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Cass87

Does deleting social media help your mental health?

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Hi all! 

I’ve found myself completely obsessed with comparing my life with others online! It feels like everyone is a millionaire with an amazing life! They’re all reaching *life* milestones that I haven’t... buying a house.. getting married .. etc. 

In reality they aren’t millionaires with the perfect life, but they REALLY do appear to be this person online. Even though *i know these people’s REAL problems* I STILL seem to compare myself with this unrealistic standard. 

It makes me bitter , resentful, unappreciative, anxious and depressed. When all I see of people is their successes, it makes me sad. 

Maybe that makes me a terrible person. But I don’t think it does, as I feel others feel this way too. 

 

But im scared to turn off social media in that I might lose friendship connections that are very difficult to maintain outside of social media (I’ve tried it before- which is sad). 

Have you tried doing it? Did it improve your self worth, anxiety or depression?? Or did it just make you do it more in reality?? I find myself doing it in reality too!! “Oh look at this girl, I’d never look like that, why am I stuck with this face?!” It’s really soul crushing. 

 

Advice?? Thank you 😥😥😥

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Hi. I didn't delete my accounts, I stopped posting, reacting to friends posts and only checked social media once per week and then only for invitations. When I'm struggling with my mental health, social media only makes it worse. For we who live with depression (and perhaps everybody else too) I think it's a comparison trap of self-obsession and envy.

On top of that, we're force-fed triggering topics, provocative memes, outrage-machine crafted articles with headlines designed to manipulate emotions and friends sniping at one another. 

Let's set all that aside for now because you're rightly concerned about relationship connections. Many of mine decayed and I wasn't able reinforce them with real life contact because I was isolating due to symptoms. Like you implied there are friends and family whose lives I'm able to share only on social media because of where they live. So I think there is a baby in there with the bathwater, how do we separate the two?

If there's a middle way between deleting accounts and status anxiety, it's not found in the controls given to us by social media companies. Rather, each of us ought to practice some kind of social media mindfulness.

Maybe that begins with understanding why a one dimensional, highly filtered view of somebody can make it appear that they are absolutely winning at life. Work on developing habits that relegate social media's status to servant rather than master. Remember and reinforce those virtues that are meaningful to us but lose their true meaning in the social media universe, such as friends and friendship. 

If any of the above piques your interest, a web search of the following words will return some articles: social media comparison depression (replace depression with anxiety, if you prefer).

I hope this is helpful and thank you for opening this discussion.

 

 

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20 minutes ago, Rattler6 said:

Other than my professional profile, I deleted them.  They are too much of a time sink and I was not getting much out of them.

It’s funny that you said this because I 

did the same thing because I could feel 

negative energy coming from my social 

media and it was causing me more harm 

more good

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Social media is poison for the most part.  It's very addictive but all it does is suck the energy from you.  We become addicted to the drama of it and can't get away.  I deleted my accounts a long time ago.  They made me sick.

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I had a different experience. A while back I gave up social media for two weeks. I found myself feeling more isolated and alone. I think that it depends on what you use it for. I do not compare my life to others. I use it to keep in touch with relatives and friends I do not often see and discuss issues with like minded people. My recommendation would be not to delete your account, but to take am intentiomal break of several weeks and see if your life is better or worse.

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I haven't deleted my profiles but I don't use them much if at all any more. Not only was it addictive, but it also showed me how vain, cruel, and ignorant most people are. 

It was an unstable bridge that brought across mostly negativity. So I decided to burn that bridge. I'd rather scream without a voice upon death ears then be tangled in the webs of disheartening obscurity.

Edited by legacy6364

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14 minutes ago, JessiesMom said:

I had a different experience. A while back I gave up social media for two weeks. I found myself feeling more isolated and alone. I think that it depends on what you use it for. I do not compare my life to others. I use it to keep in touch with relatives and friends I do not often see and discuss issues with like minded people. My recommendation would be not to delete your account, but to take am intentiomal break of several weeks and see if your life is better or worse.

That’s a excellent idea 

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Also, the unfriend button is your friend. If someone's posts or comments are toxic - unfriend or unfollow. I did it to my mother and it has mad my relationship with my facebok feed much better.

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Social Media is a double edge sword. But ultimately I think it brings more negative then positives. Its a quick way to feel connected to people around us and the reasons why we feel so lonely and disconnected without it is because we get used to that instant gratification it brings us. Feeling lonely and Isolated without social media just highlights how toxic it can be.  Social Media should not replace real life and in person interactions. I think the more social Media develops the more were going to feel more lonely with or without it. You kind of hear the same excuse that people use it to connect with friends and family but friends and Family are always a phone call or Text away. Idk Theres so much I wanna say because Im in the loop with social media as well where I have a thug of war with how much positive vs negative impact it has on myself and people in general but ultimately I just realize there just seems to be more negative then positives. Social Media seems to be replacing real life interactions and thats scary to me. I dont think thats its a positive. Also feeling lonely and isolated without social media is not something I found to be a positive in it but a negative one. If you feel lonely and isolated without social media I think more likely then not its a realization that our real life is severely lacking in authentic relationships and we need to work on our real life to help us feel more connect to people in person then relying on a social media to fill a lonely void. I think theres a reason why people feel so lonely on social media when their on it and thats because its not the same to having healthy relationships in real life. it makes us feel less lonely temporarily but in the long run its just more toxic. 

 

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Less screen time = more happiness. But I'm as much a drone to social media as anyone. Throw in the dating sites--also social media--and it gets pretty miserable. I try to keep my use of it moderate, but that doesn't always work.

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Just to add, I’ve deleted my social media cos I have too many well-to-do “friends” on them. I have social anxiety too, so I seldom post there. Now I’m left with just a handful of true Friends where we share our life struggles together. We only meet for an hour lunch like once in two years and message like once a year but it’s enough to keep the friendship going. I don’t need a large network of “friends” who make me feel worse than I already am. 

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I haven't deleted mine, but I simply don't use them very often. Maybe I'm "fortunate" that social isolation in general has removed the need to keep track of what others are up to. I guess there's a silver lining to depression, but I wouldn't exactly call myself happy about it.

Instead of deleting, you could always disable your accounts. I know Facebook has this feature, and maybe others do as well.

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Good commentary on this subject. I'm not surprised to learn most of us have a difficult time finding a comfortable role for social media. Maybe it's okay to both love and hate it. 

Something I want to add to the discussion is about the increasing sophistication of social media algorithms. Facebook's formula favors events, so weddings, births, milestones, new jobs, vacations and major accomplishments are prominent. Does this contribute to comparison anxiety? Would it be better if posts from our family and closest friends always topped our feed?

I think it also shoves news stories that are getting lots of reactions into my feed, though I'm not sure how that works. 

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I only have an Instagram account, I have never really been into the whole social media thing, it was only after 3 years of constant arguments with Megan that I got a mobile phone!

My Instagram account is only really for my charity/hobby, most of my time nowadays is taken up either with taking in, treating and re homing fish, reptiles and amphibians so this is pretty much all that I post. I also have a huge Orchid collection dotted around the place so often take video's and photo's of how I propagate or set up the terrariums 

I see it as free advertising and use it as such

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I have Facebook but access the site maybe once per two months.... and then only for 15 minutes. I’m 51 so other social media wasnt in my life and still isn't.  Messenger yes, face time occasionally and twitter, igram etc never

Edited by Extremebeginner

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Had FB for a few months, at the insistence of a friend, hardly ever used it. 

I dumped FB after the Cambridge Analytica crap. Apparently Apple has now revoked their iOS certificate over more privacy violations...

F.u.c.k. FB...

I have What's App, but only to make calls to friends in Canada and other countries..

Edited by LonelyHiker

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In the 80s I participated in local Bulletin Boards, no chat, just local forums.  Internet Radio Chat became the first big forum system, offering every subject you could imagine.  Still no chat.

In the later 80s three of maybe ten big ISPs debuted manily Compuserve, Delphi, and Prodigy--I was Prodigy.  These sometime large carriers had email and all for members, but none could talk to the other, the WWW, and all could talk, forums flourished , chat started.

I was always involved in some level of forum talk up until then.  When My Space showed up, I didn't.  No Facebook page for me.  And now no Twitter, no Instagram no, no Linkedin, no Live Messenger. 

Though now entrenched, the anonymity of social media has contributed to a growing culture of  meanness.  "Sarcasm" is looked on as a trait to master, and be proud of.  I think I made the right choice.

Bulgakov

 

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