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Why do you Feel More Stressed While on Social Media?


Everyone uses social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Pinterest for different purposes today. One of the most common uses is to share information and connect with our friends and family. 


There is more information flowing into everyone’s lives which is overwhelming and distressing. You do not get enough time to process it until some other new post, reel, or snapshot is presented to you. These are also not fact-checked often before being shared. You may be constantly bombarded by these bits of information while performing important tasks or spending time with your loved ones.


It has become a growing trend to share personal information, preferences, location, and achievements to the entire world. If not kept in check, this behaviour can exacerbate feelings of anxiety and depression because of feeling inadequate or not good enough while going through others’ personal stories and comparing yourself to them.

 

This constant social pressure of staying updated with everything happening in the world and living your greatest life at all times can have negative psychological and physical effects such as stress. Stress can stem from feeling jealous of someone else’s achievements on Facebook, keeping up with the demands of texting on WhatsApp, and updating what you are doing every second of the day on Instagram, and much more. 


Before we understand why using social media leads to stress in more detail, remember that understanding the source of your stress can help you navigate through how you choose to deal with it. 


It is not easy to break through the impact of social media, hence being patient with yourself through the journey helps. You can also speak to your therapist about how you can cope with stress caused by using social media.


Why does using social media lead to stress?


Social media addiction


It is extremely challenging to catch yourself in the spiral of spending time on social media and pausing. Once you log in, it can feel like a labyrinth of information and texts to respond to. You miss out on being present with others around you when you are always on your phone texting, liking, or tweeting something.


As these activities keep your brain constantly engaged, you get easily bored when you have finally drained your battery. You can feel stressed while scrolling through the long list of new posts, photos, and tweets every morning to stay updated. Often it can be difficult to realise that most of these information pieces are irrelevant and unnecessarily alarming.


Staring at a screen can disrupt your sleep


The more time you spend on social media, the poorer your sleep quality gets. 


To get quality sleep, it is essential to have a wind-down routine before going to bed. This includes maybe taking a warm bath, light reading, stretching, making the bedroom more conducive to sleep, and putting away electronic devices. However, the time you’re supposed to take for preparing to sleep is replaced by scrolling through reels on Instagram or watching another video on YouTube.


Texting becomes more convenient at night as everyone finishes their daily tasks then. However, this takes away important downtime that is required by your body and your brain to function properly. You can feel difficult to concentrate at school or work which can make you feel stressed for not being able to cope with the commitments. 


Because you start to compromise on personal relationships


Spending more time on social media can impact your relationships in that you can find it difficult to make time for your partner, friends, and family, and you’re unable to give them your undivided attention when they are sharing something, and you find it difficult to share your thoughts and feelings if not through a text.


The more your communication becomes text-based, the more handicapped you can feel to read important social cues while interacting with someone in-person. You can feel nervous and lost about expressing yourself in front of your team at work or your friends. This can make it stressful to deal with challenges faced at the workplace or at home which requires you to be present and communicate openly.


Because you start feeling lonely


As it becomes difficult to communicate face-to-face with others, you turn back to socialising online. 


The nature of communication through texting is such that it can make you anxious about not getting instant responses and feeling pressurised to constantly be available for people not present with you at the moment. Building important connections with someone you cannot make eye contact with or even see can make you feel isolated even while texting them. 

The context that social media sets you in with others including your friends and family can be anxiety and stress-inducing in that you learn to stay updated about others not through them sharing something with you but through a third platform between you two. This can harbour feelings of confusion, jealousy, and even fear of missing out on experiences that they are having.


There are enough daily stressors present in your fast-paced lifestyle today. Using social media without being mindful can add to more stress if not kept in check. Reading about the impact of social media can be overwhelming as it also has many benefits. 


Remember using social media responsibly and mindfully can help you in the long run to avoid chronic stress and being kind and compassionate towards yourself while figuring out how you can use social media better goes a long way.

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