In the same way that a knife is neither good nor bad, it could also be said that social media is the same. With this in mind, if the former causes harm it will show that it is being used in the wrong way, and, if the later causes harm it will also show that it is being used in the wrong way.
However, while someone is likely to have learnt from a young age that a knife can be dangerous, they probably won’t have learnt the same thing about social media. Instead, this may have been something that they have gradually come to figure out for themselves.
At the same time, if someone grew up before social media was invented it wouldn’t have been possible for them to receive this type of guidance during the beginning of their life. Therefore, irrespective of what age group they fall into, it would most likely still have been down to them to see what kind of impact it can have.
And, once they came to see how destructive it can be, they may have gone online to see what other people had said. What may have also made it clearer that these types of sites have a dark side were the posts their friends shared online.
Then again, someone may have been using these sites on a regular basis and come across something that went into how destructive these sites can be. Before they came across this information, they might not have been able to connect the dots, so to speak.
Due to this, they wouldn’t have been in a good place but they still wouldn’t have been able to see why this was. Thanks to the information that was shared online or due to what they read about in a paper, for instance, they were able to make sense of why they felt the way they did.
What this illustrates is that when someone experiences life in a certain way and this has become the norm, it is easy for them to overlook external triggers that are playing a part. This is why it is so important to be able to detach and to reflect.
Without this ability, one will be completely immersed in their life and it will be a lot harder for them to see why they are experiencing life in a certain way. If someone doesn’t have this ability, they may be able to develop it by practicing mindfulness meditation.
Back To the Main point
So, what someone may have found is that using social media causes them to experience a fair amount of anxiety. In addition to this, they could experience anxiety even when they are not using it and are only thinking about social media.
When one goes online, what they may find is that they end up feeling edgy when they look through the news feed. And, when it comes to looking through their notifications, the same thing could take place.
What this can come down to is that one might worry about what they are going to see. They may see pictures of their friends having a good time and end up wondering why they were not invited.
The same might apply to their notifications, as they wont not know if they have received ‘likes’ or if they have received negative comments. One of their friends or even a stranger may have sent them an abusive message or uploaded an unflattering picture of them.
When they are not online, they could spend a lot of time worrying about what they are missing out on. The sooner they get back online, the sooner they will be able to put an end to this pressure.
Once they are online, they might no longer think about what they are missing out on, but there will be other things to put them back on edge. Also, they could worry about if anyone has left any negative comments when they are not online.
Through having at least one social media profile, then, they will have opened themselves up to the world. This will have opened them up to good things and it will have opened them up to bad things.
Through putting themselves out there in this way, they will have less control when it comes to what is said to them. It won’t be possible for them to only receive positive feedback from others.
Their strings will be getting pulled by social media sites, making it harder for them to focus on the things that matter. Being in the present moment is also going to be something that is hard for them.
Worrying about what other people are doing and trying to control how other people see them is a waste of their time and energy. If one cloned themselves a hundred times, they would still miss out of things, and, even if they had complete control over their online persona, there would still be people out there who wouldn’t buy into it.
If one finds that using different social media sites is having a negative effect on their mental and emotional health, it might be a good idea for them to get a piece of paper and to write down what they can do to experience life differently. Spending less time online and more time with real people will help, as will spending more time on things that will actually benefit them.
Reading, learning a new hobby and/or creating something, amongst other things, can help them to see that social media is just a small part of their life. They may need to reach out for the assistance of a therapist or healer, for instance, if their inner world doesn’t improve after they spend less time using these sites.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.