Effect of Social Media on Happinness

DanRoz

New member
Jun 25, 2018
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#1
A few years back, my carefully cultivated online persona was a big deal to me. I viewed Facebook/Insta "likes" as indicators of popularity and success, and devoted a substantial amount of attention into garnering as many "likes" as possible. But with time, I realized not only how superficial such concerns really were, but also how detrimental they could be to my well-being. Social media feels like such a silly thing to care so much about (and get so hung up on), but it's a reality of our time... And I'm sure I'm not the only one here who's felt this way.

Over time, I've gotten off Instagram, cut my Facebook usage to mostly chat, and generally steered clear of the aspects of social media that promote more ego-driven actions. And not for one second have I regretted this transition! My take: something inherent in social media breeds malcontent in its users.

To be clear - this isn't a knock on anyone who loves using social media! It's the world we live in. I'm just curious about your experience with the relationship between social media and personal happiness. Do you agree that limiting one's social presence can potentially boost happiness? And why?
 
Likes: LaVagabonde
Jun 25, 2018
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#2
This post is really relatable, DanRoz. I even had some moments in the past when I would post something in Facebook and would literally wait and count my Likers one by one. Many likes would really boost my confidence, but it honestly gave me a sense of superficial happiness. As I grew older, I realized I have more important things to focus my energy, such as spending personal time with family and friends, than waiting for all those "thumbs up" and "heart reacts".

But just as what you've said, this is now the era we are living in. Social media is undeniably a part of our existence now. There are people I appreciate for being so vocal in social media, especially if it's something that gives us awareness on some social and environmental issues. Moreover, it can be a helpful tool in connecting with our loved ones from miles away.


We live with the pros and cons of social media, and it is up to us to get the most out of it. To steer back to the point of this thread, relying on social media entirely for our happiness is something I personally discourage :)
 
Jun 26, 2018
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#3
Although I have never been as influenced by social media as the people around me, I agree that it can have a great impact on your happiness. There's just something extremely superficial about it. You look at people portraying the best image of themselves and their lives and you begin to believe that everyone around you is extremely happy all the time, which is not true at all. Social media does not portray reality at all.

I think it is healthier to use social media but be detached from it. Don't believe everything you see. Don't believe you are a loser just because everyone else is "apparently" living a great life. Such thoughts can only lead to depression.
 

DanRoz

New member
Jun 25, 2018
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#4
@chsarahahmed - Totally agree with the notion of taking what you see on social media with a grain of salt, and I think it speaks to a larger reality:

Relatively speaking, social media is still a pretty new cultural phenomenon. And I think we're only really beginning to ask the question: "To what extent is it healthy to embrace social media?" i.e. Use it "but be detached from it," as you say.

I don't necessarily have an answer to that question, but in line with this forum's "Self-Development" umbrella, I think social media necessitates a certain level of discipline. Perhaps that means limiting how much you use it; perhaps it means setting some personal boundaries; perhaps it just means changing how much emotional stake you invest in it. Either way, it's something worth considering for happiness' sake.
 
Likes: chsarahahmed

Genelle17

New member
Jun 26, 2018
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#5
I would definitely say I agree with you! Personally I use social media as a platform to share my health & fitness journey as well as become a business owner for myself so I am using it daily & creating content, but sometimes it can be seriously overwhelming. It is so easy to compare yourself to others and that is when I don't think it is healthy if that starts to happen on a consistent basis. Anytime I have taken a social media break it definitely has helped me relax!
 

BrigS

New member
Jul 8, 2018
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#6
I think many people have been through at least a bit of what you have. I also think there is no question social media is bad for people, and even bad for the country, and I think it's been a major contributor to people not knowing the difference between information that is real or fake. The online world FEELS real, but it's not. People say things to other people they would NEVER say face to face because it feels so distant in one way, and so close in another. Personally I don't think there's a healthy way to enjoy it, but that doesn't mean I'm going to stop using it anymore than anyone else is, because it's where everyone is, it's where you reach people. Social media is the modern version of a smoke break. :p
 
Jul 20, 2018
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#7
There are so many points to make here...
What saddens me is that people seem, the majority- not all, unable to balance life. Social media has so many good aspects. The downsides are far more concerning.

I see the negatives in teens. They can’t manage emotions. They speak in codes and write poorer than I have ever seen before- honors kids! Face to face interactions are awkward, and they misread social cues. There is little attention span, patience, and awareness of those around them.

These observations are not the complete list, but they are a good start. Now... it’s easier for us to see these traits in kids because it’s not personal. Look at yourself. Each of you. Do you see these in yourself or those you spend time with?

How can we begin to adjust ourselves? How can we turn the negative effects around?
 

bmcd16

New member
Jul 31, 2018
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#8
This is a really good thread! I have definitely been there. For me, it was less about my image/projecting a persona online and more about feeling socially excluded. I used to see other people’s posts and feel lonely because I wasn’t invited or didn’t have any plans. I think social media can affect happiness, but it really does depend on the person. Some people find it toxic and need to completely remove themselves, and others find social media a great escape from the stress of the real world.
 

NewMama

New member
Jul 30, 2018
23
3
3
#9
I would agree that there is a strong correlation between the time spent on social media and my feelings of happiness. The more I find myself scrolling, the more I feel, for lack of a better word, yucky. At the beginning of the year, I gave up Instagram and Facebook for a month as a resolution of sorts, and I almost immediately felt better - more present and less anxious. I teach 10th grade English, and I can tell you that a majority of my students feel the same, even though they also readily admit being addicted to social media.

I don't know what the solution is. I haven't deleted my accounts, and now that I have a new baby, I feel even more pressure to keep them so I can share photos and stories with family members who live far away.
 
Jul 20, 2018
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#10
This is a really good thread! I have definitely been there. For me, it was less about my image/projecting a persona online and more about feeling socially excluded. I used to see other people’s posts and feel lonely because I wasn’t invited or didn’t have any plans. I think social media can affect happiness, but it really does depend on the person. Some people find it toxic and need to completely remove themselves, and others find social media a great escape from the stress of the real world.
What you are saying is exactly what I see in our teens. It’s amazing to those of us who didn’t have this stuff our whole lives. The younger generation does not- cannot- fathom our reasoning about the health effects of all technology- specifically social media. 😞
 

Uncle Dil

New member
Jul 29, 2018
28
1
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#11
This post is really relatable, DanRoz. I even had some moments in the past when I would post something in Facebook and would literally wait and count my Likers one by one. Many likes would really boost my confidence, but it honestly gave me a sense of superficial happiness. As I grew older, I realized I have more important things to focus my energy, such as spending personal time with family and friends, than waiting for all those "thumbs up" and "heart reacts".

But just as what you've said, this is now the era we are living in. Social media is undeniably a part of our existence now. There are people I appreciate for being so vocal in social media, especially if it's something that gives us awareness on some social and environmental issues. Moreover, it can be a helpful tool in connecting with our loved ones from miles away.


We live with the pros and cons of social media, and it is up to us to get the most out of it. To steer back to the point of this thread, relying on social media entirely for our happiness is something I personally discourage :)

The best thing I ever did was delete my Facebook account. A major flaw of social media is that for the most part individuals only post the positive aspects of their life and make themselves out to be something they aren't. This breeds feelings of inadequacy in humans. The application have also been shown to increase dopamine levels leading to their addictiveness. My advice: spend less time on social media and do more things in real life!
 

Oaky

New member
Aug 15, 2018
20
1
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#12
I've been enthused with social media since it's inception into this world - however since it's beginnings I have not only watched as social media evolved from your basic AOL IM services to Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter... I watched as Myspace morphed and Facebook worked quickly to follow suit. That stated, indeed connecting with friends, families, and meeting new individuals is wonderful and something that could only be done with such innovation - but there's been quite a movement by most social media providers to not only obtain and retain a personal profile on each user, but to market and use algorithms to specifically feed individuals content that individual rankings state would interest each user. Facebook has even gone as far as feeding individual users specific content types to not only alter mood and perspective, but they also actively work to silence dissenting voices whilst working directly alongside government organizations to share your data and individual ranking.

We live in an Orwellian nightmare, and although social media in moderation can be beneficial for one's interactions with others - there is still major privacy risks and hidden tactics that will be used to emotionally manipulate users of such media.