By Megan Jones
It is late at night as the bright screens from our phones shine into our eyes and our thumbs roll over the Instagram feed from tonight’s events- We are all guilty of it. Laying in bed thinking God knows what, “Why do I not have a cute picture of myself from that frat party?” “She got an internship from where?!” Recent social media studies are beginning to show that the addictive sites are hurting self esteem around the globe. We were already hypersensitive about our own insecurities, now team that with a constantly updating feed of exciting life updates.
According to a recent study by the Public Library of Science, 82 participants in their late teens and early 20s found that people who frequent Facebook “felt worse about themselves” and commonly felt “envious.” A 2012 study from the University of Salford in the United Kingdom shows that participants’ self-esteem suffered when they compared their own accomplishments to their online friends. Two-thirds of the 298 participants found “difficulty sleeping after using social media.”
Well, don’t fret. Facebook timelines are not going to show the entire truth of someone; rather, they will show the best aspects of themselves. No one wants to post things they don’t want others to know on Facebook– it’s voluntary. As a society, we need to stick to doing what we know best: ourselves. According to psychologist Leon Festinger, social comparison is a natural drive to try and create accurate self-evaluations. Stop comparing yourself to the other girls on your floor and realize what great accomplishments you’ve already made. It’s hard not to stalk your old best friend, or even worse, old boyfriend, but you can not feel anxious over someone’s accomplishments if you do not even know them in the first place.
We’ve officially become overconnected in this information age- knowing that your third cousin once removed just went to Walgreens isn’t anything worth sharing. Consider unfriending or hiding the people who cause you anxiety, and try to spend less time on networking sites and more time working towards the future. We could spend 30 minutes stressing over someone, or we can harness that energy into promoting ourselves.
So forget about her weight-loss selfie, you’ll get there. Don’t be bummed for not having your own party pics from last night, if the party was so spectacular there wouldn’t be time for quick shots! Remember, people post their greatest hits, not their crash and burns. Just keep on doin’ you and spend more time enjoying life rather than thumbing through feeds.