Social Media has taken over our lives, literally the addiction du jour. While this connectedness has benefits, an all-consuming habit can take its toll on health. The average person, based on data from more than 4.8 million users of Moment, is now spending four hours a day on their phone. “Call it an addiction; call it something else. The point is, that’s a quarter of your waking life.”
The following shed light on how this mania can affect our psyche and encourages us to perform a personal reality check.
We all have insecurities. We all stalk social media. While stalking, we subconsciously compare ourselves to those who post flawless lives on Instagram or Facebook. Comparing our lives to others is human nature and unfortunately perpetuates self-doubt. A University of Copenhagen study found that people who abstained from social media report higher satisfaction with their lives.
A phenomenon labeled, “Facebook Envy,” suggests that when we derive a sense of worth based on how our lives compare to others, we place our happiness in a variable completely beyond our control.
As the ability to bond with other humans is important to our wellbeing, social media can provide a false-sense of an authentic connection. Digital acquaintances quench a desire, but only real-life experiences provide the sense of belonging that breeds emotional health. Human connection is an energy exchange between people who are paying attention to one another. It has the power to deepen the moment, inspire change and build trust.
Humans are designed for physical touch, exchange of breath, non-verbal energy interactions, and verbal communication. Only physical presence authentically realizes healthy feelings of community and belonging. Compare the connection of holding a newborn, versus seeing a photograph.
A low resolution life alone is somewhat effortless, does not cause us to exert energy and ultimately falls flat in providing the emotional health benefits of human connections.
Facebook pings us when memories posted occur and we reminisce about events from the past. Without doubt these memories tend to tug at strong feelings of nostalgia. Be careful, however, as these memories can distort the manner you remember certain tidbits. There is the danger of taking the perfect photo and missing out on the experience itself. We tend to direct attention to capturing the best shot, in the best light, with the intent of attractiveness to social media followers. By doing so, we are less available to appreciate the actual experience.
While the plethora of information at our fingertips can enrich life, the use of social media can have a negative impact. Humans are more easily distracted, less patient, and tempted to instantly access entertainment over meaningful human interaction.
While abstaining from social media may be unrealistic, if you find yourself less connected to reality, consider allocating some social media-free time. If you want to go cold turkey, Catherine Price offers tips in, ” How to Break Up with Your Phone: The 30-Day Plan to Take Back Your Life.”
“What consumes your mind, controls your life.” -Unknown
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