Is it just me or do you feel like Facebook is becoming too heavy sometimes where it’s become a social media platform for venting? A few of my friends and I all agree Facebook isn’t what it used to be.
Yet we seem to all be ‘locked’ into the online world, we check our Facebook accounts, see what’s happening and spending hours of our lives addicted to the online world. Do you think you have a Facebook media addiction? How many hours do you spend online? Are you constantly posting? Is Facebook your sole source for media updates? Let’s take a look at some reasons why our online media addiction can cause us stress.
I have to be honest I don’t really ‘enjoy’ Facebook as a social media platform anymore, I now see it more as a ‘venting platform’ than sharing things about our daily lives. If I didn’t have to use Facebook for Character 32 I don’t think I would be on it as much as I am. That being said I’m just as guilty as the next person when it comes to using it as a venting platform.
‘Flashback 6 years ago’ I used to get really upset over social media and it was becoming detrimental to my overall health. I was ‘enraged’ over things and would go on political rants over Australian Politicians. Other times I felt my life wasn’t as good as others because the perception was their life looked better than mine on Facebook.
‘Fast forward to the present’ Now I think people who are friends with us on Facebook probably get sick of my ‘Save the Bee posts’ or ‘Why I think GMO’s by Monsanto are bad’. I rant when the ‘haze’ hits Singapore annually, I despise the burning of palm oil and hate being choked by pollution.
Looking back at the ‘old me’ I could have coined the term ‘dog with a bone’ because I wouldn’t let things go. And whilst the rest of the world was moving forward, I wasn’t because I was stuck and fixated on that topic causing me more emotional stress, more than I might have realised. Which is why I wanted to do a post about Facebook/social media due to recent world events and with the festive season upon us.
9 ways Facebook as a social media platform can have a negative impact on our health:
1. People opinions are becoming very heated:
What I see: We saw a person elected which has caused the entire world to become ‘heatedly’ divided (understandably). I like millions of other people have posted about the election at one time or another. I posted once on my private FB account during the election and once on the day they called the results.
I see some people posting non stop about their thoughts, feelings, anger, hurt and more. All of this is causing heated debates over ‘whose opinion is right?’… The comments are flowing, people are disagreeing and the upset is causing more emotional stress.
Regardless of my views, I’m just saying Facebook is becoming ‘very heavy’ and we are seeing the emotions pouring out of people. I suspect this will be happening for some time to come because of the instability and uncertainty we all face with global events.
What I’ve learned: At the end of the day we can’t change people’s minds by heated discussions on Facebook as it only fuels more stress for both parties. Step away and remember everyone is different (even if they are wrong!).
2. People caring what other people think:
What I see: I think society has always ‘cared’ about what other people think of them however, I think that has become magnified with instant social media at our disposal and it’s just that, it’s ‘instant’! People connecting with people they haven’t seen in years wanting their lives to appear flawless even if that isn’t the case.
What I’ve learned: The amount of stress this can cause is a real thing because let’s face it, no one’s life is PERFECT #thereisnosuchthingasaperfectlife
3. Pictures don’t always paint a thousand words:
What I see: Over the years I’ve seen pictures of ‘everyone looking happy’ all the time, posting ‘how everything is fabulous’ when in reality they're not as happy as they appear. This façade of ‘keeping up appearances’ is causing people stress because in reality, they’re suffering silently in a ‘darker world’. Their life isn’t reflecting what their social media account portrays because let’s face it most people ‘want to look like they’re in control of their lives and everything is fabulous right?’.
What I’ve learned: If you are feeling down and out that is nothing to be ashamed of. We all go through harder times in our lives because THAT IS LIFE! If we don’t experience hard times how can we grow?
4. People are justifying themselves on social media:
What I see: You are entitled to your opinion and have your own thoughts, justifying them to everyone ALL the time isn’t necessary. If you’re comfortable with your decisions then it’s ok, the only time I would suggest changing your views is if it’s negative towards others where you can cause harm, be hurtful, and incite hatred and violence.
What I’ve learned: Justification based on what other’s may perceive your life to be is a redundant and wasteful emotion…let it go and the emotional stress will melt away.
5. People trying to ‘out do’ each other over social media on ‘whose life is better’:
What I see: You can see people spending so much time on how people perceive them it can become detrimental to their health both emotionally and physically. They need to ‘post the perfect picture’ or ‘post the best comments’ or ‘post about who has the perfect fashion accessory’ etc etc etc. The competition can become unhealthy leading to feelings of insecurity and make some people question their self-worth.
What I’ve learned: When we start to be affected emotionally we can physically feel unwell, we start to feel sick and the negative mindset impacts our health. If you are feeling competitive pressure step away from that person/group of people and give yourself some time out. Unfollow them if you don’t want to unfriend them, out of sight, out of mind!
6. Political division is causing emotional stress:
What I see: For the record, I didn’t like either candidate and think this was a very negative campaign (that’s just my opinion).
On the day of the election, I myself was getting mad over some people’s comments, it makes me a little scared of the future. I wanted to reach through the computer and shake them (wake up and think of the bigger picture!) but I withheld my personal opinion from other friends posts where people had commented and I strongly disagreed!
Regardless of who you thought was the best person for the job, some people can only focus on one or two issues and vote solely for that reason. They are right everyone else is wrong and ONLY THAT ISSUE should decide the fate of the world?
Others think The South China Sea issue, Iran nuclear deal, the world economy, climate change, war in the middle east and instability within the UK/EU with refugees is more of an issue.
But each to their own now how people view the world whether we think it’s wrong or right, we are entitled to our own opinion (we just don’t have to agree with it). However, I see people commenting and going on a tirade and getting more emotionally upset, I think it would be beneficial for some to stop commenting.
What I’ve learned: It doesn’t matter how much you comment on Facebook and try to get your point of view across some people are just going to attack you back. Further engaging is like adding fuel to the fire and your emotional stress is just going to rise. So by disengaging you are helping and supporting a healthy more productive emotional state of mind.
7. Not everything we are reading on Facebook is real!
What I see: One person in a Facebook group I am in said ‘eating organic can be more harmful to your health’ and attached a link. I was open to their reasons, I read the link and asked them to share what other information they had, links to other research they had done and I got nothing back. It seems that we believe everything we read without questioning it and/or doing other research to back up other people’s claims.
What I’ve learned: It can be beneficial to your overall wellbeing to investigate things before reaching a decision from more than just one media source.
8. Propaganda is everywhere!
What I see: I’ll use the recent story about ‘How Teens In The Balkans Are Duping Trump Supporters With Fake News’ as BuzzFeed News has reported. This just goes to show that ‘news’ isn’t always what we think, Facebook doesn’t have the ability to fact check everything that’s posted onto its site, however Facebooks algorithm is designed to throw your interests into your newsfeed that you gravitate towards, therefore fuelling your already current though process, even more, it’s called a ‘Rabbit Hole’.
What I’ve learned: Again it’s imperative to know where you're getting your information from, how reputable the source is and question the authenticity when it comes across as ‘tabloid trash’.