According to recent research, teens spend up to 9 hours every day on social media.
However, no matter your age, our society’s addiction to “likes” and comments has lasting impacts on the way we see ourselves.
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In this post, we’re sharing with you 6 pretty harrowing facts about social media effects on self image.
1. You’re Losing Touch With The “Real World”
There are over 600 million active users on Instagram. While having, quite literally, the world at our fingertips helps us advertise our businesses, gain inspiration, or even discover new things, social media effects on self image can be dangerous.
While the online world can be enticing, so much time spent online can really start to blur the lines between our “real lives” and the carefully curated images of ourselves we portray on social media.
Constantly looking at the lives of those more privileged than you can make you start to feel like you need to prioritize more material things in your life.
Plus, the more time you spend online, the less time you’re engaged with those around you. The next time you head out to dinner or to meet up with friends, leave your phone at home, and encourage others to do the same.
You’ll be surprised how you start to notice just how many folks are on their phones, and you can manage your dependency levels.
2. You’re Making Fake Friends
Do you know someone’s real name – or do you just know their username? Having deep conversations with a stranger online may make you feel like you really know someone, but oftentimes that connection can’t make it in real life.
This can leave you feeling like you’re to blame, that you don’t have the right social skill set, or simply that you’re not good enough for another person. Online, it can be hard to see if two people are equally invested in the development of a friendship or relationship.
One of the saddest social media effects on self image? These fake friendships can only increase your loneliness and leave you wanting meaningful, genuine connections.
Spend your time developing those, not lurking online.
3. You’re Also Projecting A False Version Of Yourself Online
Whether or not you like to admit it, when you act like special occasions are just another random Tuesday, when you post a photo of your latest shopping spree, or even when you film yourself riding around, dressed to the nines, you’re participating in the fake culture and social media effects on self-esteem.
Doing this isn’t just exhausting, it makes you feel like your “real life” isn’t enough to get those likes and follows that social media has taught you to crave.
Instead of chasing genuine moments and connections, you can easily find yourself picking activities, taking trips, or even wearing outfits not because they make you happy – but because you think they’ll look good online and make you more popular.
In fact, social media has become like the ultimate popularity contest. Only sadly, this doesn’t end just because you’ve graduated high school. If it felt bad then, chances are it’s still going to feel bad now.
If you’ve realized your online self is radically different from the person you are day-to-day, it’s time to make some serious changes.
4. You’re Getting Bombarded By Ads
Even if you don’t realize it, so much of what you’re seeing on social media is actually an ad. Even YouTubers and Instagrammers are often paid to sponsor a post, so it can be hard to tell what’s real and what’s fake when it comes to reviews, opinions, and more online.
Plus, social media effects on self image when it comes to ads are pretty destructive. Think about it: you’re constantly seeing the perfect body, the happiest couple, the most successful guy, and the most expensive clothes.
Not only is this going to lead you into wanting a life you can’t have (or that wouldn’t even be good for you) but it will also make you feel like where you are in life isn’t enough – and that your life is nothing unless it’s littered with logos, brands, and the latest it bag.
Remember that your life is excellent already and that you don’t need the latest eye cream or sports car to make it better.
5. You’re In A Toxic Environment
Be honest with yourself: under the safety of a fake username (or even through the “safety net” of Facebook) how often have you said something cruel to someone else?
This misguided myth that bringing others down will make you feel better only gets taken to the extreme on social media. Not only is this reinforcing negative behavior, it’s also really messing with your self-worth.
Not only do the insults you’re hurling make you feel guilty, but those getting tossed your way impact your sense of self-respect and make you question your worth.
Ditch this ugly habit and start practicing self-love instead.
6. You Get Lost Following The Instructions Of Others
Life doesn’t come with a rulebook – so why does everything, from installing a doorknob to learning how to apply your eyeliner – suddenly have a million and one YouTube tutorials?
Social media effects on self image can really take hold when you’re judging your skill set against another person’s, or when you’re trying to follow directions that aren’t catered towards your learning style.
Remember, these tutorials are heavily edited, carefully lit, and done by professionals. It can feel really tough not to compare your skill set to the people you see online, but remember: don’t feel inadequate.
They’re experts, and they’re usually selling something.
We Hope You’ve Learned Something About Social Media Effects On Self Image
We also hope you’ll take these facts to heart and take a hard look at how your online life can impact your relationships, friendships, and especially your self-worth.
Make sure you’re managing your time and emotional investment on social media. For more tips on how to treat yourself well (because if you don’t how can you properly care for those you love?) check out our website and blog.