Let’s talk about social media burnout, yes it’s a thing. The negative effects of social media and more specifically how it’s making us sick.
It was World Mental Health Day yesterday and I don’t know about you but my social media was bombarded with stories of ‘influencer burnout’. Instagrammers with hundreds of thousands of followers, who seemed to be leading the perfect life admitted they suffered from social media fatigue and had to take a break from Instagram not just once but on numerous occasions. It got me thinking with all these Instagrammers speaking out it must be a bigger problem than I realized. It’s kinda scary right, we’re so obsessed with social media that it’s become an addiction.
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The negative effects of social media and how it affects our daily lives
When did something that was supposed to be fun and inspirational turn into such a negative and competitive place. We have a good day and then we come home and look at social media and suddenly we have a different perspective “oh, it looks like they had a better day.” I don’t know if any studies have been done but I would imagine that anxiety and depression has increased as apps like Facebook and Instagram have increased in popularity. These apps are designed so that we have the urge to keep checking our phones. It’s mad really, how many times have you put on a movie or TV show you’ve been looking forward to only to spend most of it scrolling through useless content on your phone.
If most of the crap on Instagram is ‘samey’ and unoriginal then why do we aimlessly scroll through it hourly, not really feeling any emotions. We just do it out of habit.
Try to see the ‘full picture’ behind the pretty photo
All these stunning photos you see on Instagram you don’t see the full picture. Yes, the sunset in Santorini is incredible but what the photos don’t show is the thousands of other people crammed into its narrow streets, all trying to get the same shot. When we were there, people were climbing on the roofs of churches and peoples’ homes trying to get the perfect picture. I wonder would people go to the same effort for a photo if Instagram wasn’t around. Sadly, probably not.
Is it mainly women who are affected by the negative effects of social media?
Another thing, why is it mainly women who are negatively affected by social media? Is it in our wiring to be more fooled by the idyllic lifestyle many influencers portray than say our boyfriends or brothers. I honestly don’t know the answer, but what I do know is all the instagrammers claiming burnout are female.
Why do we compare ourselves to them? We think they have it all, that they’re making bucket-loads of money. Suddenly, our normal relatively happy lives seem lacking in comparison. When in reality only a teeny percentage are making the thousands we think and they usually have to work very hard and for a very long time to get to that point. I’m sure if they showed us the ‘real’ side of their lives, the hours or even days spent setting up the perfect shot, the hours spent afterwards editing it. The long days involved in press trip. I’m certain we’d suddenly feel happier with our normal lives.
When did social media stop being fun?
In the early days, I feel it was fun, less fake. People were real. They allowed us to see their normal lives. We felt on a par with them. But now it’s different, we place anyone with a couple thousand followers on a pedestal. Do you really need to be seen to be living an obscenely perfect life to be insta-famous?
Surely, your loved ones deserve more attention than your phone
Don’t get me wrong, social media can be a brilliant and inspiring tool if used correctly. We just need to put the phone away more. After dinner, put the phone in your bedroom and close the door so you can enjoy that movie you’ve been dying to watch. Turn off your WiFi at night, so it doesn’t feel like you’re always ‘switched on’.
I’m not an influencer by any means, all of the above are just my observations so please don’t take it as gospel. But hopefully what I’ve said has given you some food for thought.
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Honestly, have you experienced the negative effects of social media? Let me know in the comments below.
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