Social media is a part of my life. It probably plays a bigger part than I would like to admit. It is also most likely a part of your life too. Even as I sit here writing this blog, my phone vibrates to let me know that I have received a new “like” on my latest Instagram post. Of course, I take a break from writing to quickly check and see who it was that “liked” my photo. There is no way that I could have waited until I was finished writing to see who “likes” me. Because that’s what its all about, right?
Social media is both a blessing and curse.
On one hand, it allows us to stay connected with family, friends and colleagues on a very personal level, which would be more difficult without social media. You are able to see your friends get married, have babies, or even something as simple as going for a run on their vacation. It allows you to feel connected.
On the other hand, it allows you to place your feelings of self worth in how many likes, comments, retweets, etcetera that you receive on a daily basis. Your number of likes and comments is subject to fluctuate based on a number of different factors. For example, you may have posted your picture at a time of day when less people were on social media, therefore receiving less “likes.” The logical side of you might realize all of these factors play a role. Your emotional side might jump to the conclusion that the picture is somehow not good enough, which directly affects your self-esteem.
Social media will always have ebb and flow, meaning that you are constantly subject to the risk of self-esteem highs and lows.
We want to be able to protect our families, friends and ourselves from unhealthy use of social media, especially when it comes to evaluating self worth. To learn how to unlink self worth from social media, check out my next blog post.
Amanda Dempsey, LAMFT
Adempsey @ GROWcounseling.com
Photo Cred: Jason Howie