Is Social Media Affecting Your Mental Health?

The average person in the UK earns between £20,000 and £30,000 per year, so virtually everyone you know will earn in, or around those figures. That isn’t all however, as the chances of people earning less than that are significantly higher than people earning more than that. This means we roughly all know how much each other earn*. Obviously for the youngest generation earnings are virtually zero or in the lowest bracket of £5,000 or less.

This is interesting because of the natural human desire to want to increase their public perception of wealth, health and lifestyle. People want to present the best version of themselves, they want to show the world what they can afford to buy. Whether you’re the lady who bought 300 presents for her kids at christmas or the guy who buys a Vauxhall Corsa SRI Sport.

People are proud to buy things – I presume.

Why else would they want to show the world? Are people sitting around wondering if Dave can afford a 10 day trip to the Maldives?  Waiting and waiting, until finally, a picture of him and his wife sitting on a creaking wooden hut overlooking a blissful ocean appears in their Instagram stream. Finally you can relax, Dave has done it. When most likely, the reason the picture has been posted is because Dave wants other people to see it. This is all the more painful because you could only afford a week in Turkey.

Thats a rather cheap look at the issue, when in reality it severely alters the psyche. There appears to be a few elements involved, firstly the need to compare ourselves with others; ‘Holly bought this, and did this. I only bought this and did that’. Then you have the desire for affection, through likes or comments*. Now these are, of course, not all the issues surrounding social media but lets work with these two. I have heard* that social media is causing people to make comparisons and to constantly view themselves and their own successes relative to others. From what I see, however, people have always done this.

Social media just provides a platform which has a wider reach. Whilst you would do these things in your street or local area, you now get to tell the world, instantly. I would say social media accelerates the oneupmanship, however the desire to do this has always been there.

This for me shows social media isn’t to blame for this behaviour, it’s a natural human behavioural trait. This doesn’t mean I think people shouldn’t strive to not compare themselves to others. Success is so individual, and irrelevant to others. The pressure of doing so will likely equate to low self worth. A serious issue.

Don’t be fooled however, this is not always motivated by the individual in question, many parents, friends and peers will question amongst themselves how you are not in the same position as Peter or Jane, because they got this job, or got into that university or already bought a house. Individuals feel this pressure from these peer groups and respond to it by presenting the version they think people want. Rather than being comfortable with who they are.

Now follow this up with an innate human competitive desire. The individual then feels pressured to present a life their peers expect them to have. This unwittingly forces friends to present a hyper idealised version of themselves just to ‘keep up’*. Now you have a ridiculous scenario of a friends group sustained by a false pretence, which everyone knows is false, but keeps it going for the sake of appearing ‘better’ or ‘ok’. Its then not a great leap to see why people feel inadequate or feel like underachievers. The gap between this evolutionary, compounding presentation of their hyper idealised self and the real them gets further and further away.

Then we* have the audacity to blame them. Well done society, well done.

People should be celebrated for who they are, not what they do, or what they buy, or what they wear or anything similar. I don’t care what people buy, I care if people are happy. I want people to be who they want to be. I don’t want them to feel like they have to get adoration from me to justify purchases they make or pictures they post. On a side note however, I have had 3 comments and 6 likes on my previous post, therefore I feel much better about my life.

Mindfump.

*Legally

*This is probably a good time to tell you to like this post, share it and comment on the post. It will make me feel soooo good.

*Probably

*This is all made up and I have no basis for this whatsoever.

*Society

 

 

Read more, its good for you.

Is Your Window Designed to Kill You?

The Reason You Should Disagree With Your Parents

Can You Outrun Mental Health Issues?

 

50 Comments

    1. I totally agree, there are so many more things that could be said about this issue. I am sure I will come back and write more about it! I shall check out your post! Thanks!

      Like

      1. 1. your relatives get jealous at you when you become well-off
        2. when you post something about politics, your “friends” block you
        3. your crush will seen-zoned you
        4. your relatives will read all your posts, and go to your house to tell you “it’s wrong to post this,” “it’s wrong to post that”

        -hope you get more discouraged 😉

        Liked by 1 person

          1. hahaha…I’m not sure if I can think more…hmmm…
            5. your stalkers will stalk you
            6. your posers will take advantage of your photos
            7. you become enemies with your real life friends
            8. you’ll be tempted to fake good family relationships

            -facebook’s kinda popular in our place; WordPress is a much better place for me, because I can freely hide as a stranger ‘coz if you remain anonymous in Facebook, no one will trust you (so different in WordPress where you can have privacy)

            Liked by 2 people

  1. San interesting read that really fits well with my previously held beliefs. I don’t personally upload photos of myself doing anything. It’s for the same reason as I hate a certain facebook live advert. It says next time I’m doing something exciting I should get my phone out and show my friends. I think actually I’d rather be able to enjoy the experience not view it through a phone lens…
    People are missing out on the best bits of their lives because they have to show it off to everyone else.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Enjoying the experience IS the valuable thing. I really think that is the key. Be yourself and enjoy your moments, not for anyone else but for yourself (and the people around you at the time). Thank you for the post.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I am completely with you on this. I saw people doing things and achieving things that I wanted and it drove me crazy, particularly people getting engaged when I desperately wanted that, and people having children. Also people that I consider to be physically perfect, I am very jealous of how good they look in their dress or how many people like their profile picture.
    During my recovery I went through my Facebook friends and deleted people that I felt where having a negative impact on me by me obsessing over their perfect lives.
    I myself am too someone that likes people to like and comment on my posts because it gives me a sense of belonging but I guess I need to let it go a little bit and not base my self worth on the opinions of others. I am working on it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such an honest comment. I love it. It really is just a trick, no one has the perfect life and they’re all just trying to convince us otherwise. That then makes us sad and then we do the same thing. Repeat. I am also working on it. Be confident in yourself and the real people will stick around.

      It really does have a big impact on your perspective though. I read a book about social influence and they did a study in which men were asked about their relationships but before they were asked half were shown pictures of beautiful people on facebook. The ones who were shown the beautiful women were significantly unhappier in their relationships than the others. Scary.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I hadn’t read any studies but it does make sense that it has a massive impact. I myself spend a lot of time on social media so it really does become something that I have to deal with every day, multiple times a day. I would probably be better off it I reduced my time on it but part of me loves to see what other people are doing despite knowing it will make me feel worse.
        I think we all just have a desire to be well liked and we show a side that we want other people to see but play down the bad things.
        When I was really poorly I went really quiet on social media because I felt I had nothing that I wanted to show the world. I wish now that I had still shown what was going on to make other people realise that life isn’t perfect and it’s normal to have problems. I’m sure I’m not alone in hiding the truth of what is really happening in life though.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I definitely think you are right. There’s no way you are alone in hiding the reality of things. People are very sad I think, and I think they need help. The way things are set up it is no surprise people develop mental issues. I think time away from social media would do you good. I hope you feel better either way!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Awesome write… Yes, I too believe that social media has made people more and more depressed, everyone wants to show others that they are better than them, more successful, more outgoing, happy and rich. In reality they aren’t in peace. They are constantly running a battle within themselves to prove to people…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can’t believe how many likes you have got! ; ) great article and interesting about whether the whole social media thing will create more mental health concerns. I am from the 1968 era and formed relationships prior to the mergence of social media. It would be interesting to note how social media effects those brought with it. That will be the test. I feel they will shape identities online prior to identities in person? maybe or they do both at the same time. Views?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think there is definitely an identity change. It is unavoidable. Whether that ultimately turns out to be a good thing or not remains to be seen, although fundamentally I just think society and technology moves too fast for us. It took us billions of years to get to this point and now we are stretch our minds. Maybe we just need to slow down a bit. Thank you for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I liked this not because you asked people to so you would feel better but because I believe it is honest. And to those who feel a sharp new sports car or 300 Christmas presents will make like better: 1.- you can’t take it with you; 2.- the One who is Present is more than the presents, infinitely more. Thanks for visiting my blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think everyone is guilty of it to some degree, it is almost impossible to avoid in the modern day. I am sure there will be a time when just like food we have internet diets.

      Like

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