The internal monologue of a typical social media scroll is a monologue that many of us have every day, but we don’t talk about it. In fact, many of us can’t even recognize that it is happening. Social media is having numerous unintended consequences on you and your mental health. Every. Single. Day.
Try this once. While on your way to a vacation on flight, keep the airplane mode turned on. No email. No social media. First you might go through phantom vibration syndrome. That time when you check if your phone went off and it didn’t? you might find yourself checking incessantly. You’ll stay distracted in conversations. Wonderfully amazing sights around you and your first instinct would be to take out your phone and post it on online.
Four days is what it is going to take you to get habituated to the absence of your mobile phone. And after that, as you sit by the riverside or on a hilltop, or even by the window of your room breathing some fresh air, your mind will start asking you stuff. What is social media doing to you? What is it doing to your peers? Only four days and this experience has already been anxiety-inducing, stressful and withdrawing.
Numerous studies from various parts of the world have linked this high social media use with high levels of anxiety and depression. But the scary part of this is high social media use is affecting every one around you. Literally. You family, your friends, your colleagues. 90% of 18-25 year olds are using social media. We spend an average of two to three hours on social media every day. We don’t even Eat for two hours every day. Anything we spend this much time doing is bound to have lasting effects on us.
Social media is our personal highlight reel. Social media brings out to you the best and brightest moments of life.
And when your highlights do well, you encounter social currency – the likes, the comments, the shares. On your social media, you are the product and letting others attribute value to you. You took your product off the shelf because it wasn’t selling at a higher currency.
And then you experience serious FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out. In fact, this is an actual social anxiety from the fear that you are missing a potential social event or opportunity. 70% of students every year consider deactivating their social media accounts if only it weren’t for the possibility that they might miss out on something they shouldn’t.
Wonder if the world actually knows where it is going with social media.