Social media takes up a big chunk of our lives. People can hardly interact with each other without having their eyes glued to a screen.

Are you having dinner? We know you are—there are pictures of it all over your social media accounts. Like most of the generation, you may be defined by likes and tweets and snaps. As you may already realize, social media platforms can be quite distracting at times, and you may have a difficult time focusing on what’s really important in life.

People see social media as a great helper in their lives and the truth is, social media does bring some amazing benefits to its users. But are those benefits worth revolving our existence around them? Below are some reasons why you should ditch using social media and focus on other things instead.

Social media makes people focus more on others

When using social media excessively, people tend to focus more on other’s accomplishments than their own. People seem to focus on how successful others are and tend to compare others’ lives with their own. What social media users rarely realize is that the lifestyle showcased on social media by their friends and peers is rarely a steady trajectory of their lives. Those are only the highlights of their best moments—and even if those are their best moments, you shouldn’t compare them with your own accomplishments.

Even when you don’t need specifically want to compare your life with others’, social media will drive you to do it.

People’s happiness depends on others

Basing your existence around external validation (through social media) is a dangerous trap into which people frequently fall. You should not base your own happiness concept on others’ likes and love reacts. Rather, you should look into yourself and live the moment, and analyze if it makes you feel fulfilled. Waiting for likes and reactions to gather is a practice you want to avoid, in order to preserve a stable and fulfilling life.

Seeking that sort of constant external validation makes people feel worthless when it doesn’t appear, so ditch social media to live your own version of happiness.

Social media causes a distorted version of reality

What you see online is rarely reality. All we can see online on these platforms are one’s happy moments, the moments they’ve chosen to share with the world. This makes us feel conscious about ourselves, and makes us doubt our own happiness and relationships. As a result, we often inaccurately gauge our worth.

Once you sit down and think about it, you’ll realize that some of those friends of yours with beautifully-filtered online snaps are, in fact, sometimes struggling to make the most out of their lives. All this, in spite of their amazing online pictures.

Social media makes your life too public

Happiness is not the only vulnerable aspect of your life when you use social media excessively. Your privacy is, too. For many, exposing their lives to strangers online for likes and appreciation is a lifestyle. Even when they rarely know the “Friends” they add on Facebook or Instagram, they still add them for a potentially higher number of reactions on their posts.

Having certain areas of your life private is a thing many of us should consider. For instance, pictures with your children should not be posted online. When they grow up, they may not be comfortable with the thought of so many people seeing and commenting on their own pictures. Besides, there is another concern: people with less than kind intentions will know how your children look, where they study, and potentially what times you drop them off and pick them up from school. This is a safety hazard for their lives.

Perhaps those sinister individuals will attempt to contact them at some point after they create their own social media profiles. Teach them to use reverse phone lookup tools as they grow up, in case such a scenario presents itself. Alternatively, you can ask them to let you have a look at their profiles and search for their phone numbers. Together, taking these precautions will help you detect suspicious individuals trying to talk your kids into different things with potentially hazardous outcomes.

Valuing your privacy more than internet points should be a priority, but unfortunately, it rarely happens.

Social media prevents people from interacting with loved ones

Posting on one’s timeline on their birthday (thanks to a reminder from Facebook, of course) is not an act of friendship. If you really want to enjoy other’s presence and show genuine appreciation of their friendship, you should spend time with them in real life circumstances. In fact, many people avoid interacting with their close friends online, particularly on social media. The main interactions take place in real life and communication is carried through more or less traditional ways: phone calls and text messages.

Social media rarely helps people establish or maintain valuable relationships, in spite of the fact that social media was specifically created for this purpose.

Social media users have a more difficult time moving on with their lives

Letting go of past times can be difficult, but social media makes it even harder. Having a hard time getting over your ex? It’s because of social media. After all, you’re constantly seeing pictures of them enjoying life on their own or even with someone else. It can be difficult to process and accept.

Also, when the time comes to buckle up and sort out your own life, you may be influenced by a social feed full of pictures of friends having lazy Sundays and enjoying the little things in life. You may feel encouraged to postpone important steps in your life and have another day off for yourself as well. This is an endless cycle and ditching social media might be the surest way to overcome it.

Ultimately, there are no rules for moving on from an ex into another relationship or friends with benefits arrangement. Still, social media brings undoubtedly some benefits into our lives, but not the ones we think it does. And the advantages of using such platforms seem to be less important than the risks we expose ourselves and others to when overusing these outlets.

Cynthia Madison
Cynthia Madison

Cynthia Madison is a writer based in Romania.

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