Shockingly on average in the UK we spend 30minutes every hour we are awake on social media a day. That is eight hours a day we are losing to social media and it is having a drastic effect on our mental health.
The days of meeting the girls for coffee and conversing or going to a club and dancing till we drop are rapidly coming to an end. Instead what we are left with is groups of people in every setting with their heads buried in their phones waiting for their latest ‘fix’ (likes from strangers on social media).
It’s almost as if we can no longer live in the present moment and just enjoy the time we are having with our friends or loved ones; because our main focus is ‘capturing’ the ‘moment’ either on camera or video without really enjoying the experience ourselves.
Regrettably a huge percentage of us are sharing intimate memories between the ones we care about most with people we rarely know in the exchange of the self-gratification we encounter from superficial likes and comments.
The negative impact social media has on people’s lives can be soul destroying. Leading to resentment, jealousy and may even provoke an experience coined ‘FOMO’ (Fear of Missing Out). Sadly this is becoming an addiction that so many of us are beginning to live with and it is being reinforced either positively or negatively dependent on the number of ‘likes’ one receives.
Personally I myself have had to revaluate how I use social media as I was beginning to compare my life to others and this was leading me to feel low in mood, ‘not good enough’, ‘not pretty enough’ and ‘not successful enough’. It seemed that everybody else’s life was ‘together’ and I merely existed.
Now I can look back at these feelings and laugh because I have realised that social media is more often than not used as a social construct and we only see what others want us to see of their lives. However it did take a while for me to realise this.
Considering I have always been quite a confident person I was surprised how negative I was becoming and how much I was comparing myself to girls/women I had never met. Luckily I was aware of how unhappy my interaction with social media was making me thus I knew the core of problem and I was able to turn it around.
It is vital that we become more mindful with what we internalise as this is what determines our mind-set. Thus feeding our minds with positivity and righteous information can only enable our mind to grow positivity. Therefore social media does not have to be a negative social construct; it all depends on how we use it.