I grew up in times where there was no social media, and for the longest time I didn’t feel the need to be on social media…….but then I started my blog, and I knew that it was necessary to be active on social media. Although it can be very entertaining, and you are always up to date on what all your friends are up to, I can’t help but wonder whether social media also increases our stress levels! Could that be possible? I guess it all depends on the type of person you are, but looking through social media, to me it feels like it is all about portraying the perfect life – perfect body, perfect appearance, not to mention perfect life, full of happy and exciting moments.
May be for someone like me, that hasn’t grow up with social media, it doesn’t add stress to the daily life, but what about the younger generations? How are they affected by social media? I was talking to a 17 years old girl a few weeks ago, discussing this very topic. I have to admit that I was a bit surprised and shocked by how this young generation is controlled by social media. She shared the following with me “Social media adds so much pressure on us – in order to be cool you have to have thousands of “friends”, post a few times a day, and then we all get completely stressed out if each photo / post is not liked certain number of times.” Listening to her, was like a wakeup call to me when it comes to the impact social media has on the young generation……I never really thought about it prior to my conversation with this girl to be honest!
Then she went on to explain that the only reason she actually goes out on the weekends, is so she can take / post photos with as many people as possible (some of them she barely knows) showing how she is having fun and partying with her “friends”……..all of these, just so she can be accepted by her peers in school! By this point, I think it is safe to say, that I was completely shocked…….and all I could think of was “how can I teach our kids to be true to their self and live an authentic life and not be influenced by all these????”
To me, personally, it sounds like all these have a very stressful impact on the overall wellbeing! Just imagine the pressure of having to deal with expectations, getting good grades, getting into good universities, chasing careers, making money, and then on top of that having to worry about portraying the perfect life on social media……just so you are liked and accepted by your peers. Without being an expert, I personally think that the psychological impact is huge!
Don’t get me wrong, I think that social media can bring also a lot of positive – for example, I find the different support / accountability communities and groups very helpful, inspiring and motivating….I am personally part of such a social media communities. I feel like exactly communities like this allow us to connect (worldwide) to like minded people…..people that will inspire you, that will support you and push you to get out of your comfort zone in order to achieve your goals.
So I just feel that if used for the wrong reasons, social media can indeed add more stress to our already hectic lifestyle. Also, I feel that we as parents need to educate our kids on how social media should be used, and also about the authenticity of social media…….and how they can use these outlets to their own advantage…….for example, by being part of encouraging communities! What is your opinion on the topic…….I would love to hear your point of you. All the parents going through these – what is your experience?