Social media has definitely impacted our lives drastically and continues to impact it day by day. It is basically a parallel world where people feel free to express their emotions, check on their friends and family, and it basically connects everyone from all around the world.
Everywhere you go, you will find people glued to their phones, checking their Facebook newsfeed, checking Twitter for news updates, or posting their every move on Instagram.
One thing I noticed is that what people post on social media platforms doesn’t necessarily reflect their real lives. As I scroll through Facebook or Instagram, I see posts of people with hashtags such as #blessed, #couplegoals, #relationshipgoals, #loveofmylife, only to discover later that the same people are going through major relationship or marital issues and are quite unhappy.
I then ask myself, why would people pretend to be happy on social media when they are actually miserable in real life? What is the purpose of faking it?
The relationship between social media and our psychological health is actually pretty strong. Some people use social media as a form of relief to let out their feelings, while others use it to connect to others.
We spoke to Senior Clinical Psychologist and Marriage and Family Therapist, Yasmine Magdy, who gave us her insight on the relationship between social media and our psychological state.
How has social media negatively impacted people and relationships?
“Social media has more cons than pros as its main aim is to connect people to each other, but it actually takes time from giving essentials to people around you and it replaced real and genuine emotions such as condolences and congratulations with a simple message,” Magdy told us.
Many of Magdy’s clients seek help with relationships because of issues related to social media which proves the level of damage it has. People assess their relationships with others based on simple things such as blocks and comments.
Why do people post happy pictures when they are sad or upset?
Social media is a way to convince people that they are ok, and use it as a source of validity to comfort themselves. People want to validate their relationships with themselves or with their partners.
“If everyone thinks that we are happy then we must be happy.” This is a form of self-validation “Your brain is susceptible to grasp what you tell it. If you convince yourself that you are fine, then you most probably will be. This is considered one of the highest forms of denial,” Magdy continued.
Advice regarding social media
Magdy stressed on minimizing using social media as much as possible when home in order to be able to spend time with your partner and kids. “Don’t go to bed with your phones or eat with your phones on the dinner table. Put your phones away as soon as you are home. Couples can set a specific time for social media usage at home but it should not consume family time.”
“Don’t compare your level of happiness to other people’s social media posts because judging relationships based on others’ posts could cause you an illogical or unfair evaluation of your own relationship because many tend to post on social media to validate their feelings to themselves only.”
Take a break and be real and kind to yourself.
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