The Effects of Social Media

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Social media, Instagram specifically, can be a valuable tool if used correctly. You can use it to instantly convey your value to a girl you just met, to build your brand, your online presence, to market your products to potential clients etc.

However, even though it is valuable to build your presence on social media. If you are spending too much time on these apps, you need to be aware of the effects they can have on your mental state, on your view of society and reality, on what is normal. If you are not aware of this, you may feel negative emotions, like you’re not good enough, and your paradigms may shift unknowingly.

As someone living in today’s society (especially the U.S), you need to be aware of some the effects that social media can have on you. This is a list of what I believe we all need to be aware of while scrolling through our social media feeds.

 

We All Show The Highlights of Our Lives

No one wants to show that they are depressed, unhappy with life, lost, confused, questioning their purpose etc. My last girlfriend, who seemed completely normal at first, had a bipolar disorder, and was completely psychotic once I got to know her. However, anyone looking at her Instagram, will think that she has an awesome life. She’s an attractive girl, going out partying, and getting a lot of attention from dudes. This is all she puts out there, and the negative aspects of her personality are completely hidden on social media.
To an extent, we are all confused about life, some a little less than others, but we all have emotions (both negative and positive). We all have moments when we feel guilt, anxiety, regret, apathy, and all sorts of unwanted emotions, that’s just how our psyche works (through unconscious memories/traumas). This is all part of being human. However, seeing people on Instagram (especially hot girls), may make you feel like you’re the only human who has issues you’re working through and everyone else has an easy, amazing life. This is obviously not true; life is not perfect for anyone.

 

Hot Girls Are Not Higher Value Than You Are

Yes, it may be a lot easier to be a hot girl, at the peak of her sexual market value. She may get invited to tons of parties, she may get into exclusive clubs, to hang out with celebrities in mansions etc. However, there is much more to this than what it looks like on the outside.

First of all you need to accept this reality. This is just what hot girls do in big cities (Vegas, Miami, L.A, New York), they get tons of validation, and they have a pretty cool life of partying. But also realize, that their lives are not perfect, some of these girls I met are addicted to drugs (cocaine, molly etc.), some of them have a sugar daddy that they don’t want to sleep with, but need him to fund their lifestyle. Be aware, that there’s a lot that goes on behind the awesome party life.

Also know that women have huge mood swings, and they can sink to extreme depression a lot easier than guys can. As men, we have a pretty narrow range of emotions we experience daily, women however, can fluctuate between extreme emotions really fast. She may be partying and having an awesome time, and the next morning she may experience extreme depression.

 

Don’t Set Unrealistic Expectations on Yourself

Instagram, will alter your view on what it means to be human, and have a normal boring life. Looking at people hustling 24/7, hitting the gym, or traveling, and seeing hot girls on the beach, partying, surrounded by famous people, you will forget that this is not what life is like for these people. You may subconsciously start setting unrealistic expectations on yourself, and forgetting that this is not what anyone’s average life should be like.

The average person’s life is completely different from their highlights on social media.  Don’t let social media, dictate your expectations of life, or make you feel like you’re not good enough. Never compare yourself to what you see, this is no way to improve your life and will instead reduce your self worth and groundedness.

A perfect body and a perfect face can be faked. No one looks beautiful all the time. There’s photoshop, and plenty of mobile apps that girls (and guys) use to make their face, skin, and body look better than it actually is. There are also professional photographers who know how to frame things.

Don’t compare yourself to anyone on social media. It is not the truth, it is just the highlights. You might project way more on a person and their circumstances than the actual truth. You may start getting negative thoughts about yourself. Remember, social media is the best part of a person, and the highlights of what they are doing with their life. If you see people at the gym, or hustling all the time don’t use that to reinforce unrealistic expectations on yourself.

 

Accept Yourself

The only reasonable thing to do, is to compare yourself to yourself over time, be open to learning, to improving, to trying new things, and be sure that you are experimenting, learning, and hopefully improving/expanding  over time, don’t stagnate. This should be the only criteria you have for success in life.

However, social media, makes it a lot easier to compare your life to everyone else’s, it’s something our ego likes to do automatically. We all compare ourselves to others subconsciously, and feel good when we are doing better and not so good when we are lacking. Even the most attractive women, still have insecurities about really stupid things. They are also on Instagram, comparing themselves to others and getting jealous of their equally hot girl friends.

This is how our society is, everyone is comparing themselves to others, and social media makes it a lot easier.

Accept yourself, and be okay with yourself. Approve yourself, your actions, you shouldn’t need approval from others. Always have the frame that you are doing the best you can at each point in time, based on your inner beliefs, and your life’s circumstances.

Never judge yourself, for anything you do, especially for your past actions. You need to support and take care of yourself, no one else will. Try to improve if you can (work out, eat healthy etc.), but start by accepting yourself for who you are now.

Meditate, get in touch with your body, feel it, feel your emotions, and be okay with all of it. When you meditate use the scanning body technique to feel every part of your body and accept it, be okay with your weaknesses.

Positively reinforce yourself. Work on your weaknesses but accept them, focus on what you do well, and be happy with how you are progressing in life.

Don’t attach your self worth to comments/likes. Our ego loves to do this, just be aware of it. I think it is fine to want to get likes and views on social media, but don’t let your self worth be attached to it.

 

Be Aware of The Dopamine Hits

Dopamine is a natural drug produced by our brain to motivate us to seek out information, to exercise, and to reward us for certain behaviors which were important for our evolution. Dopamine also allows us to enjoy things in life and feel pleasure, see this quora thread.

With social media, you can get instant dopamine hits, by just scrolling through your feed, or your notifications. Your desire to seek, which our ancestors couldn’t easily accomplish, is now instantly gratified by your brain releasing dopamine. You can literally get bombarded with tons of information on Reddit, Twitter, Instagram, Tinder, texting etc. without having to do much work, and your brain rewards you. This creates a cycle which makes you want to seek out more information. This is why it can be difficult to get off Reddit once you start, your brain is literally rewarding you to keep going.

Dopamine is also stimulated by unpredictability. It is stimulated especially by social media since the content is unpredictable and endless. This can be exhausting and the constant switching of attention makes it difficult to focus on your life.

Start by turning off the cues, getting rid of the notifications, and of anything that makes you want to start checking social media. If you know you have to get stuff done, be careful about getting on any social media, and be aware how your brain will make it difficult for you to stop once you start.

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