From skwigg's journal:
I noticed that whenever I looked at Facebook or Instagram for a little break, escape, or boost, it would have the opposite effect. I felt worse after looking at it, more stressed, more anxious, less comfortable and confident. I'd feel anger at various idiots, frustration with family members, overwhelmed by politics and tragedy, this AFTER heavily editing my feed to be a place of peace and positivity. It's just not. After a few weeks without it, I felt zero temptation to go back. Life is so much better!
I forgot to add that I have appointed a social media monitor. :-) If anything important, funny, or exciting happens in our social circle, he texts me or sends me a screenshot so I'm not out of the loop. My husband is still on Facebook, so he keeps me advised about family news. Otherwise, I'm happily clueless.
I do still receive Twitter notifications from local police, fire, and news desks so I know if breaking news is about to happen at work.
I found myself becoming anxious while scrolling through posts, wondering where the anxiety was coming from-then I realized...it was due to reading the posts. Not feeling like I measure up or I am missing out or upset over this and that post. Good grief. It was like self created anxiety. I don't need that!! By you sharing your experience I realized I could at least try it , too. I sure appreciate it!!
Yes!! That! Constant comparison, anxiety, low-grade self-consciousness. Plus the whole thing where all of your social circles collide. Coworkers seeing my non-dieting stuff, professional contacts hearing from my crazy relatives, everything you like or look at blasting to everyone. Sure you can divide and filter, but that's even more time and stress, and it doesn't work.
Initially, I still looked at Instagram but that created the same feelings. I tried setting up another account with a different username and email, just for cute animals, but it knows and it will still suggest diet bloggers, trainers, and posts from people you actively avoid. Now, when I need that little break or boost, I play games on my phone, look at Feedly, or text with people I actually want to talk to.
I put a lot of the things I wanted to follow into my Feedly account. I get Byron Katie wisdom, cat videos, cake recipes, body positivity and non-dieting, but I don't get all of the stress/conflict/comparison I used to wade through to see the same posts on Facebook. There are no comments for example. Imagine! I can just read or look at something, form my own opinion, and not have it questioned or destroyed by a bunch of bickering. It's nice.
Interesting quote from the Mind Over Medicine book I'm reading. It's from the chapter on how loneliness harms health and how positive, loving relationships and feeling connected to others can boost it. I thought of social media while reading this. It's supposed to provide connection, and can, but it can also make loneliness worse, for all the reasons described.
"The truth is that people aiming to be socially acceptable are trying to hit the bull’s-eye of a constantly moving target of acceptability, which means staying on top of trends, comparing yourself to others, sacrificing what you really love for what you think others love, and adhering to artificial standards of conformity. The more cool you try to be, the more isolated you’ll feel. As Brené Brown said in a moving speech at the World Domination Summit hosted by author/ blogger Chris Guillebeau, “The number one barrier to belonging is fitting in.” It’s a guaranteed recipe for loneliness. It’s also a heavy price to pay, one that can leave you not only lonely but sick. You may be tempted to seek social acceptance so you won’t feel like a misfit or wind up hurt. We all want to feel loved and accepted. We long to belong. But at what price? Is it worth selling out who you are and replacing the real you with some plastic version constantly re-created to fit today’s elusive acceptability factor (which you can guarantee is different than yesterday’s)? Nope. Stripping off your masks and letting your inner radiance shine forth might not be “cool,” but it allows an opportunity for deep connection. It takes real courage to be unapologetically uncool—and there’s really nothing cooler in my book than people brave enough to be who they really are, even when it flies in the face of everything popular culture commands you to be. When you’re brave enough to be unapologetically you, you become a magnet for all the others who long to be fearless enough to do the same. That, my friend, is a surefire way to alleviate loneliness."
I think this can especially apply to online diet and fitness culture, healthy living blogs, celebrity gossip, fashion and beauty channels. Put too much of that in your brain and you can't help but feel isolated and inadequate.