any length of time can affect your mood, and furthermore, your self-esteem. With young girls and women especially, there are so many Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts that feature beautiful influencers who seem to not only have a perfect life but the perfect face or body... or all of the above.
Not to mention, those who may suffer from loneliness or depression tend to spend more time on social media than others, which means seeing other people leading fabulous lives only adds to the sadness and envy they feel when scrolling their feeds.
9 You Compare Your Life To Everyone Else’s
When every person you are following on Insta or are friends with on Facebook seems to be living the dream on their latest vacay while you’re stuck at work, just getting through each day, you may find yourself developing an obsession. That obsession is comparing yourself and your life to everyone else’s.
The fact of the matter is, most people only post the more glamorous parts of their life and hide the negative aspects to appear like they have everything together. So it’s not really healthy to try and compare your day-to-day activities to your high school classmate’s latest trip to Europe.
8 The Aspirations You Have Change On A Whim
We’ve all been there. You have all of your life’s goals and plans laid out before you, picturing where you want to be within the next year, or maybe even the next five years, and then you sign on.
Whatever your social media go-to is, the moment you log on, all of these aspirations of yours seem to go out the window. Suddenly, you’re wondering if that was the right path for you, or maybe you should try your hand at being a photographer, or a musician, or a model.
On top of it, you feel like you should have accomplished this goal ages ago as everyone else has. It becomes entirely overwhelming until you’d rather just give up instead of try.
7 You Struggle With In-Person Interactions
It may seem like a no-brainer that interacting more on social media rather than in-person with your friends or peers will inevitably affect those interactions you do have face-to-face, but it probably affects it even more than you think.
A lot of times, we can struggle with communication or have a feeling of being emotionally detached in our relationships if we are more comfortable on social media. This isn’t always the case, but if you are noticing this more and more in your interactions in real life, there may be some weight to it. And that realization will directly affect your self-esteem, to be sure.
6 You Only Feel Validated When Your Post Gets A Lot Of Attention
Obviously, it’s a pretty great feeling when you post something that you're proud of and have everyone love it. Whether it be a gorgeous selfie, a witty tweet, or a funny meme, when you post, you’re likely hoping for plenty of great reactions to it.
But the problem starts when your validation of yourself relies on those reactions and likes. And even worse, when you feel completely deflated when the post does not receive the praise you were hoping for. That negative feeling can last a long time, and all over a simple social media post. It’s just not worth it.
5 You Feel Guilty After Posting
Sometimes a mistake is made where we overshare. Honestly, we’ve all done it. But if you find yourself not only doing this often but then immediately feeling a sense of guilt or embarrassment overcome you afterward, this is a problem.
This means you might want to look at what you're posting and decide if you’re overreacting and have nothing to feel ashamed or guilty about. Or maybe you are, in fact, oversharing and need to scale things back a bit. There’s nothing wrong in admitting that to yourself and deciding to take things down a notch.
Maybe instead of posting that awful part of your day for the world to see, share something that makes you smile or a positive quote. It beats feeling anxious over your latest rant.
4 You Feel Happy When Seeing Others Are Not
This may not sound like you, but if it does, this definitely should be addressed. If you’re scrolling your feed and notice that your friend or acquaintance is going through a tough time in any way, shape, or form and this makes you feel better about your own life, that’s a problem.
In fact, it may be a really unhealthy choice for you to be on social media at all if you only feel better by comparing your misfortunes to other people’s that are far greater. This doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, but rather that you might need a break from being online for a bit. Comparing yourself in any way, even if it’s to prove your life isn’t as bad as you thought, is not a healthy habit.
3 Every Aspect Of Your Life Must Be Documented On Social Media
It’s true that our world revolves around technology now, including social media, so it stands to reason that whatever is happening in our daily lives feels like it should be shared for the masses. But that’s not always the case.
You can go out and enjoy a great meal without putting it on the ‘gram. Or if you want to, don’t lament over the terrible lighting in the picture. And it may seem almost insane to go to an event and not have the entire day or night documented on every social media platform, but it can be done. And it actually may make you enjoy the outing that much more.
That’s not to say you can’t take a few pics to share later if you really want to. Just make sure you live in the moment whenever possible.
2 The Only Version You Post Of Yourself Is Highly-Edited
Now, obviously, we all love a good filter. Whether it be on Snapchat or Instagram or on our favorite photo editing app. We’re all bound to have a favorite. And yes, it’s extremely fun to play around with our pictures and post our best one to our feed.
But if you can only post a photo of yourself that was highly-edited and do this often, it may be a sign that you are seeking validation and don’t feel completely comfortable in your own skin.
The key is to find balance and post the cute selfie but maybe without so many edits. It’s important to not have a skewed version of what we think we look like and to feel perfectly happy and comfortable just being who we are.
1 Most Of Your Time Is Spent Online
Everyone should always be actively involved and participating in their own lives. So if you find yourself gravitating more towards signing on to your social media handles than actually living in the real world, there may be a greater issue at hand.
Mostly because that much social media time will affect anyone’s mental health, but especially those who are experiencing feelings of depression. It takes a toll on your self-esteem and will easily put self-doubt into your mind about nearly everything.
Find ways to sign off and do something that doesn’t require Wi-Fi. It’s beyond important to have a different part of your life that has nothing to do with the latest on your Insta feed and the like. You’ll feel so much better in the end, too.