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Don’t Worry About Being Cute. Worry About Being Interesting

Don’t Worry About Being Cute. Worry About Being Interesting

Adolescence is a tough time: you’re still navigating the road between child and adult, but with the added stress of new set of emotions, experiences, and social situations to tackle. Future colleges and universities expect your applications to be full of extracurricular activities and leadership positions, not just above average grades.

Then, in high school, there are the cute girls with their perfectly tousled hair, unchipped nails, and designer clothes. These girls are definitely popular and get the attention of not just our male classmates but also our teachers as well. (Does anyone else find it strange that some teachers seemed to be more focused on gaining the approval of the cute, popular kids over finding innovative ways to teach?) With all this noise, it’s no wonder you’re gravitating towards the benefits of being cute rather than focusing on all the other things that matter, like your grades and your hobbies. Don’t fall for that trap!

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Instead of spending all that time worrying about being cute, spend it figuring out how to be interesting. Here’s why:

Being cute doesn’t get you into college or get you the job of your dreams.

What you look like is normally not a large part of the application process for college or for most jobs – at least not in the initial stages of application review or resume screening. Rather, building out a robust life with interests, hobbies, and exemplary achievements is much more important. It may feel like being cute is the most important thing in the world right now, but in just a few years you’ll wish that you had spent more time making yourself a whole person, with expertise in different things.  That depth is what will give you perspective to perfect your college application, or build an interesting resume that warrants a call back.

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Worrying about being cute may mean you’ll miss out on important life experiences.

Focusing on being cute, and what you think comes along with it such as popularity, fame, and attention, will rob you of more important life experiences. Have you dreamed of experiencing new cultures, or hiking through nature to learn more about yourself, and discover new things? It’s hard to backpack through Europe or Asia with little more than two changes of clothes and no cosmetics when you’re worried about being cute. Are you a budding writer or musician? Distracting your mind with something that’s so fleeting will impact your deeper concentration and future success. Don’t miss out on the rest of life because you’re preoccupied with something that’s extremely short term and short sighted, like being cute.

Worrying about being cute may actually backfire, no matter how cute you are.

Why is being cute so hard to do? Because you have to do it effortlessly. It has to come naturally and you can’t show insecurity. If you’re preoccupied with being cute, and are constantly worried that you need to keep being cute, it won’t seem natural. In fact, you could come across as fake or insincere.

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Your future life partner already thinks you’re cute.

Whomever you end up with won’t care whether or not you were cute before they met you. In fact, they already think you’re incredibly cute – just as you are. If you’re worried that you won’t be able to find someone because you’re not cute as you are, so you change yourself to fit an idea of what is cute, you just won’t attract the right person for you.

Why worry about something you already are?

You may not have noticed it, but you’re already cute! You have your own unique personality and qualities that make you who you are, and that is definitely cute. Don’t worry about trying to be something that you already are.

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Featured photo credit: meikkis5/maria morri via flickr.com

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Last Updated on June 24, 2019

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

Social Media Could Lead to Depression

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

• low self-esteem,

• negative self-talk,

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• a low mood,

• irritability,

• a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

• and social withdrawal.

If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

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Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

Why We Need to Take This Seriously

Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

Advice on Social Media Use

Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

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One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

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Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

Reference

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