Picture this: You’re on your couch after a long day of work or school scrolling through social media when you come across a picture of one of your friends on vacation at the beach. You keep scrolling and see another friend just bought a house. You keep on scrolling and see an acquaintance was gifted an adorable new puppy.
Suddenly, you feel discontent and discouraged. The little green monsters of jealousy and FOMO (fear of missing out) are starting to whisper in your ear. “Your life is so boring.” “You’ll never have enough money to be happy.” “You haven’t taken a vacation in forever.” “You’ll never be as pretty as she is.” “What if you never get a boyfriend/ girlfriend?”
It’s so easy to fall into a social media spiral. We’ve all heard the saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” This is especially true for social media. There will always be someone on social media that appears more successful, prettier, richer, happier, or confident. But this isn’t the reality.
My boyfriend once said to me, “People focus on posting their highlights. They will rarely ever post their low points.” The truth is, everyone has their highs and their lows. Just because lows are masked by filtered and touched up highlights doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
If you feel down or discouraged while scrolling through social media, try these five tips:
1. Remember that comparison is the thief of joy.
When you start comparing your life to someone else’s, contentment can easily become overshadowed by envy. Take joy in the things you do have and experience because no matter what it may look like, no one’s life is perfect.
2. Take a break.
If social media starts having a negative impact on your mental health, try a social media cleanse! Delete all social media apps off your phone for a period of time and use the time you would usually spend scrolling to invest in other hobbies. And remember, it’s okay to unfollow accounts that don’t bring you peace.
3. Write a thankful list.
Oftentimes when I start feeling jealous or discouraged because of what I see on social media, I make a mental list of everything good in my life. This often shifts my perspective back to reality.
4. Post for yourself, not for the approval of others.
You have nothing to prove. Post because you enjoy it and you want to share your special moments with family and friends not because you want to compare your life with someone else’s.
5. Get support.
If social media keeps overwhelming and negatively affecting your mental health, seek help and support. We have various mental health support services at your disposal that you can access on our website.
Social media is a great way to stay in touch with family and friends, especially those that may live far away. It is also an effective business tool and opens numerous channels of communication. But when social media starts interfering with your joy, then it’s time to reevaluate and refresh. Don’t forget, you are not alone, you matter and
nobody’s perfect (cue Hannah Montana song😉 ).