Social Media plays into your fear of losing contact with your friends and family. With all the most important people in your life always at an arms reach, there is no more fear of staying out of touch. However, easy access to the virtual version of your friends may be putting a damper on your own social life.
You Are Constantly Comparing Yourself to Other People – Happy people generally don’t match themselves up to others. They value their own experiences and ambitions.
But when you are bombarded with your friends’ vacation pictures and success stories, you end up comparing yourself to them. If you’re sitting at home after work and you see a friend posting vacation pictures, you ask yourself “how can I live more like this person?” This is what you should be really asking: “How can I live my idealized life?”
You Substitute Snooping on People With Real Catch up Sessions – Wondering what your college buddy’s been up to recently? Look at his posts and photos and you can fulfill your curiosity. Now that you know, you’re know not as inclined to get lunch with this person and catch up. The reality is that in person contact is so much more meaningful, because you can hear a person’s voice, see their facial expression, share a laugh, and actually do something together.
You Only See Everyone’s Idealized Self – No one is going to post a bad picture of themselves. They only post the most flattering or awesome pictures of themselves. This can put a damper on your self esteem, because you are looking at hundreds of perfect people living perfect lives. In reality, there are plenty of flaws and insecurities behind all this. But you will not see it on social media.
Social Interaction is Passive at Best – Like a post, favorite a Tweet, and that person will get a notification that you did this. Then there’s no follow up. A comment is slightly better, but it will not jump into a meaningful conversation like it could in real life.
The worst part is that someone could look at your photos and say absolutely nothing about them. Imagine if you showed someone a photo in real life, and they said nothing. But it’s perfectly acceptable on social media to look at posts without comment.
Social Media Can Make You Lose Your Game – People become less interesting and mysterious when they document their whole lives on social media. This includes you when you post your vacation photos instead of telling people stories about your trips.
Friends you just met can snoop through old photos and get a vague idea about what your past life was like. When people can figure you out easily it makes you less interesting. You also don’t want to give new people preconceived notions about yourself.
Instead of deleting your social media accounts, spend less time on them. Post less things. Be more of an interesting person. Spend time with important people in person. And use social media as a tool to stay in contact with people, as it was intended to be used for.