Social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are supposed to make us feel loved, connected and important, right? But, for many folks, just five minutes of skimming through their friends’ photos and updates can trigger feelings of jealousy, sadness and loneliness. So, if social media makes us feel bad, why do we keep using it? And more importantly, what are the psychological affects?
“Humans are social beings who grow up within the context of a ‘family unit’ that’s all built on connections,” says Dr. Michelle Deering, psychologist, EDMR therapist, and sports and educational consultant at Curative Connections, LLC., a consulting and mental health practice in Watchung, New Jersey.
“It’s the face-to-face, tactile, real-time interactions that help a person grow in a healthy fashion – biologically, psychologically, and emotionally. Socializing solely through via technology [deprives] you from the very thing you need – physical human contact – to actually benefit from socializing.”
Furthermore, here are three ways social media is affecting your happiness.
1. Nothing is what it seems.
Understand that people are only going to share their best and brightest moments on social media. Rarely will you see someone post about one of the darkest moments of their life on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. We hate to break it you, but it’s all a front. Despite what many of your Internet friends want you to believe, no one’s life is perfect.
2. Everyone seems to be having fun except for you.
If you’re sitting around all day and scrolling through other people’s pictures, then you’re going to feel depressed. Anyone would! Why not take all that energy and put it into living your best life? I don’t know about you, but some of my greatest memories are in my head and can’t be captured in a photograph.
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3. The grass looks greener.
On social media, it’s easy to get fooled into thinking “the grass is greener on the other side.” Newsflash: It’s not! According to a 2012 report by ABC News, one-third of all divorce filings in 2011 contained the word “Facebook.” If you and your partner are going through a rough patch, one of the worst things you want to do is turn to someone outside your relationship/marriage. Instead, dedicate all your time and energy into making your current relationship a success.