It is natural to feel good when others take notice and pay attention to us. A pat on the back is nice. Thumbs-up is great, and compliments-even better, but living for others on Facebook can rob you of precious time, sleep, and true identity.
When Facebook friends and family take time to acknowledge our success, statuses, post, and pictures, with happy emojis or thumbs-up, it gives us a satisfaction that drives us to become even more cunning and crafty with our narratives and perfect filtered pictures. When those likes and compliments grow from 100 to 1000, some of us become social junkies and get hooked- NOT on phonics but on social media.
As long as people are liking and complimenting us no matter how untrue some of the post are, we are forced to keep scrolling and posting to keep up the momentum, and that alone can create a false sense of satisfaction, because it’s a manipulative way of building our self-confidence and gaining more responses. This is robbing many people of their true identity. When a person constantly seek for ways to keep up with others on social media, it causes stress and robs them of true freedom to live unapologetically.
I know close friends and family members who scroll all day and all night-loosing sleep and time to find content and the perfect filter just to get attention and favor from others, and when they do, they hold themselves hostage to lies, insecurity, and bondage until the next compliment or 100 likes.
My perspective about social media used to be “it was the sleep bandit, and the grinch that stole self-identity, because it robs people of precious time, sleep, individuality, and so much more.
BUT is social media the real thief?
No, you are the thief. When you go to social media with intentions on living for the applauds and compliments of others, you rob yourself of your own self-worth. When you refuse to let people get to know the real you, you are robbing yourself of your own self-identity. When you waste time scrolling on Facebook to see who you can compete and compare yourself to, you are robbing yourself of precious time that could be invested in establishing healthy relationships. When you stay up just to keep up, you open the door to stress that ultimately leads to depression.
By spending money you don’t have, to buy things you can’t afford, to impress people who really don’t care!
There was a quasi—experiment online study done where depressed and non-depressed participants were asked to create a Facebook profile and compare themselves to other people who’s profile they followed. The study showed that the depressed became more depressed and envy, and were forced to compare themselves with others, because they felt inferior.
Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 34 (4), 277-289, 2015
Since FACEBOOK is one of the most utilized social media sites, I want to give you the acronym I created and often remind myself of before I log on. In fact, it would be wise to adopt these 8 principles before using any social media platform.
Find genuine people to befriend. It is called Facebook NOT Fakebook.
Accept request at your own risk. Everyone is not complimenting, but competing
Care about what you share about. Don’t expect people to like you if you can’t accept the real you.
Engage people in your unique identity not some fictitious character
Be real no matter what. The ugly truth is better than a pretty lie.
Own the right to delete anyone who does not appreciate you
Omit the need to compare yourself with others.
Know when to log off, it’s not worth your time, sleep, or sanity.