The main factor contributing to this social media-induced anxiety is sometimes called ‘compare-and-despair;’ that is, the filtered snapshots of a friend’s highlight reel can make your behind-the-scenes reality feel as though it pales in comparison. This can lead to feelings of self-consciousness, unworthiness, or the sense as though you don’t measure up.
One element of modern life that can trigger anxiety is social media. While platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn can be beneficial in keeping us connected and up to date with the news, mental health consultants agree that social media has also become an anxiety-provoking factor.
What’s worse is that social media is extremely addictive! One study found that it’s “more addictive” than cigarettes. After all, the only two professions that refer to clients as “users” are drug dealers and the tech industry.
To help you abstain from social media or at least cut back, try deleting the app from your phone. Too much? Try moving the app back a few pages on your home screen, or place it into a smaller box within your screen so that it’s harder to get to. This way, when you look at your phone, you’ll be a LITTLE bit less tempted to check your Newsfeed.
Many people find success from taking a “social media cleanse” and announcing to their friends that they’ll be staying off of a given platform for a given amount of time.
At the very least, just be aware that scrolling through other people’s lives can bring on these feelings of anxiety, so that next time you’re checking Instagram and feeling down about yourself, you know where those thoughts could be stemming from.
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