We all have our fair share of insecurities, some that we speak about openly and others that we prefer to keep to ourselves.
However, comparing yourself to others on social media by stalking their aesthetically perfect Instagram photos or staying up to date with their relationship status on Facebook could do little to assuage your feelings of self-doubt.
A study conducted by the University of Copenhagen found that many people suffer from “Facebook envy”, with those who abstained from using the popular site reporting that they felt more satisfied with their lives.
“When we derive a sense of worth based on how we are doing relative to others, we place our happiness in a variable that is completely beyond our control,” .
Becoming more conscious of the amount of time you spend scrolling through other people’s online profiles could help you focus more on yourself and boost your self-confidence.
As human beings, it’s so important for us to be able to communicate and forge personal connections with one another.
However, it can be hard to do so when we’re glued to rectangular screens, becoming more acquainted with our friends’ digital facades than their real-life personas.
Stina Sanders, a former model who has 107,000 followers on Instagram, explained how social media sometimes makes her feel like she’s being left out.
Social media can be great for looking back fondly on memories and recounting how past events occurred.
However, it can also distort the way in which you remember certain tidbits from your life.
Many of us are guilty of spending far too much time trying to take the perfect photo of a visual marvel, all the while not actually absorbing the firsthand experience of witnessing it with your own two eyes.
“If we direct all of our attention toward capturing the best shots for our social media followers to admire, less will be available to enjoy other aspects of the experience in real time,” said Dr Bono.
“Spending too much time on our phones will detract from those other aspects of the experience, undermining the happiness we could be gleaning from them.”
However, many of us use our phones too soon before choosing the hit the hay, making it harder to doze off.
“Getting worked up with anxiety or envy from what we see on social media keeps the brain on high alert, preventing us from falling asleep,” explained Dr Bono.
“Plus, the light from our mobile device just inches from our face can suppress the release of melatonin, a hormone that helps us feel tired.”
Try setting yourself a strict rule of not going on your phone for at least 40 minutes to an hour before going to bed, and see if that makes a difference to the quality of your sleep.
While it’s incredible to consider the amount of information readily available at our fingertips thanks to social media, it also means that people have become far more easily distracted.
“Social media has provided a means of constantly giving into the temptation of instant, easy-access entertainment,” said Dr Bono.
If you’re unable to not check your phone for at least a few minutes, then you’d do well to practise exercising your willpower on occasion.
Not only has social media been proven to cause unhappiness, but it can also lead to the development of mental health issues such as anxiety or depression when used too much or without caution.
In March, it was reported that more than a third of Generation Z from a survey of 1,000 individuals stated that they were quitting social media for good as 41 per cent stated that social media platforms make them feel anxious, sad or depressed.