The trend of taking selfies and using social media has recently gained significant traction. Selfies have emerged as a popular method of expressing oneself in this day and age of camera phones and social networking. On the other hand, the relentless quest for affirmation via posting and consuming selfies might have significant implications for mental health.
Even though they may be light-hearted and risk-free to keep in touch with friends and family, they may be detrimental to one’s mental health. A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 92% of Gen Z participate in some social media and that 67% of them upload selfies. This holds true as ExpressVPN’s blog piece states that no matter the implications, selfies are here to stay and won’t be considered another trend any time soon.
Selfies and social media platforms may be problematic since they encourage users to evaluate themselves with others. We could have feelings of inadequacy about ourselves if we are exposed to pictures of other individuals who seem flawless. This might bring anxiety, sorrow, and a general lack of self-confidence.
Those who spend more than two hours each day using social media are at an increased risk of displaying symptoms of both anxiety and depression. People who use social media to compare themselves to others are more likely to suffer these symptoms because they are constantly exposed to picture-perfect scenarios.
The negative consequences of cyberbullying and other forms of online harassment can be experienced in the digital sphere. Sharing selfies online exposes users to the possibility of receiving harassing remarks, trolling, and other forms of online abuse. These kinds of incidents may bring higher levels of worry and sadness and a lowered sense of one’s value. People may even be dissuaded from expressing themselves in a genuine manner because they are afraid of being judged and the possibility of being embarrassed in public.
An unhealthy obsession with activities such as taking selfies and using social media may lead to addictive behavior. The constant desire for validation and the dopamine rush associated with obtaining likes and comments may lead to obsessive usage, which has repercussions for productivity, relationships, and general well-being. A lack of interpersonal connections and isolation might result from excessive time on social media platforms.
Seeking External Validation
The practice of taking selfies to gain approval from others is harmful to one’s mental health. People can become stuck in a never-ending loop of seeking other people’s approval if they base their sense of self-worth on external validation, such as the number of likes and comments they get on social media posts. The inability to get positive or negative feedback will lead to emotions such as disappointment and rejection.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Time Spent on Social Media
If you are worried about the impact that taking selfies and using social media can have on your mental health, here are a few steps you can take to regulate your usage of these platforms better:
- Set a daily limit for the time you wish to spend on social media and adhere to it religiously.
- Get up and walk around every 20 to 30 minutes to prevent being too engrossed in social media.
- Be mindful of what you’re consuming. Pay attention to the information you’re seeing on social media, and make sure it’s something that’s helping you feel better about yourself.
- Be sure to look after yourself. Check that you are getting enough sleep, that you are eating well, and that you are routinely engaging in physical activity.
Taking too many selfies and spending too much time on social media might harm one’s mental health. On the other hand, you can take action to control your usage of social media and safeguard your mental health. You can make your social media usage more beneficial to your health by imposing restrictions on yourself, pausing periodically, paying attention to the content you take in, and generally taking good care of yourself.