Social media has become so integrated into the fabric of everyday life that Facebook alone has 2.13 billion active monthly users. This has changed the way that humans view and interact with society, their friends, and themselves. Social media is definitely a convenient way to maintain friendships across distances and share important events in your life with people who care about you. But this convenience comes at a cost. Social media is linked to depression, anxiety, and stress. Below are some ways that social media causes stress:
Social media provides us the opportunity to compare ourselves to others. It is hard to remember that everyone spends time curating the ‘perfect’ social media presence. This leads to us worrying about what everyone else is doing and comparing our own lives.
Other’s Stress Rubs Off
Even if you do a good job at not comparing yourself to others, the stress of others you connect with may rub off on you and ruin your day. If someone posts about their traffic stress, you may suddenly start to find yourself stressed about traffic.
The fear of missing out is a very real part of social media. You may scroll through your feed and see everyone having a good time, which makes you worry that you are missing out on something.
Friendships can be effected by political ‘discussions’ that are had online. People tend to post more intense opinions on their social media than they would have face to face. And for most, even arguing with a stranger online about political views can be a pretty stressful experience.
When someone is constantly checking their social media while with family, they can feel very disconnected. The obsession with checking in with followers can take precedent over spending time with those physically around you.
It Makes Relaxing Difficult
When you’re in the habit of always checking your social media, it can be difficult to shut it down. You may find that you have a hard time relaxing when someone is liking or commenting on one of your posts.
Parents Worry About Their Children
Parents say that they worry about the way their children are interacting with social media. It is another source of stress in an already stressful life.
It Can Be Addictive
Social networks were designed to be addictive, so do not be surprised if you find yourself hooked. Unfortunately, part of addiction is withdrawal, which means not having access in the immediate can cause stress.
Low Quality Sleep
Too much social media can cause low quality sleep, as it can be hard to put your phone down. This leads to more difficulty in dealing with day to day issues, which increases your stress levels.
It can be hard to focus on anything when you have your social media open in the background. Anytime a notification pops up, you will be tempted to check in and get a little hit of dopamine. This can lower the quality of whatever you are currently working on.
Maintaining Your Brand
If you spend time curating your social media presence, you may find yourself obsessing over maintaining the perfect brand. This can add additional stress to your life instead of enjoying the moment.
Seeing Your Ex
In the past, it was easy to disconnect from an ex post break-up. Now that you have access to their different social media pages, you may find yourself spending nights catching up on what your ex is doing, comparing your life to theirs, and causing excess stress.
Spending More Money
Social media can lead to spending more money. This happens because too much time on social media can reduce your self-control and lead to worse money management.
It is all too easy to spend time scrolling through your Twitter feed instead of tackling the big assignment you need to work on. These tasks become more stressful as you put them off, which leads to you wanting to spend more time on social media in avoidance.
Many people want to quit social media, but find themselves stressed about the idea of being without it. This makes them want to quit even more and the cycle continues.