Another day, another social media platform popping up on the horizon. Sounds familiar? We’ve all been there. That jittery sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) can creep up pretty quick. Before you know it, you’re feeling left out, worrying about missing all the cool events and connections.
But, before we dive headfirst into creating another account, it’s worth hitting pause and thinking: it’s just another platform. Now, I’m not saying that every new platform is unnecessary, but what’s crucial is recognising how this wave of constant social media immersion can mess with our mental health.
As we’re scrolling through our feeds, it’s hard not to compare ourselves to others. There’s always someone on a fancier holiday, landing a cool job, or just generally seeming to have it all together. We look at them and feel a bit deflated for not having achieved as much or for not being as “enter any adjective” as them. But here’s the kicker: we’re only comparing ourselves to their best moments, not their whole life. It’s like judging your blooper reel against their highlight reel. And that’s just not a fair game, is it?
Our brains are pretty much on a data treadmill. Think about it: we’re consuming worrying news from every corner of the world, thinking about a billion problems to fix, and we’re doing this all the time. Our brains are stuck in this “fight or flight” mode without a moment’s respite. It’s like trying to run a marathon without any breaks. Not the best idea for our overall well-being.
We’re all guilty of creating a persona that’s “likeable”. Social media has turned validation into a form of currency. A double tap or a new follow can feel exhilarating. So, we curate our lives and personas to maximise these “likes”. But here’s the scary part: our sense of self-worth starts getting tied to these digital thumbs-ups. If left unchecked, this can lead us down a path where we start losing sight of our authentic selves.
Have you noticed how hard it’s becoming to concentrate on just one thing? Whether it’s having a conversation with a friend without checking your phone or focusing on a task without multiple tabs open on your laptop, it seems like our brains are craving that constant digital activity. This constant state of digital multi-tasking is fragmenting our attention span and making it harder for us to focus on one thing at a time.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Social media isn’t all bad. It’s connected us in ways we never imagined possible. It’s given voices to those who were unheard, shed light on issues that were overlooked, and allowed us to keep in touch with our loved ones no matter the distance. But like everything in life, balance is key.
If you’re feeling like you’ve had your fill of digital noise and could use some inner peace and focus, remember this: you don’t have to join the latest platform like Threads if you don’t want to. It’s important to recognise when your digital plate is full and when adding another app will only lead to digital indigestion.
Remember, social media should be a tool that serves you, not a master that governs you. You’re in charge of your digital world. So, do what feels right for you. If skipping a new platform helps you maintain your sanity, then skip away! The digital world will keep spinning, and you’ll be just fine.
So, the next time you’re feeling that FOMO creeping up, take a deep breath and remind yourself: It’s OK to skip the latest trend. Your mental health will thank you.
Aislinn Morrell is a digital wellness advocate committed to helping others navigate the online world without compromising their mental peace.