Social media has been touted for years as the key to getting on with each other and being connected in this modern age. The opportunity to contact and talk to everyone you’ve ever known in your pocket, all the time, what could ever go wrong with that?

Lots of things. Proven links to mental health issues, productivity and focus damaging aspects, to name a few. But how can you protect yourself from social media and maintain your happiness? Simply deleting your account isn’t always the perfect solution. Here’s why social media isn’t the great thing it presents itself as, and how you can break away.

Don’t be Jealous

I’m going to start off by telling you to stop doing something you absolutely, unequivocally cannot help. You can’t stop being jealous, at least not till you’re utterly content with your own life, which is a state almost none of us will ever achieve. Which is just as well really, nothing would ever get done.
Social media will make you jealous. It’s a constant parade of wealth, happiness, vanity, love, and success. There’s no getting away from this fact.

…And it’s All Fake

Well, okay, not quite all of it. But these are not people’s lives you’re looking at. Barbara might have only posted her holiday pictures in the last three months, but that does not mean she spends all of her time on holiday. What people post to social media is not reality, but the image they want to present to the world of themselves. It’s the ultimate vanity, a chance to rebrand the way you’re viewed by everyone who’s ever known you.

So when you see someone else post a picture of their new baby, imagine the sleepless nights. When they post a picture of their new car, image the first dent. Sound a little negative? Life is negative.

Even more than what people post being an inaccurate reflection of themselves, you’ve got the ‘bubble’ effect now rampant. If you’re a student, you’re going to have lots of student friends. Students tend to be liberal or left leaning, so now your Facebook is politically influencing you to go a little more left. Then you’ve got fake news spreading lies left, right and centre, with many people just getting their information on world events and politics from twitter alone. This is not an atmosphere for progress and growth.

If you want to be on the ball, get on a reputable, unbiased news site, or go read a book. Social media is all lies and deception, and picking through that mess for nuggets of truth, realness and value is not worth anybody’s time.

Why Do People Even Post Things?

You ever wondered why people continually post things that make other people jealous and sad? You’re not alone in thinking that there’s no way people mean to generally cause harm. Having said that, the innocent explanation of people just wanted to share their lives with you doesn’t really cut the cheese. Very few people have an enduring desire to share every element of themselves. Those people are called exhibitionists, and there’s a special name for that because not everyone is one.

why people continually post things that make other people jealous and sad? The reigning theory is that it all centres around desire to be accepted, liked and respected.

So what other reason is there for it? The reigning theory is that it all centres around desire to be accepted, liked and respected. The trouble is, most people don’t like having photos of someone else’s new car, beautiful children or expensive holiday thrust in their face. Sadly we’re not selfless enough to take happiness from that kind of thing. It just irritates and depresses us, and turns us against the over-sharer.

continue to part 2