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4 Reasons Why People Who Don’t Rely On Social Media Are More Confident

4 Reasons Why People Who Don’t Rely On Social Media Are More Confident

What’s the first thing you do when you snap a cute photo of you and your BFF? Post it to Instagram, probably. That’s just how social media works. When you have an update to share, it’s hard to find a reason not to tweet or blog about it.

Not everyone is hooked on social media these days, believe it or not. It’s a great way to connect with people you don’t get the chance to see every day, but it doesn’t have to be your lifeline.

There are a few major differences between those who are constantly glued to their social media channels and those who aren’t. Here are five reasons why those who don’t rely on social media to document their lives are more confident than those who do.

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They make more of an effort to maintain relationships

Social media makes it almost too easy to keep in touch with family and friends. Except, by “keeping touch” we actually mean reading their Facebook statuses and liking their photos. It’s a one-sided interaction. When people go long periods of time without posting anything, we lose touch with them immediately. That’s enough to put a dent in anyone’s confidence.

People who don’t rely so heavily on social media actually make an effort to keep in touch with those they care about. They’re willing to sit across from their best friends at a café, with their phone tucked away in their pocket, and share the details of each others’ lives they don’t care to share online. In their world, “I’ll see you later” actually means, “I’m planning on meeting up with you again next week, okay?”

They are more aware of their surroundings

You might feel like you can reach out and touch every inch of the earth through the articles you read and pictures you see others post online, but as you’re sitting at your desk reading about different current events and cultures around the world, there are hundreds of people walking past your office window who have seen those things in real time for themselves.

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Stepping away from social media, at least for the majority of your day, gives you the chance to explore the world around you and observe life through your own eyes. Those who do this are more confident because they don’t need to rely on someone else’s viewpoint of the world to form their own.

They don’t hide behind a screen

Have you ever posted a comment or status saying something you never would have been “brave” enough to say in person? It probably made you feel pretty good at first. “Wow! I can’t believe I posted that,” you thought to yourself as you waited for the likes to roll in. What happens when no one responds, though? That façade of bravery shatters instantly.

When you don’t have a screen in front of you, but you have something to say, do you? People who don’t rely on social media have trained themselves to speak up without a protective shield. Their confidence stems from their ability to express their thoughts openly and verbally, where, often, an audience has no choice but to listen.

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They live in the moment

In this social media-saturated world, an adventure is nothing more than a chance to snap a few pictures to see how many likes and comments they’ll get. You’re not enjoying the concert, really: you’re staring into the screen of your phone to make sure you’re capturing every moment for everyone else to see later. When we’re alone, we scroll through today’s TimeHop memories and secretly cringe at all the things we said back then.

Those who treat social media as a supplement instead of a staple follow their sense of adventure without worrying about how it will look on camera later. They cherish the actual sights and sounds they experienced firsthand. They are also able to leave the unflattering images of their past in the past where they belong. If that’s not enough to boost your confidence, we don’t know what is.

By cutting back on your social media use, you can improve your relationships with loved ones, immerse yourself in the real world again and stop spending so much time looking back on “what used to be.” Like anything, social media won’t hurt you, if you use it in moderation.

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Featured photo credit: Jason Howie 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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