How to free your­self from so­cial me­dia pres­sures

if the non­stop bar­rage of do-it-for-the-gram self­ies, feuds and in­ter­net trolls is get­ting in the way of your life, then it might be time for a so­cial me­dia cleanse. psy­chol­o­gist tanya van de wa­ter weighs in on the ef­fects of so­cial me­dia pres­sure.

Glamour (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

1 UN­DER­STAND THE POWER OF SO­CIAL ME­DIA

Speak­ing about men­tal health on pub­lic plat­forms can help in­crease aware­ness and help you make a con­nec­tion. Th­ese are pos­i­tive, but so­cial me­dia can also have a detri­men­tal ef­fect. Not all the in­for­ma­tion pro­vided is fac­tu­ally true, which can be po­ten­tially harm­ful.

2 SHAR­ING IS SE­LEC­TIVE

There is a grow­ing de­sire from so­ci­ety for au­then­tic­ity. How­ever, pub­lic dis­clo­sures on so­cial me­dia can of­fer a false sense of au­then­tic­ity be­cause they are still se­lec­tively shared.

3 BE­WARE OF MO­TI­VA­TIONAL QUOTES

While mo­ti­va­tional quotes can pro­vide a quick pick-me-up, they can also add an ad­di­tional sense of bur­den if you feel like you’re un­able to live up to it.

4 DON’T ONLY RELY ON PUB­LIC COM­MU­NI­TIES

So­cial me­dia may give you a type of group or com­mu­nity, but it doesn’t ful­fil the other cri­te­ria re­quired for group ther­apy. Some of the dif­fer­ences:

• Group ther­apy is ev­i­dence based (sci­en­tif­i­cally re­searched for its ben­e­fits to the par­tic­i­pants), while there is in­suf­fi­cient re­search about the ef­fi­cacy of so­cial me­dia as an in­ter­ven­tion.

• Group mem­bers are pro­tected by rules or bound­aries, such as con­fi­den­tial­ity and re­spect, whereas so­cial me­dia pro­vides op­por­tu­nity to ridicule and bully.

• The fa­cil­i­ta­tor is trained to iden­tify and ad­dress in­ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion, while the info avail­able on so­cial me­dia is un­cen­sored and likely in­ac­cu­rate.

5 SHAR­ING MAY BE EAS­IER, BUT NOT BET­TER

Shar­ing on­line is a mean­ing­ful op­por­tu­nity to ad­mit that you have a prob­lem and need help. Still, this isn’t enough to treat men­tal health. Re­search shows that it’s eas­ier to share things with close friends or with a stranger that you may never meet again in the fu­ture. Sim­i­larly, you can do the same on so­cial me­dia through di­rect mes­sag­ing or on your feed to your fol­low­ers. Th­ese pub­lic con­fes­sions don’t com­mit you to en­gage in on­go­ing re­la­tion­ships. So it may be eas­ier to share your strug­gle on­line, but it’s not a bet­ter sub­sti­tute for pro­fes­sional help.

6 YOU CAN’T TAKE IT BACK

The prob­lem with so­cial me­dia is that ev­ery­thing you share is per­ma­nently recorded in the on­line do­main. Make sure that what you’re putting out won’t give you stress or anx­i­ety if it were to come back at you in the fu­ture.

7 DO A DIG­I­TAL DETOX

Make your­self tem­po­rar­ily un­avail­able, and max­imise the op­por­tu­nity to be mind­fully present. A detox will pro­vide you with a mo­ment to re­flect on the fre­quency you use so­cial me­dia. How to know if you’re a patho­log­i­cal in­ter­net user: Do you stay on the in­ter­net longer than you were plan­ning? Do you catch your­self think­ing about when you can go on­line again? Are you strug­gling to cut down on the amount of time you spend on­line? Are your other re­spon­si­bil­i­ties at home or work suf­fer­ing be­cause of the time you spend on­line? If you an­swered yes to all th­ese ques­tions, then we sug­gest you con­tact a men­tal health pro­fes­sional.

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