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