I don’t want to be a social media hater. There are plenty of wonderful, supportive, and positive social platforms, influencers, and pages that entertainment, uplift, and inspire. But at the same time, the presence of toxic social media has a way of creeping up no matter how well you filter your interests. I’ve had my fair share of relationship issues that stemmed from social media. I’ve also gotten sucked into unrealistic expectations of what my body should look like. The negative effects of social media are real, and it’s important to know when it’s time to take a break for your mental health. Here are some tell-tale signs that it’s time to detox or disconnect.
Body Comparison and Body Dysmorphia
TBH, when I first downloaded TikTok, I was really turned off by the endless video streams of women dancing around half-naked. Before I knew how to filter my interests, my feed defaulted to this infinite feed of models with flawless complexions and picture-perfect physiques. For me, it was crushing to my self-image. At the time, I was pregnant and watching my body change before my eyes, making me even more vulnerable to body comparison. I got sucked into this rabbit hole on my social platforms, where I would compare my body to others. It was self-sabotage. Social media was controlling how I felt about myself, and I realized how much it negatively impacted my mood. So, I took a break.
Body comparison is one of the most harmful effects of social media, especially for women and our youth. If you’re watching something that makes you question yourself or triggers insecurity, let that be a huge waving red flag to block, mute, and unfollow. You are beautiful as you are, and there is only one of you. Remember, nobody is perfect. There is a filter for everything – keep that in mind next time someone else’s appearance makes you question your own.
From ongoing interactions with other people, oversharing, or feeling like your partner is constantly scrolling, social media is the culprit of many relationship problems. I know it sounds petty, but think about your love life. How many times have you experienced a disagreement stemming from poor online etiquette? If your boo constantly hits like on sexy posts or sends DMs to other people, it makes you question your security in the relationship. Social media is bad for a relationship when it sparks emotions of jealousy. So, what to do?
It’s best to address your feelings right away. Sitting with your feelings only builds resentment and anxiety. Talk to your partner about your feelings, comprise, and set boundaries. I think people don’t realize how their behavior on social media can hurt others. Your partner may not realize that liking other girls’ posts makes you feel insecure. So, call it out. Speak how you feel and never be sorry for being real.
The “Perfect” Life Portrayal
You know whom I’m talking about. The couple who is soo in love. The in perfect shape gym goer. The popular partier. The runway-ready fashionista. The mom who has it all together. Guess what? The perfect life is not real. Nobody’s life is perfect. What you see on social are people who are, at that moment, showing their greatest, most filtered, and often fake selves. No relationship, marriage, job, health, or vanity is perfect. We all have our problems. Don’t let the picture-perfect persona fool you.
The perfect life portrayal is another toxic social media trap that makes us feel like our lives are not nearly as exciting as they should be. Many “go viral” influencers have shared their personal stories about how their life is actually very different from what you see online. If there is an account that makes you feel insufficient or lacking in your own life, do yourself a favor and unfollow or mute their stories. No questions asked.
Dun dun duuun! Instead of turning off the lights and getting some much-needed sleep, do you lay in bed and scroll through social media and other outlets to get caught up on all the latest news, even if it’s negative and depressing? (Raises hand). This is called Doomscrolling. When you’re constantly scrolling through doom and gloom news and happenings, it’s cognitive overload, impacting your mental health and sense of stability and safety. This toxic social media habit is addictive because our phones are practically glued to our heads all day long, and we often don’t even realize that we’re doing it.
Setting screen time limits is helpful and practicing mindfulness are ways to tackle doomscrolling and negativity on social media. Always listen to your body. If what you see triggers anxiety, it’s probably not healthy for you. Shut it down!
Calm down, Karen. While airing out your stance on politics and other social issues is within your rights, sometimes it causes more harm than good on social media. Unless you don’t care about the type of response you’ll get from your social peers, be prepared for backlash. Not everyone is going to agree with you. Some people respond harshly and attack your character because they simply don’t agree. And some troll for these posts just to get a reaction from you. It sucks, but it is our reality. Even the most innocent social ranting can turn ugly.
Positive Vibes Only
If the negative effects of social media are dragging you down, be kind to yourself and take a break. I’ve deleted my apps for a week to detox, which really does help. Clean up your following list and hide, unfollow, mute, or block accounts or people who make you feel bad. Social media should be a positive experience, and it’s your choice on what kind of content you’d like to see. Follow us @pathforwardpsychics for guaranteed good vibes!
Talk to a Psychic for Support
If social media is causing you emotional issues or relationship complications, talk to a Psychic about it. A Psychic can offer an unbiased, non-judgmental opinion and help you work through negativity.