You love tagging family members in pictures, posting silly photos on your friend’s wall and tweeting inside jokes with your best friend, but buried deep underneath all the fun and games in your social media world, lies a darker realm. Sometimes social media becomes the cause of our stress, worry, anxiety or low self-esteem. Here at UChic, we’re all for having fun on Facebook, but we also understand that sometimes your online world is overwhelming. Here are six common factors that cause social media anxiety and a few tips to help you eliminate stress.
Checking Your Rival’s Profile
You know that guy from gym class who is applying to the same college as you? He is on Facebook. So, you find yourself typing his name into the search engine. As you check to see if he’s posted a picture of his acceptance letter your heart beats a million times per second. Sound familiar?
It’s easy to fall into a path where checking your peer’s social media pages becomes routine. After all, isn’t Facebook designed to help you keep up with friends’ lives? Yes, but when you start to feel butterflies every time you log on, it could be a sign that your online life is more about competition than enjoying silly cat videos. Instead of worrying about how you measure up against certain people, try to use social media to congratulate them on their successes. Go ahead, ‘Like’ their flattering photos, new job announcements and dream relationship statuses, because spreading positivity is one of the best things you can do online (and off!).
When You Know More About Strangers Than Your Real Friends
You just found out your older sister got promoted two weeks ago, yet you know everything there is to know about your neighbor’s uncle’s daughter, who is studying abroad in Prague this semester. It’s easy to feel guilty about getting distracted by an amazing photo or a strange Facebook Status. In reality, this happens to everyone- so chill! If you really want to start shifting your focus on the people that really matter the most, go through the amount of people you ‘Follow’ and start ‘Unfollowing’ people. Without having to unfriend or block anybody, you can remove yourself from nonsense status updates and posts. It’s the best way to still keep in contact with everyone on your ‘friends’ list while still maintaining control over what you have to scan through on your daily news feed.
The People Around You Are Too #Distracted
Sometimes your social media anxiety isn’t even caused by your own addiction to stalking celebrity Twitter pages! You could find yourself feeling stressed out if come home to your mom nose deep in her tablet or become irritated when your best friend spends more time scanning Instagram than talking to you. The best thing to do is to take a step back and bring up your concerns when they finally look up from their phones. To most people, being constantly connected to the online world is no big deal, but if it’s hurting your relationship, it’s good to confront them and let them know in person.
When Your Instagram Addiction Doesn’t Count as Extra Credit
If your exam next week consisted of narrowing down the best #OOTD filters, then you’d be on the honor roll all through high school! Unfortunately, sometimes you have to put your phone down and go back to following study guides instead. If your grades have been negatively affected because you are consistently distracted by your news feed, you should talk to a school counselor, close friend or your parents right away. The people close to you will help you figure out a plan to make sure you have a balanced lifestyle. You can have killer confidence in both algebra and on Instagram.
Your FOMO Level is Off the Charts
All forms of social media can be considered entertainment, but when you are constantly being exposed to so much of other people’s personal lives, it can play with your emotions. If one night you stay in to study and then look at Instagram and see all your friends having the time of their life, you might to start feeling like you are missing out. It could cause you to fret instead of study which is why you stayed back in the first place. I promise you will have more opportunities and nights with friends. Sometimes you need to just put down your phone and take care of business.
Trying to Be Perfect in an Imperfect World
There can also be a lot of pressure online to portray yourself in the best light possible, so you might start to second-guess every update, selfie and retweet. None of us are perfect. And the best way to realize this is by putting down the phone and hanging out with people instead of looking at them online. Create a group online. Invite people that share your interests. Then plan an event. By doing this you can meet a whole new group of people and discover new coffee shops in town.
Social Media might be your favorite way to waste time. Or it may stress you out. Either way, you have control over how it makes you feel. When you shift your focus towards your own goals and achievements, you’ll realize that there is no need to compare your life to others, because everyone in the world has different paths. Take a break today from social media. And remember you are perfect just as you are!
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