We all have a Facebook or an Instagram or Snapchat and that seems like the norm. But most of us may not even realize the dangers of social media.
You may want to roll your eyes at the idea that there are dangers of social media. It’s just an online profile, right? Well, there are a lot of reasons you should be wary of many social media platforms. Believe it or not, most of these concerns have nothing to do with your privacy.
You’ve probably been given speech after speech about why you need to protect your privacy online, but has anyone else told you about protecting your self-esteem? If you’re like most of us, then probably not.
The growth of the internet and social media
The internet has changed our lives so much. We all know this. You can now talk to someone on the opposite end of the world with just a click of a button. Buying items from just as far away and having them shipped to your door in a matter of days is just as easy.
Social media has changed your life just as much. Now, complete strangers can know what you’re doing and when. It has been said by scientists that every single person who has social media can be connected to one another through mutual “friends” or “followers.” [Read: Social media and relationships – the good, the bad, and the ugly]
The dangers of social media when it comes to your self-esteem
You may think the only thing you have to worry about when it comes to your social media profiles is your privacy, but it’s not. The dangers of social media can run much deeper. Like with your self-esteem. It can be affected greatly through your online profiles and you may not even realize it.
#1 You only see the best of everyone else. This hurts all of us. People don’t put the hard stuff online. They only put the very best of everything in their lives. So when we hop online and look at our social media, all we see is everyone being extremely successful.
#2 And you compare your life to the version you see. We see everything people put online and automatically think about how our lives aren’t as great. Our lives aren’t that successful. This makes us feel horrible about ourselves because we sit and compare how someone else is doing to how we’re doing. But it’s not accurate. [Read: Stop comparing yourself and other steps to quit being jealous]
#3 You aren’t fully yourself online. I think anyone who can’t express who they really are ends up feeling like there’s something missing. And that thing is themselves. When you hop on social media, you’re holding your true self back. Everything that makes you different and unique isn’t shown. You try and conform to what the online “norms” are and end up feeling like less of a person.
#4 You feel the need to hide your struggles. Facing different challenges in our lives is what makes us human. But one of the dangers of social media is that you get online and you don’t see anyone’s problems, so you hide your own. Keeping all of your struggles inside makes you feel worse about your life and your situation. [Read: 12 ways to handle the struggle of hating your life]
#5 The ads you see can even hurt you. Realizing how big of an impact ads can have on us is something we’re not good at. We see great looking people dressed in impeccable clothing and we just immediately compare ourselves – even when we don’t think we are. Since social media tends to have a LOT of ads, this happens the most when we’re just browsing through our feeds.
#6 Fake friends. How many people do you only communicate with via Facebook or Instagram or Snapchat? A danger of social media when it comes to your self-esteem is that you won’t really build genuine friendships. Many people only visually act like your friend online and then aren’t there when you have a problem. And this can make you feel less secure in yourself.
#7 The need for attention not being met. Social media is all about attention. You put yourself out there and hope to get that “like” or that “share.” The problem is, if you don’t get those things, you feel like less of a person. And that hurts your confidence immensely. [Read: 16 signs you’re an attention whore]
#8 It keeps you away from people in real life. Humans need to socialize. We thrive while engaging with others – even if you’re an introvert. But if you’re spending all your time on social media and using it in place of an active social life, it’ll make you feel worse about yourself.
Signs social media is hurting your self-esteem
If you’re lacking confidence, that doesn’t mean the dangers of social media are the reason for it. However, if you’re feeling down on yourself lately, these are some signs that social media may be the cause.
#1 You regret going online. If you end up surfing your social media feed only to regret it, then you could be affected negatively by what’s online. Something that is a huge indicator that your self-esteem is being impacted by social media is how you feel after you get on it.
#2 You feel like your life is boring and you’re missing something. Everyone feels like their life is a little boring from time to time. But if you feel like this often and you find that you keep bringing up other people’s adventures as you’ve seen them online, the dangers of social media are affecting you.
#3 You’ve stopped going out and being with real people. Has your life basically moved to social media? If so, then you’re deeply affected by it in a negative way. You should never stop going out and having fun because others are making you think your life isn’t great. [Read: 30 best and worst words to describe yourself online]
#4 You don’t feel like you have any friends. How close are you with your friends? If you feel like you can’t really look at a friend and say they’re real, you may have an issue with your social media affecting your self-esteem.
#5 You seek attention online. If you’re craving attention and really only seem to get it online, that’s a huge problem. This is a definitely a danger of social media you have to be wary of. Online websites shouldn’t be your place to get attention and if you feel it’s the only way you’re getting it, your self-esteem could be compromised.
There are too many dangers of social media to count. A major issue that’s being seen everywhere right now, however, is its negative impact on people’s self-esteem. Make sure you’re not a victim of the social medium slum.
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Bella is a lifestyle writer, cheese enthusiast (Wisconsin native over here) and fantasy adventure author-in-progress who enjoys all things love, dog, p...