Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. Many of us scroll through our news feeds every morning when we wake up, every night before we go to sleep, and countless other times throughout the day. We publish status updates and tweets so our friends and acquaintances (and anyone else, really) can share in our excitements, our sorrows, our triumphs, and our challenges. Posting on social media can enable us to become a part of a greater community, but what do our social media habits say about us?
Your Social Media Habits Say A Lot About How You See Yourself
Believe it or not, your posts on social media convey a lot more than the specific words you say. If we look closer, we see that our Facebook posts actually say a great deal about our self esteem and how we view ourselves. Here are a few observations I’ve picked up during my years as a limited licensed psychologist in Michigan:
If You Constantly Post About Your Achievements…
People who constantly post about their achievements and successes may inadvertently come across as self-absorbed and narcissistic. While the urge to share occasional triumphs is natural, be cautious not to overwhelm your friends’ news feeds with posts like this. If you post too many “bragging” posts, your friends may start to think that you’re covering up deep-seated insecurities.
If Your Posts Frequently Complain About Something Negative…
Let’s be honest; we all know “that one friend” who is always posting negative statuses and comments. Unfortunately, these types of complaining posts can have several negative repercussions. For one thing, they quickly annoy your friends and followers. For another thing, negative posts tend to breed more negativity. By focusing solely on the things that make you unhappy, you’ll be more likely to draw even more negative things into your life.
If You Are Always Posting Selfies…
The selfie phenomenon has taken our social media world by storm. There is nothing inherently wrong with sharing pictures of yourself with your friends and family, but posting an over-abundance of selfies can lead to other issues. While we may not consciously realize it, many of us begin to compare the number of likes and comments we get on our photos, and we may become frustrated if one photo doesn’t get as much interaction as the others. If we’re not careful, this need for constant feedback from our friends and family may hurt our self-confidence and cause us to rely to heavily on our contacts for the affirmation we would otherwise be able to provide for ourselves.
Can We Use Social Media To Improve Our Overall Mental Health?
If we can use social media to identify underlying psychological or emotional patterns, can we use it to foster better emotional wellness? It may be possible, but only if we are very careful and self-aware of the things we post.
Promote Positive Thinking…
Last week, I talked about the importance of keeping a sunshine diary to help promote positive thinking on a daily basis. You can use your social media profiles in the same manner; express gratitude in a post once per day. Even if you choose not to express gratitude specifically, I recommend focusing your posts around things that make you happy. Did your special someone send you flowers? Is your puppy looking especially adorable this morning? Look for the positive things in your life and draw more attention to them.
… Or Don’t Post At All
If you are actively working towards improving your overall mental wellness, I strongly encourage you to avoid posting on social media altogether if you don’t have anything positive to share. As we discussed earlier, negativity tends to breed more negativity. Rather than feeding and fostering negativity in our lives, we may be better off refraining from posting entirely until we have something positive to share with our friends and family.
The other potential drawback that stems from our increasing reliance on social media is that many of today’s teenagers and young adults (as well as some adults) become extremely anxious when they are called upon to engage in face-to-face or voice-to-voice communication. Doing everything online is fun and convenient, but what kind of impact is it having on our ability to communicate directly with other human beings? Be sure to check my blog next week for a closer look at this interesting topic.
Looking For A Mental Health Counselor?
If you have any questions or if you would like more information about online therapy services, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me!
Samantha M. Ruth, Transformational Psychologist
Online Therapy… Your Therapy, Your Way!
Let’s Connect! Follow Me On…