How social media affects our mental health

Hello, everyone! Long time no chat. At least I’m back with a good topic, one that has been on everyone’s mind lately. I’m sure that most of you are familiar with the backlash a popular blogger got a few weeks ago, for one of her Instagram pics. If you’re not, don’t worry: if you’re a blogger you MUST have a fake life. Or at least that’s what some people want to believe. I am going to debate about the benefits and damages of social media, but the bottom line is that we must educate ourselves. And we must never throw dirt on someone just because their life is different than ours. Behind the screen and that perfectly curated Instagram feed, there’s a real person, with real feelings.

 

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Let’s be real: we use Instagram to look at pretty pictures. Of course, we’re going to see lavish holidays and perfect bodies. Here’s one catch though: you can choose who to follow. Yes, an AD might pop in every now and then, but we’re constantly sold an idea of perfection; it’s not just on social media. Hollywood, billboards, magazine – they all sell something, but you must be a smart consumer. If you think that bloggers live a constantly glamorous life, you’re wrong. You should also recognise the amount of work that goes behind that ”perfect” lifestyle. Then again, for some, it’s easier to hate than to acknowledge that someone is doing better just because they work hard for it.

But what about teenagers? See, this is a touchy subject for me. I realise that many parents work hard, but you can always find time to have a chat with your child and explain things. Most importantly, you should make sure your kid turns into a confident adult. I remember from my good ol’days that teenagers feel the most insecure. There was a time when I wasn’t happy with my looks at all, but thanks to the support I got from my family and friends, I started to accept myself. Luckily, my parents were quick to detect my mood change, and they realised it was due to internal struggles. I know you have so many things on your plate, but parents, pay attention to your kids! Except for school and maybe other family members, nobody else will educate them for you.

I think it’s sometimes easy to blame our insecurities on someone else. These people are making me feel bad about my life, they’re selling a fake ideal…But as long as you’re happy with what you have, it won’t change shit. You can only blame influencers if they start promoting unhealthy behaviour, like diet pills or too much partying, etc. Like I said, nobody is forcing you to look at that picture. Also, if you jump off the hate bandwagon, you’ll see that most influencers promote meaningful changes. Some care about healthy eating, others are passionate about environmental issues. If you see the negative aspects, then you should be fair and see what’s good about social media as well. Not everything is a sale or a scam.

I’m a blogger, and that means I must have social media channels (if I want people to know about my blog). So far, I haven’t encountered any negativity, but I am a victim of comparing myself to other bloggers. When I feel that those comparing thoughts might affect me negatively, I take a break. Out of sight, out of mind. And then I’m back, and the perfect Instagram themes are an inspiration again, and some of these influencers become role models again. Or at least, their hard work. I know that many people are not aware of the damage until it’s too late. But try to be more in touch with your feelings, and take care of your mental health.

Bottom line: social media can have negative impacts on your mental health. But a lot comes down to how you look at things. See what inspires you and what not. Block everything that’s feeding your insecurities. And most important, don’t take it too seriously. You see 10% of that person’s life, you don’t know what goes on behind the camera. For all it’s worth, you might be happier than that perfect influencer. And just as you don’t like others putting you down, don’t go into online bullying campaigns.