Are you truly happy with your Social Media use?
So this week I came across an article that really did jump out at me from the bottom of the page; It was entitled “Facebook makes us ‘lonely and angry’. Now, I know we can all be partial to a rant or two on social media, that goes without saying, but words as strong as ‘lonely’ and ‘angry’? Is the whole social media landscape really getting that bad?
The article explains how The Denmark Happiness research Institute conducted an experiment on 1095 people who rated their happiness out of 10, and the average result came back as 7.6. Half then stopped using Facebook for a week; and the other half just carried on as normal. Those that didn’t use Facebook said their happiness levels rose to 8.12, whilst the rest did not change.
Now, this got me thinking. Are we genuinely happy and properly engaging with social media? Or are we just mindlessly logging onto Facebook and scrolling through cat videos to keep our hands busy until we have something better to do?
Facebook and wider social media gives the user a platform to be whatever kind of person they want to be. It provides a rooftop and an opportunity to shout from it, basically. Now, it’s completely up to the user what they want to do with that opportunity. That’s the beauty of it really. Done something interesting and want to indulge in some self-deprecation? Something Charitable? Want to have a rant at the state of the weather? Want to connect with a certain company? Or even just send a message to your mum and let her know you’re okay/alive? You understand where I’m going with this. Try and guess which scenario most applies to me.
So, the problem can arrive when we don’t have anything to shout from the rooftops, but everyone else has these amazing and interesting things to post/tweet/Instagram about. So what can happen then? Naturally you start to compare yourself to others. Maybe you feel you won’t be doing well enough in your job or whatever gripe or personal issue you can think of. It’s just human nature at the end of the day; it’s going to happen even to the best of us. This potentially could follow on to real life. You’ll feel down and have zero motivation. ‘What’s the point of this?’ would be the mindset.
What would I suggest then? Would be your next question. Yes, social media is fantastic. It’s one of the key inventions for the 21st century, but we’ve got to take it into context. Take it with ‘a pinch of salt’ if you will. Maybe not being connected 100% of the time might not be the worst idea in the world. Have some real conversations with real human beings, turn your phone off every now and again, do the evening commute without checking your Facebook feed the whole time. There’s an App called ‘Moment’ which is ideal for this. It tracks your phone usage; and allows you to set limits on how long you can use your phone for. The beauty of it is you can connect your family’s phone, so you can track/limit their phone use too. Don’t let Social Media become stale and a chore. Social media is brilliant, and let’s make sure it stays that way.