Social media can be a great way to reconnect and stay in touch with friends and family, but it might not have everyone Laughing Out Loud.
(via Forbes) If you find yourself logging-in to your social media sites multiple times a day, you’re not alone. The daily Socialsphere is a continuous stream of individual’s thoughts and noteworthy events, including sparkling engagement rings, travel photos from exotic locations and dozens of good-fortune announcements about job promotions, newborns and budding relationships.
As you scroll, skim and like posts and photos, do you ever start to feel like you’re not measuring up to your online BFFs?
You’re not the only one.
If Facebook could thumbs down a new study linking the site to depression, it just might. In the study in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, researchers found that seeing everyone’s “highlight reels” could lead to depressive symptoms because of something known as social comparison — evaluating your own opinions and abilities by comparing yourself to others.
The study notes that while Facebook doesn’t cause depression, spending a lot of time on the site tends to go hand-in-hand with depressed feelings.
So is it time to deactivate your account? Not necessarily. But it might be time to back away from the keyboard and change the way you think.
Mary Duffy, BSN with Renown Behavioral Health says that overcoming the challenges of comparing ourselves to others can lead to new opportunities and breakthroughs in our self-acceptance.
“People need to understand that acceptance is the starting place allowing us to respond rather than react,” Mary says. “As we identify our true values, and translate those values into committed action, we begin a mindful journey to our authentic self.”
Research shows that self-acceptance could be the key to a happier life. Oftentimes, users just need to readjust their attitudes toward social networking, which can cause us to spend too much time reacting (typically quick, without much thought, tense and aggressive) instead of responding (thought out, calm and non-threatening) to life.
How can you make sure you stay friends with Facebook and leave social comparison in the past? It’s important to be mindful of your online social life, just as you are with your friends in the real world.
Here are some ways that you can overcome social comparison:
- Focus your energy on what you have, not what others have. Think about writing a list of what you’re thankful for.
- Remember, perspective is everything. Fortune in one area of someone’s life doesn’t necessarily translate to all areas. This makes comparison selective and unreal.
- Someone else’s success does not take away from your own. In fact, it can be a learning experience and give you the knowledge that getting what you want is possible.
Next time you’re tempted to engage in social comparison, take a deep breath and break the cycle by closing out your browser. Instead, spend some time on your favorite hobby, meet up with a friend for coffee or check out a local event. You will be LOL’ing in no time!