There is a new addiction in town, and it’s not chocolate, Chanel or even squatting but rather it’s those little devices we hold in our hand and glance down at every few seconds to see what the rest of the world is doing or perhaps post a picture of our lunch! Social media; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter (and all the rest) are fast becoming the centre of our lives daily. Whilst there are many positive outcomes of this technological invention, there are also some serious side effects that not only impact your self- esteem or career, but also your relationships.
Let’s look at common problems associated with social media:
1: It invites the past into your present.
How many times have we received a friend request, comment or message from an old friend, ex or colleague from the past? The thing with social media is that it has limited boundaries when it comes to people accessing or contacting you. Whilst this may bring back some memories and nostalgia of the good times, it can also invite unwanted emotions or even temptations back into your life. My theory is that the past is best left in the past and that if certain people (especially ex partners) are no longer in your physical present life today then there is a reason. Be wary with whom you decide to regain contact with and don’t feel obliged to accept anyone just because they once were a part of your life before.
2: It blurs the boundaries.
Opening the doors of your life to the world gives you even more ground to monitor and cover and this can be quite difficult to muster! There seems to be this unspoken etiquette with social media that if you don’t accept someone then you will be offending them. Rubbish! It is your personal life at stake here and just because the world decides to overshare doesn’t mean you have to too. A female that your man works with doesn’t necessarily have to then become his Facebook friend, you should set clear boundaries between you and your partner of whom each of you decide to invite into your private life.
3: It turns you into a comparison queen.
It’s amazing how our self -esteem can take a hit when we don’t get the 349 “likes” on our simple picture (especially when we have compromised our standards a little to show a bit more flesh ). Let’s put things into perspective: what you see on someone’s Instagram or twiiter account is not necessarily representative of their real life or even happiness. Don’t be fooled by the filters and #hastags, plenty of people are happy and successful without having to advertise it to the world and get the approval of the multitude. Just because a woman has bigger breasts or a smaller waist doesn’t mean you are any less of a beautiful person.
4: It can invite insecurities, mistrust and paranoia.
Sounds so serious but it’s true and often it starts out as a small fear that gradually grows as we become more and more obsessed with social media. Your relationship with your partner should not be centred around social media. You shouldn’t have to be checking his profile every 5 mins or secretly stalking people to see whether or not something fishy is going on. If social media is starting to control your actions, thoughts and basically send you cray cray, then it’s time to reassess and perhaps take a break.
5: You can become addictive and let it take priority.
How many times have we reached for our phone first thing in the morning or flicked through it whilst having dinner with our main man? There should be a rule that no phones or tablets etc. are accessible during any social gathering and meal! We lived without it before for thousands of years and in fact we all functioned a whole lot better (we even communicated better!) so let’s not lose perspective and put the phones down and talk to each other like the good old days!
6: It eats into your one on one time.
I’m a stickler for spending quality time with my man, so we both try to ban our phones and make each other a priority rather than some random’s food selfie! It’s amazing how much of our time can become consumed with trying to keep up with all the different social media avenues. Whilst it’s vital to some women’s careers, it also must not become the sole focus of our day. Don’t forget to nurture and nourish the real things in life that matter most.
7: It can cause oversharing and unwanted opinions.
Basically the more people you open up your life too, the more unwanted opinions (on how you should run your life) you will invite. Social media gives us this silent permission and definitely a confidence in oversharing. Why? Well because we know it will generate attention, sympathy or a discussion of some sort which in a way makes us feel like what we have to say is validated and who we are is important. Who you are is IMPORTANT but your worth would not be based of the opinions of random strangers, nor should your private life be judged by people who hold no real genuine position in your world.
It’s not to say we can’t enjoy social media, but let’s also not lose perspective.