Com­par­ing your­self to oth­ers on so­cial me­dia by stalk­ing their aes­thet­i­cally per­fect pic­tures does lit­tle to help your self-es­teem.

The Gulf Today - Panorama - - COVER STORY -

How­ever, it can also dis­tort the way in which you re­mem­ber cer­tain tid­bits from your life.

Many of us are guilty of spend­ing far too much time try­ing to take the per­fect photo of a vis­ual mar­vel, all the while not ac­tu­ally ab­sorb­ing the first­hand ex­pe­ri­ence of wit­ness­ing it with your own two eyes.

“If we di­rect all of our at­ten­tion to­ward cap­tur­ing the best shots for our so­cial me­dia fol­low­ers to ad­mire, less will be avail­able to en­joy other as­pects of the ex­pe­ri­ence in real time,” said Dr Bono.

“Spend­ing too much time on our phones will de­tract from those other as­pects of the ex­pe­ri­ence, un­der­min­ing the hap­pi­ness we could be glean­ing from them.”

At­ten­tion span

It’s not just your sub­con­scious brain that you need to worry about, but also the ex­tent to which your brain is able to fully con­cen­trate when you’re awake.

Go­ing on so­cial me­dia be­fore you go to bed can neg­a­tively af­fect the qual­ity of your sleep.

While it’s in­cred­i­ble to con­sider the amount of in­for­ma­tion read­ily avail­able at our fin­ger­tips thanks to so­cial me­dia, it also means that peo­ple have be­come far more eas­ily dis­tracted.

“So­cial me­dia has pro­vided a means of con­stantly giv­ing into the temp­ta­tion of in­stant, easy-ac­cess en­ter­tain­ment,” said Dr Bono.

If you’re un­able to not check your phone for at least a few min­utes, then you’d do well to prac­tise ex­er­cis­ing your willpower on oc­ca­sion.

Men­tal health

Not only has so­cial me­dia been proven to cause un­hap­pi­ness, but it can also lead to the de­vel­op­ment of men­tal health is­sues such as anx­i­ety or de­pres­sion when used too much or with­out cau­tion.

In March, it was re­ported that more than a third of Gen­er­a­tion Z from a sur­vey of 1,000 in­di­vid­u­als stated that they were quit­ting so­cial me­dia for good as 41 per cent stated that so­cial me­dia plat­forms make them feel anx­ious, sad or de­pressed.

Ben Ja­cobs, a DJ who has more than 5,000 fol­low­ers on Twit­ter, de­cided to go on a hia­tus from the plat­form in Jan­uary 2016 and has found the break re­ally ben­e­fi­cial.

“Twit­ter did in­deed make me feel anx­ious from time to time as it slowly dawned on me I was con­cern­ing my­self with the feel­ings of the thou­sands of strangers I fol­lowed, while they didn’t nec­es­sar­ily know who I was,” he said.

“Since my Twit­ter hia­tus, I have had a clearer head with plenty of time to de­vote to other things such as wak­ing up in a cold sweat at

3am and read­ing a book in­stead.”

While you don’t nec­es­sar­ily have to quit so­cial me­dia for good, if you feel like it’s be­gin­ning to bog you down, why not con­sider al­lo­cat­ing so­cial me­di­afree time slots dur­ing your daily rou­tine? The slight change could do you a whole lot of good.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.