Social media has changed a lot since it first hit the scene. While it is a helpful tool for communication and business promotion, it can become a major source of stress, anxiety, and depression.
On social media, comparison is inevitable. Several studies have shown that, while people tend to be more satisfied with their lives in general, they are also more likely to compare themselves to others. This leads them to focus on what is missing rather than what they have. This is especially true over the holidays when people have more free time and tend to spend it on social media.
By portraying an exaggerated perspective of the world, social media frequently adds to feelings of isolation. Peers and acquaintances appear to have a large number of friends and a plethora of social events to attend. Photographs depict ecstatic moments populated by adoring family members. If you're already lonely and hurting, it's no surprise that spending some time on social media during the holidays can make you feel even worse
Social media is a primary culprit in spreading holiday cheer, but it can also become a source of holiday blues. If you’re feeling lonely or stressed this holiday season, here are some tips to help you cope effectively.
See the bigger picture.
Recognize that the social media landscape is merely a limited, curated sample of people's most pleasant experiences, not an accurate picture of actual life.
When you only see snippets of others’ lives on social media, you will usually fail to see the actual picture of life一one that has both joy and sorrow.
Because society discourages vulnerability, you rarely see a realistic depiction of life. It's easy to make up stories about how your life "should" be and to be constantly dissatisfied when your life doesn't appear to be as picture-perfect as others'.
Comparison is a joy stealer. When you realize you’re comparing yourself to others, ask yourself, “Is this beneficial to me or harmful to me?” Being mindful in those moments can have a significant impact on how you live your life. When you become aware of whether certain thoughts are helping you or hurting you, you can think better about what to do next.
Remember to be present.
Whether you are using social media to stay in touch with family and friends, keep updated with your favorite celebrities or the happenings in the world, or learn something new, stay connected with reality. Disconnecting from reality can trigger negative "comparing" thoughts. Be always present with what's happening at the moment, and stay in touch with reality.
Create an offline plan
If you feel that social media is spoiling your holiday joy, consider going on a "digital detox" to focus solely on your real-world connections. Create an offline plan focusing on what you actually want for yourself.
The holidays are a time for family, friends, and celebration, but it is a difficult time filled with anxiety and stress for some people.
For the Christmas season, maintain a balanced attitude to social media. It is okay to share your opinions, photos, and experiences with others, but don’t go overboard. This time of year, people enjoy hearing about what others are up to, but it's also easy to become overwhelmed.
If you feel overwhelmed and fall into the pit of comparison, remember to see the bigger picture and stay connected with reality. Focus on what you have, not on what you are missing. Happy holidays!