Is social media making us anxious?

Don’t let its tempting colorful world fool you – social media is not good for your health.

What most of us felt intuitively is now proven by more and more studies: social media has negative effects on us. Sometimes it can be just a little sting of jealousy over someone’s vacation photos. Other times it can be the pressure to post the right picture and get enough likes. Maintaining a vivid virtual life is time and energy consuming. It can be hard enough keeping real life from falling apart; now we have to do that while taking selfies and pictures of amazing looking breakfasts. Everything has to be perfect because while in reality perfection doesn’t exist, in the virtual world it can be achieved with a filter or two.

Even if you personally refuse to participate in this charade and don’t share pieces of your everyday life, you are still affected by it even as just an observer.  Seeing all these amazing (and carefully selected) pieces of other people’s lives that probably don’t look like yours at all can be saddening. It’s easy to forget that Instagram shows only the best outfits, the best selfies, the most delicious food. Rare are the people that tap into more common moments like sitting on the sofa in sweatpants. That is ok as long as people don’t perceive social media as real because those moments are usually staged, photoshopped, filtered and styled.

Scrolling through Instagram can get one to lose touch with reality.

Seeing all these instances that other people are capturing gave us FOMO – the fear of missing out phenomenon. We are always worried about missing out and not being able to participate in all the amazing things that the others are doing. That couple just went on a great trip, the girls were out dancing and your high school friend just got engaged. All of this happened while you were just sitting on the train on your way home from work, scrolling aimlessly on your phone. This all causes stress, anxiety and even depression. Nowadays more and more studies are confirming what we already assumed – social media is not good for you. So, consume with caution. And never ever forget that it’s not real.


Ivona Josipovic is a co-founder of The Smoke Detector, writer, fashion stylist, social media manager, curious creature, chocolate lover.

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