How Social Media Affects Our Mental Wellbeing
Social media can put strains on your mental health, can’t it? It has the ability to ruin your day. People don’t act how they would in real life on there at all. It’s a fake world where people project fake images of themselves.
It can be very positive and useful too, but often times the internet is quite toxic. Yet we’re always drawn back to it. We’re addicted to the falseness of it. There must be something in that.
That’s a problem really, isn’t it? How we project versions of ourselves online that are rarely anything like how we really are. How is it that a person can be struggling with profound loneliness yet appear to be ‘living the life’ in the realm of social media? Why don’t we express how we really feel online? These are questions with difficult answers.
I suppose it’s an unwritten social contract in ways. It’s fine to say you’re doing well. Sure don’t we all love that? And if we don’t love that you’re doing well, we’ll at least love to talk shite about you posting about your good life. Everyone gets something from that.
However, if you post some real, honest, heartfelt feelings, feeling that may not be positive? Well, then things get awkward for people. It’s almost as if honesty online causes ostracization. People only want you to be funny, or hold certain opinions, or to look a certain way. Anything outside of that is taboo.
Which is why we all have these artificial versions of ourselves online. And this is why, a person might appear, to everyone else around them, to be doing perfectly fine, when they’re actually drowning. And that’s an awfully scary precedent to set.
We’ve created an illusion of ‘the good life’ so strong that you can’t even see the red flags of mental struggle, because so many people have been conditioned not to show them online. The online world wants a certain version of you, and that version of you is not allowed to be imperfect.
At a certain point it becomes impossible for so many people to speak up about how they’re feeling at all, because the online world has made them believe that not feeling happy or not living the perfect life has some sort of negative connotation attached to it.
It makes people feel like there’s something wrong with them for feeling sad or lonely. So instead, we pretend we’re not sad, or that we’re not lonely. We fake this idea that we are happy in the hope that if we fake it long enough that it will become true.
There are good aspects to using social media. But there are many pitfalls. We forget that everyone we interact with on here is a person too. Instead, we hurl abuse at people who don’t share our values, and we’re reassured by our echo chambers that what we’re doing is the right thing to be doing.
Deep down we know this isn’t true of course, but the serotonin is too readily available to give up, and so we convince ourselves that it’s okay to dehumanize other people once the likes keep rolling in.
Your mental health is affected by social media. It’s corrupting the way you view interactions with other people. In the same way that porn damages how people view sex, social media distorts how people feel about interacting with others.
We stop treating people like people, and instead we few them as opportunities to get some fleeting validation from our online peers. You can’t be honest and you have to be hostile. It’s very, very bad.