how far will you go for social media?

It’s a common feeling to have that tight knot in your stomach when you don’t have your phone for a while. Who knows what you might be missing out on, and how will your friends know what you are up to? But when a 15-year-old Ariana Grande fan claimed to use her fridge to tweet her fans and followers after her phone was confiscated, is the obsession with keeping connected online getting too much?

Social media anxiety disorder is now a diagnosed mental health condition. It affects those who become anxious and irritated if they don’t have access to their social media accounts. Social media has become such a large part of our lives that not having a presence or the ability to engage with friends, followers and fans can cause physiological distress.

Social media can not only cause negative impacts on mental health from FOMO and withdrawal symptoms. The social pressures that come hand in hand with publicly posting about your lifestyle and beliefs can really impact how you view yourself and cause detrimental effects on your self-esteem.

Scrolling through profiles that present the impression of constantly looking amazing, feeling great, seeing and doing extraordinary things can make you feel like your life is boring in comparison. As someone with friends who have great followings on social media, I can say first-hand that what they share on their accounts takes precedence over what they are actually doing; they would visit an amazing place only to spend the whole time taking photos instead of actually enjoying their surroundings and company.

My advice for anyone who feels addicted to social media? You don’t need to cut it out completely if you don’t want to. Try to cut down on it slowly and replace it with more meaningful communications, like face-to-face catch-ups. Maybe even leave the photos out to enjoy the moment as it is.

Imogen Byers

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