Social media can be a great way to stay in touch with friends and family. However, studies have also shown it can contribute towards depression, envy and comparison anxiety.
The more we use social media, the more it starts to affect our mental health. So, why does using social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram link to comparison anxiety? Read on to find out.
How Social Media Fuels Comparison Anxiety
Social media is one of the main drivers behind comparison anxiety today. When it was first introduced, nobody could predict the massive impact social media would have on our lives. From the rise of the selfie to the constant updates on our lives, social media has become deeply ingrained in society.
The trouble with it is that people only tend to post the highlights of their life; they rarely, if ever, show the bad days. This can create an unhealthy image that everyone else is doing better than we are. It isn’t uncommon to see lots of statuses gushing about how amazing life is and how well people are doing.
It isn’t just the statuses that can contribute towards comparison anxiety. The use of filters on photos is also having a negative impact on mental health. Not only is social media great for keeping in touch with friends and family, but it also gives us exclusive access to our favorite celebrities. There are also tons of influencers online, known for their good looks and successful lifestyles.
When we are bombarded with “perfect” images, it can really fuel comparison anxiety.
Moms Feel the Pressure on Social Media
One group of people who particularly feel the pressures of social media are moms. There tends to be an unspoken competition taking place on social media between parents. Whether it’s shaming moms for doing things differently or comparing our kids to other people’s, the pressure to be a perfect parent can lead to severe comparison anxiety.
When you are having trouble getting your child to behave and you see images of other people’s kids looking angelic, it can make you feel like a terrible parent. However, the thing to remember is that what you see on social media isn’t necessarily real. That perfect family photo that has been uploaded may not tell the whole story. That is why it is important to learn to humanize social media users.
The Importance of Humanizing Users
One of the main reason’s comparison anxiety occurs due to social media, is because we idolize instead of humanize its users. That is, we only focus on the good things being posted, not the reality.
For example, you may be jealous of your friend’s job and wealth. However, if you were to look at their full situation, you’d likely see they have problems just like everyone else. Remembering that they are just people too, with their own problems, can really help.
These are the main ways social media contributes to comparison anxiety. If you find yourself comparing yourself to others on sites like Facebook, it’s time to start using them less and changing your mindset.