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It’s Easy to Fall Into a Social Media Hole

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It’s probably not a good thing that I spend so much time on social media. If it’s not Facebook it’s on Tumblr. I update my Tumblr pretty much everyday with stuff I find interesting and it can be fun but there are also downsides to spending time with it.

First and foremost it can give you an inflated ego. Having likes streaming in on a selfie can seriously boost your self-esteem but you have to wonder if those likes are contributing to an inflated sense of self.

It can be so easy to fall under the delusion that you’re better than everybody else and it cause some serious problems when it comes to interacting with people.

Another big concern with social media is the inevitable over-analysis and depression that comes when you spend hours falling into a hole about people on social media. It’s so easy to compare yourself to others and delude yourself into thinking that you have a unique connection when you spend a lot of time pouring over someone’s newsfeed.

If you’re not tricking yourself into thinking there’s something there, you’re comparing yourself to people. Neither of those things is good.

This is especially true when you live with a mental illness that includes the natural tendencies of delusion, paranoia and anxiety.

Falling into those holes is all too easy and all too dangerous. Fortunately, we can tell ourselves to stop. Social media is entirely voluntary and while I won’t get started on how vapid and self-absorbed it all seems we can all tell ourselves to log off and go outside. Sometimes that’s hard though and the best thing you can do for that is to limit your time using those sites.

Involve yourself in work or a hobby or some other flow type activity that can take you out of the world for a while.

Another great way to get out of a social media hole is to go outside. Go for a walk, play with your kids or nieces and nephews. Go for a hike and go to take pictures. Removing yourself from the internet is even more important once you realize you’ve fallen into a hole and are getting depressed.

I’ve been there too many times to count. If worse comes to worse, you can always delete your accounts. I’ve done this more times than I’d like to admit but for some strange addictive reason I just find myself doing it again and I wish I could stop.

The fake social interaction of it all gets to you though. The validation you get from the likes and the follows feeds into your deep insecurities that you’re not good enough or smart enough and it makes you feel good. It’s just as bad as a drug.

I think though, that whether we like it or not, social media will be there waiting for us to gorge ourselves on likes. We have to realize when it’s time to stop and we have to be cognizant of the ways it makes us feel.

When we feel bad or crazy because of it, it’s time to stop and go outside or go do an activity. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that I wish I could get rid of it completely but I just can’t.

It’s Easy to Fall Into a Social Media Hole


Michael Hedrick

Michael Hedrick is a writer and photographer who has lived with schizophrenia since he was 20. His work has been featured in Salon, The Week, Scientific American and The New York Times. You can purchase his book 'Connections' here or Follow his blog on Living with Schizophrenia here.


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APA Reference
Hedrick, M. (2016). It’s Easy to Fall Into a Social Media Hole. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 17, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/two-minds/2016/04/its-easy-to-fall-into-a-social-media-hole/

 

Last updated: 17 Apr 2016
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