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Are you a highly sensitive to social media? Do you know someone in your life who’s negatively impacted by social media?
According to research, there’s often an emotional price when one feels highly sensitive to social media stimuli. Many users of social media report feelings including unhappiness, envy, insecurity, rejection, vulnerability, and depression. Some studies conclude that social media may have an especially adverse emotional impact on women.
To be sure, social media has clear and multiple benefits. The focus of this article is on what you can do if social media is a mixed or negative experience for you.
Below are ten signs that you’re highly sensitive to social media. While many people may experience some of these signs from time to time, someone who’s highly sensitive to social media will likely “feel too often” and “feel too deep” while browsing. Some individuals may be highly sensitive to just one or two stimuli, while others may be strongly affected by more on the list.
1. Often experiences negative thoughts and emotions while browsing.
2. Often worries about what others think of your posts.
3. Is afraid of being rejected, such as people ignoring, not “liking”, or negatively commenting on your posts.
4. Often compares self with others when browsing, and experiences unhappy feelings from negative social comparison.
5. Often feels envy or jealous over how others “advertise” their envy-worthy lifestyle.
6. Often feels resentment about social media posts which seems unjust, aggravating or simply annoying.
7. Feels physical symptoms (i.e. stress, tension, anxiety) while browsing.
8. Takes other people’s posts, or others’ response to your posts personally (i.e. “they just want to show-off to me!”, “they didn’t click ‘like’ on purpose!”)
9. Continues to browse social media, even when it causes you to experience upset.
10. Feels lingering unhappiness about what you saw on social media, even after you’re off-line.
Again, while some highly sensitive individuals may be acutely affected by just one or two of the traits above, others may be over-stimulated by more on the list.
Below are four tips if and when using social media causes you to feel unhappy:
1. Start a Social Media Diet
This first tip seems obvious, but it works! Go off the grid, at least for a while. Stop or reduce your time on social media. Life is too short to feel bad while looking at others people’s idealized representations.
2. Be Honest About Your Emotions
Acknowledge any unhappiness that you may experience while browsing social media. Know that you have the power to make these feelings go away with select exposure.
3. Have a Social Media Reality Check
“Envy can frequently lead to users embellishing their Facebook profiles, which, in turn, provokes envy among other users.”
― Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
When you feel unhappy while browsing social media, remember that many, if not most social media messages are forms of personal advertisements. Most people tend to post what’s positive (or dramatic) in their lives. It’s what they want you to see, rather than how their lives really are.
4. Interact with People (Face-to-Face), Nature, Animals, and Exercise More Than Social Media
The next time social media gives you the blues – log out! This simple act shows that it is YOU who have the power. Instead, engage in activities that make you feel good, such as call or visit a loved one, enjoy nature, play with a beloved pet, or have a stimulating workout. Goethe reminds us: “Nothing is worth more than this day.” How will you live your life to the fullest today?
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
― Steve Jobs
© 2018 by Preston C. Ni. All rights reserved worldwide. Copyright violation may subject the violator to legal prosecution.