The social media effect

What is the first thing you do when you wake up?

A decade ago the answer would have been somewhere between, brushing your teeth and having a cup of coffee.

Skip to 2018 and it would come as no surprise that the answer would most likely be, scrolling through one of the various social media apps installed on our devices.

Yes I am guilty of this.

Every morning without fail at approximately 8:30am, I reach for my phone and begin to scroll through my Instagram feed, which is flooded with influencers and their seemingly perfect lives. 30 minutes fly by and I’m left in a destructive cycle of comparison and feelings of unworthiness. I am addicted to my toxic relationship with Instagram and I am not alone. In August 2017, Instagram reported 500 million daily users, which is only forecasted to grow further more.

This increased use of Social media over the past few years has warped our perception of reality. The lines distinguishing the boundaries between what is real and what is not, have become increasingly blurred due to the fact that we now have the ability to construct our identity and the way we are perceived within our virtual communities.

What we tend to forget is that social media users only post what they want their followers to see, in the process constructing somewhat of the ‘perfect life’. We aren’t present for their bad days, so to us they simply do not exist. This evidently leads to feelings of guilt, embarrassment and incompetence, as our life isn’t as flawless as the ones we see fabricated for social media. We are constantly comparing our real everyday lives to a purposefully constructed digital version, which can evidently have a detrimental effect on our mental health.

We are all human and have existed well before social media was ever a thing. Bad days are nothing to be ashamed of, everyone has them regardless of whether they are documented or not. I don’t have all the answers but we need to start living and embracing each element of our lives no matter how flawed or imperfect they may seem.

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