Don’t get me wrong, Facebook and Instagram are both great social media platforms for people to connect online. It’s a great way to keep connected with old friends from school to keep them updated with your life, even when you’ve left any form of education. It’s a great way to keep connected with family members who may live far away in the same country, or even abroad. Honestly, it’s great in that sense.
With the good, however, comes the bad. It’s expected and there’s no getting around it whatsoever. And there’s few reasons why I dislike both Facebook and Instagram, but mainly Facebook.
Facebook and Instagram especially are the places where people only tend to show the best bits of their lives, their highlight reel essentially. Parties, birthdays, university life, exam results or any other achievements, and so on. I could go on but then we would probably be here forever, that would just be me rambling which isn’t what I want this post to be about.
Although it’s great to show the best bits of your life, who wouldn’t want to do that, it’s also easy to forget when we’re scrolling through these social media apps that we don’t all share everything online, such as the worst parts of our lives. For example, if someone isn’t having the best time at university or has dropped out then they may not be comfortable with sharing this on social media for all their friends and family to see and comment on. (Self promo – I’ve written a post on dropping out of university if you’re interested in reading it.)
By only showing our highlight reel it can be damaging without even realising it and a lot of that damage is mounted onto our mental health. It’s easy to forget that no one’s life is perfect, no one is having the time of their life day in, day out. To put it simply, it’s just not the case. We are all human beings after all and we have emotions. There are going to be some days when we are sad, angry, upset and possibly even heartbroken over something. Those are the things that we tend not to share and therefore not everyone sees this side.
It becomes damaging because it means that we compare ourselves to other people and their lives. But the problem here is that we aren’t comparing our highlight reel with their highlight reel, or our real lives with their real lives. No, in fact we are comparing their highlight reel with our real lives. It just isn’t realistic at all.
We just shouldn’t compare our real lives with someone’s highlight reel on Facebook or Instagram. It only creates a false imagery and comparison which doesn’t exist in the real world.
Looking at other people’s highlight reels is also bad, in my opinion, because it makes it seem as though everyone else has their life together but you, and this is why I hardly ever go on Facebook. It can easily get me down, scrolling through my feed and checking other people’s profiles. Like I said, it tends to make you feel as though all your friends have their lives together. They may be at university, have a secure job and know what they want to do with their lives.
This isn’t the case, however, it’s something that I need to constantly remind myself and others need to remind themselves too. People’s highlight reel and their actual real life are two totally separate things. Life’s a rollercoaster; everyone has their ups and downs, even if they don’t always share these bad times on Facebook or any other social media for that matter. You never truly know what’s going on in other people’s lives, no natter how much you may think you know.
Either way, I feel as though Facebook, and Instagram, are damaging to mental health because of this. It can lead you to overthink as you compare your real life with someone else’s highlight reel; a false imagery that doesn’t exist in the real world but only in our minds and with the knowledge that we know. But we don’t have all the knowledge to formulate a real comparison.
Neither should we be comparing ourselves to others in the first place. After all, everyone’s lives are different. We all take different paths to get to our final destination. Things work out in the end, despite the fact that some people may take a slightly different path than what they might have first imagined to take.
This post was a bit of a ramble and a spontaneous post (and idea) at that since the idea only occurred to me when I went on Facebook and scrolled through to see what my friends were up to, only to find myself beginning to overthink. Overthinking is never good, it only ever leads to sadness.
The only really I still have Facebook especially is to keep connected with family members and friends that I don’t see often since I’m in a few group chats with them. If it wasn’t for that I probably would have deactivated by now.
What are your thoughts on Facebook mainly, do you like it or dislike it? Or maybe a bit of both.
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