What Does Your Social Media Say About Your Mental Health?

By Dr. Perry, PhD


“Too much self-centered attitude, you see, brings, you see, isolation. Result: loneliness, fear, anger. The extreme self-centered attitude is the source of suffering.” ~Dalai Lama

Like many of you, I have a personal Instagram (IG) account where I like to share nature photography and images of trips I have taken. Essentially, I use IG as an extension of my memory and like the easy access when I want to reminisce. I am not a frequent visitor to IG but when I do have some downtime I scroll through the feed of images.

I have to admit that my tolerance for IG is low but I love looking at other people’s nature photography and photographs of other countries. This usually will only last for a few minutes before the clinician in me comes to life when I come across a photo gallery that makes me uncomfortable. This type of account will usually feature only photographs of the gallery owner’s face or body which have been heavily filtered to remove any self-perceived imperfections. I can’t help but feel sadness as I peer into the unreal images of a face distorted by over filtering. Of course, this is not the desired effect but I cannot help seeing the inner void in the person looking back at me. There is an obvious need for validation of their existence. In an attempt to be relevant and noticed, individuals will go as far as sharing photographs of their semi-nude bodies.

Others will post highly dangerous photos in order to seek the spotlight. There have been numerous reports of deaths attributed to individuals trying to capture the perfect selfie shot. These unnatural deaths include being mauled by wild animals, falling off cliffs, trains or other high places and accidentally shooting oneself while posing with a loaded gun. Every year the number of these “selfie deaths” continues to rise. The threshold of what is a cool social media photo is becoming more outlandish and dangerous. A little while ago it was taking photos from a frighteningly tall building as you either dangle your feet over the edge or hang by your hands from the ledge. Some of these photos sadly resulted in death. I don’t know what the current “it” photo is but as long as people continue to seek online fame and the need to feed their validation addiction I expect this upward trend to continue.

Perhaps, it is simply self-absorption and an inability to see the world around them as opposed to a diagnosable personality disorder. Like a tight knot that does not allow any light into its inner core, self-absorbed people are so consumed with themselves that they appear to lack insight about their actions and surroundings. They are solely concerned in feeding their fragile ego. I can imagine that to be the partner of someone solely interested and invested in themselves is to live in a constant shadow that occasionally results in a torrential downpour of negative emotions.

Currently, taking too many “selfies” is not a diagnosable mental disorder. But, in a recent study published in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction in January 2018 by two psychologists, Mark D. Griffiths and Janarthanan Balakrishnan, they noted the following, “Those who take three selfies in a day but don’t post them on social media fall into the borderline category. Those who post at least three per day are considered acute, and those who have an “uncontrollable urge” to take selfies all the time and post at least six on social media per day are considered chronic.” Further, another study points out that individuals who suffer from a Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) tend to post more filtered selfies of themselves than any other group.

At this time, I do not know if taking an obsessive amount of selfies should be classified as a mental disorder. However, I do agree that the need for constant validation from others on social media can be damaging to relationships, one’s mental health and can be deadly. In a way, social media has weaponized our mobile phones to murder our self-esteem. I am concerned that we currently live in a society where people crave excessive validation from total strangers. The irony in all of this is that in order to feel good enough to be judged by strangers these individuals have to present a false image of themselves. This creates a very destructive and unhealthy cycle resulting in dissatisfaction with the way one looks and a desire to look like the unrealistic filtered image that receives the most validation. Unsurprisingly, a recent study stated that there has been an increase in people going to plastic surgeons for procedures to make them look like the image they see in their Instagram photos. Other research has linked social media use to heightened feelings of anxiety, depression, poor sleep and body image issues. One study pointed out that it only takes 30 minutes daily on Instagram to change how women view their bodies. They will start to objectify their bodies and believe it exists for others to view. This objectification may lead to depression and eating disorders in young women.

But there may be hope. A recent study stated that 54 percent of U.S. teenagers say they are spending too much time on their cellphones. Further, 52 percent report taking steps to cut back on using their mobile phone and 57 percent report trying to limit their social media use. I recommend that you make an honest assessment of your need for the validation that you receive on social media sites. If you are not able to take a week off from all forms of social media you may have an issue worth exploring. I encourage all of you to take the one week challenge of going social media free. We need to have the courage to be able to sit with ourselves in silence.

For my own mental health and that of my family members, I suggest limited contact with social media or avoiding it completely. I have a young niece who had an IG account for a month and was wise enough to decide she did not have a need for validation from total strangers. You can decide for yourselves and your family what is the right amount of time to spend on social media and what is appropriate to share.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I would love to hear your thoughts on “selfies” and the need for external validation from social media. Please leave your comments and insights in the comment section.

The opinions expressed on my blog are solely my own. My posts are meant to educate as well as motivate, inspire and uplift. If you would like to schedule a free initial consultation to work with me on your mental health please click here.

Kindly,
Dr. Perry


www.MakeItUltraPsychology.com
“We specialize in a solution-focused approach to psychotherapy, specifically treating depression, anxiety, relationship issues and narcissistic abuse.”
Verified by Psychology Today


miualmostdneimage2 2.JPGhttps://makeitultrapsychology.wordpress.com/2016/02/29/the-man-behind-miu/IMG_3848.JPG


© 2018 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


DISCLAIMER
The materials and content contained in this website are for general information only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users of this website should not rely on the information provided for their own health needs. All specific questions should be presented to your own health care provider.

USE AGREEMENT
In consideration for your use of and access to this website, you agree that in no event will MakeItUltra™ be liable to you in any manner whatsoever for any decision made or action or non-action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this website.

FOR IMMEDIATE SUPPORT
If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

125 responses to What Does Your Social Media Say About Your Mental Health?

  1. Great post! ‘We need to have the courage to be able to sit with ourselves in silence’ – very true. I have no social media outlet besides my blog here, which takes a lot of my time already, but do see your points, very valid. The one week challenge, is a challenge indeed. 😬😆

    Liked by 7 people

  2. I.B. says:

    This is a GREAT post. I have to admit that I was once that person. I’m embarrassed to admit it. I was becoming so anxious over what to post next. I thankfully realized this was such a pathetic way to live and got rid of all social media. I am a million times happier and living my life seen through my eyes and not through a phone. Thank you Dr. Perry!

    Liked by 9 people

  3. Amy says:

    I really dislike Instagram and all the phoniness on there. We all know that people do not really look like that in real life! I believe social media is a big reason why people report being more lonely than ever.

    Liked by 6 people

    • tamarakhodr says:

      I love this post! It’s very honest. Social media is a way to get that recognition and attention that you perhaps never got at home. I can see right through social media posers, because I was exactly the same. But it doesn’t have to be a toxic space! We have a choice! We can totally unfollow the stuff that drain our energy and follow the stuff that empower and educate us 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 8 people

  4. MENA from WALES says:

    I found that the more I was on Instagram the more I started judging myself. I stopped wanting to take photos of myself (in a healthy normal range) and posting them on Instagram. Why should I think twice about posting a photo of my family and I on Instagram? Well, I don’t want to be judged. Great post as always Doc.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. pernilla45 says:

    An online acquaintance, whom I learned to know through a hobby we have in common, has made me think quite a lot about this lately. This person posts so many selfies that it makes me worry about his health, and when he doesn’t post selfies he posts images of expensive things he has bought. It’s such an obvious cry for help, and I wish there was something I could do to help – but what?

    Liked by 4 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      I recommend showing him this post or other online sources. This hopefully will spark some self awareness or at least initiate a discussion✨

      Liked by 3 people

  6. shineb4 says:

    Thank you for affirming my observation. I have never used IG because it seemed for the most part very shallow and impersonal. I also still have a flip phone and cannot fathom the need to take a picture of myself close up! 😉

    Liked by 7 people

  7. Atifa. says:

    i agree. this is partly why i got rid of my instagram. i did not like what i was exposing my being to everyday. great post. really enjoyed reading.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Thank you for such a timely article, Dr. Perry. The part about seeking validation from strangers by presenting a false version of oneself hits home for me. That’s one reason why I’ve been off social media since April. It should also be noted that the companies behind many popular apps for the self-absorbed seek to make them as addictive as possible.

    Liked by 6 people

  9. Simply Hina says:

    I think it’s a very complex thing; social media. Recently I took a couple of days off deactivated my fb account. Its not as simple to stop all social media even if you are NOT vacously post loads of selfies, as they’re are many forms & technology advances allowing u to opt to still be signed into messenger for example. I do agree it is very sad when people post superficial filtered pics & being objectified is so sadly natural to the younger generation. I wish I could’ve gone cold turkey on IG & messenger etc too. But for its a text connection path to friends & recorded chats. I like to keep my posts real by posts regarding mh related stuff & funny vids & songs. So it’s expressing creatively. Especially if you live alone to connect with the world to reduce isolation. That said I know at times I spend too much time on social media & just seeing everyone stuck to their phone when I’m out on my walks it’s quite sad how insular we’ve become. Even out on my walks I have getting notifications of various messages because I want me time & to be mindful but there’s no escaping it! Also If you work u have time away from it naturally but if like me u don’t due to health or other reasons it can be a minefield to monitor your usage. Bring back the old telephone!

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Elihu says:

    I find that the more time I spend scrolling through Facebook, the more depressed I feel. I have many struggles and imperfections, and on social media I see everyone’s highlight reels. It breeds discontent. As much as I’d love to ditch it, it’s an advertising medium for my blog and a communication point for some organizations I’m in. I just try checking notifications and avoid scrolling.

    Liked by 4 people

    • A lot of people get depressed after going on Facebook. I feel the same way you do and my reasons for not ditching it are due to finding information on subjects that interest me. But I can see the day approaching. It’s just a matter of time.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. These particular words, “In a way, social media has weaponized our mobile phones to murder our self-esteem” really resonate with me. It is such a worry to watch my teen-aged nieces and nephews struggle with the perceived demands of strangers and others. The need for validation, the need for relationship, in a world that seems to be so focused on surface without substance – it can be frightening. Still, I meet lovely young people who seem to have their act together. I shared this post on Facebook – I don’t have an Instagram account, at least not yet LOL. Thank you for sharing this very important post. There is a lot of meat here and you are very kind to share your wisdom and insights.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. bcparkison says:

    I am begining to dislike social media all around. I do ‘follow’ a lot on IG but I don’t follow . lol and I have a friend who everytime I open facebook…there she is in all of her glory. Selfies are not my thing. I really don’t even enjoy being in photos but now with my husband gone I wish we had more .

    Liked by 5 people

  13. I think people need to shift they way they use social media. I don’t see any selfies bc the accounts I follow are educational, rooted in mission work, or artists using the platform to connect and showcase their work. We can allow it to control us and exacerbate dormant internal issues or we can use it to connect and to grow. Of course it’s not that easy or straightforward. It’s incredibly sad people are loosing their lives for a ‘selfie’ and changing the way they look to resemble a filter- almost hard to comprehend. Thanks for the mental food this morning!

    Liked by 8 people

  14. Well explained the psychology behind the selfie craze. India tops in Selfiecide.What do you think the reason ? Is it because of the huge population in India ? As a physician ,I think it is going to be a mental disorder soon.May be psychological advice will help the poor souls.Thanks again Very informative and educational.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. I love Instagram as it is quieter than Facebook. I am very, very choosy about who follows me and who I follow. It’s Facebook I despise and use only for the online fitness program I’ve belonged to for years. I do not post selfies on Instagram only bits and pieces of real, unfiltered life. The occasional selfie on Facebook is usually me doing lighting and makeup test as soon all team meetings will be on webcam. Need to make sure I do not look so washed out due to the harsh overhead lighting in my office.

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Lahla says:

    I think selfie people are trying to do and be whatever gets them followers and attention- like an identity crisis mixed with extreme people-pleasing. I’ve got two teens- one who’s on the phone a lot and one who isn’t. I’ve got mixed feelings and like the limit-setting idea. My teen that’s not on the phone doesn’t get invited to many parties or activities because that’s how kids communicate. Even if they sit next to each other in class, they don’t say, “hey, wanna hang out after school?” Unfortunately, I’m finding myself pushing the phone 😔.

    Liked by 4 people

  17. Ilka says:

    I can’t understand why I should take pictures of me. If anyone wants a picture of me, one can say it and we will take it. Quite simple.
    Social media is important for me to meet people I wouldn’t otherwise meet. I am learning so much from others! What they look like is secondary. 😉

    Liked by 6 people

  18. Pam says:

    My cousin calls Facebook – Twoface book. So true. People live such wonderful lives on Facebook!

    I do use Instagram to spread awareness about domestic violence and my work as a DV awareness advocate, and in doing that I have to share some of my story as a survivor of DV, but DV awareness is the focus, not me. So, it does have it usefulness. As with most things, moderation is the key.

    I couldn’t agree more about it consuming some people. If they would only realize how people are viewing them…with pity more than envy…they may back off. I particularly feel badly for the young people who grew up with this and think it’s a necessity of life.

    Thanks for the great post!

    Liked by 8 people

  19. I work in education and this summer we were given imagine a Bingo sheet for a Summer Selfie Challenge. Each square had a place or activity for the participant to take a selfie. Just looking at the sheet…got me anxious 😳 as I am NOT a selfie taker! There were things like amusement park, beach, sunglass selfie, coworker selfie. It was fun, in the sense it got me out of my comfort zone. Once I got over the anxiety…I made a choice to only do the ones that were manageable for me and “let it go.” After this exercise…still NOT a selfie taker!!! 😂

    Liked by 5 people

  20. Blended Hope says:

    I love social media but I am well aware of the fakeness out there. Children however do not. That my worry!
    Currently I have 3 teenagers in my home and if you can believe it THEY ALL go out with their friends and do photo shoots. Boys and girls—it’s so weird to me! They do photo shoots in their car, by our creek, in their new school clothes….you name it and then post on their Snapchat
    Ughhh

    Liked by 5 people

  21. This was a really interesting post. Thank you. I do think that whilst social media has its positive aspects in terms of connectivity, it does have its downside. I think the main negative, is that it creates this false notion that everyone else has a perfect life as people only display the best parts of their lives; holidays, new homes, wedding days etc. It allows people to repackage their lives. Life isn’t just the good times, it’s the bad times too but we rarely see someone advertising something negative about their life. I can imagine this can become quite unhealthy, for those who are pressured to portray this ‘perfect’ life and for those who are observing it.

    Liked by 7 people

  22. I love instagram..but i dont post photos i do quotes..

    I actually hate photo taking in general.

    Love your post and i think things are getting out of control with selfies and social media and smart phones. Without knowing we are getting deseased and addicted.

    Liked by 6 people

  23. Hey there – couldnt have came across this at a better time. I just removed my ig off my phone i got approached by 3 ppl regarding our kids playing on ig. I remembered the anxiety i felt with fb. So i took the photos down uninstall ig. and since I left fb i feel more free 🙂 i am sharing this post to some of my anxious friends. But i have to ask wordpress does it qualify as social media?
    Selfies -snap chat?does jt fall in the mental to just take a funny pic of filter or games on snap chat offers?
    Thanks

    Liked by 6 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      WP is primarily a place of self expression and personal development, somewhat like a journal. One should not write for the sole purpose of attracting a following or gaining popularity. One is sharing words, intellect, thoughts, feelings as opposed to images. Again, it is a personal choice as to what you choose to limit. WP should be used in moderation. One should just be aware of anything that may lead unhealthy habits✨

      Liked by 8 people

  24. William says:

    This article is an eye opener. I realize my children spend too much time on instagram. I’m going to be proactive and be a responsible parent. I’m deleting the apps today. They can have instagram when they are adults but while they are in my household they follow my rules. I’m also sharing this article with them. Thank you

    Liked by 8 people

    • good for you,, they will be angry but will get over it after awhile. When my kids were growing up it was video games, they didn’t have cell phones.. wish i had been a better parent and unplugged those gaming systems then. If I had maybe my kids life woul be different.. social media is destroying so many people.. it’s really scary

      Liked by 4 people

  25. TadraLife says:

    Well Said in a era where social media takeover is inevitable its up to us how we manage and draw the line in its usage. Thank you for the Powerful Reminder. Since I started blogging early this year I find more gratification from it than on a Facebook platform to be honest.

    Liked by 6 people

  26. Klea says:

    Having grown up in a world without social media and before colour TV and in a time where we used our imagination to come up with games and we made cubby houses outside or under the kitchen table if it was raining, and yes we rode our bikes to school … I see social media as huge damaging force to young children through to marriages plus so many more instances … I’ve watched parents spend more time looking at their screens then interacting with their young children. Those children then muck up to gain attention from said parents glued to their screen become angry at children because they were interrupted from their time on their screens. I have watched several marriages break up as one spends more time glued to the screen while the other tries to coax them away, left feeling helpless and second best to a bit of technology … Thank you Dr Perry for your excellent blog … If only everyone realised just how false the social media world really was … Online, people, including myself post good things that get lots of likes, or really bad things to get sympathy … we don’t post every day reality stuff like ‘I’m doing the washing and ironing today’, that would bore the hell out of our online friends or followers, we wouldn’t just wouldn’t do such a thing!

    Since the beginning of time man has believed the grass was greener on the other side … I don’t need social media to assure you it is not.

    P.S. Unless you are reading MakeItUltra on FB 🙂 …

    Liked by 8 people

  27. Yes social media can get to be a bit much. I too have an IG but use it to post pics of happy special moments or beautiful sights. I do have a couple of selfies but it’s a rare thing because I’m not one to take selfies of me .I am often asked of relatives from a far for a photo so I do it for that.. but sadly what this world has become of our nose in our phone …computers way too much and that being said I am now getting off here and getting some sleep great subject ! Good night.

    Liked by 6 people

  28. horizondance says:

    This article is extremely interesting and it makes me wonder and really think about my usage of social media every day. I am also speechless when I see profiles of people whose only way to get attention and validation is through posting pictures of themselves half-naked. But on the other hand, I am guilty of using it too much, I think these tools are incredibly smart because they let you believe that you need to participate and get as many likes as “those happy people there” and if you don’t have them, well then you are less valuable. I know because I felt the same some time. It is true though that this constant comparison to other people hurts people’s self-esteem, because you are constantly bombarded with pictures of people living the “quote unquote” perfect life while you still struggle to pay your rent and wonder what is wrong with you.

    Liked by 6 people

  29. notdonner says:

    I have this fantasy that some weapon discharges and eliminates all mobile devices for an extended length of time. The youth of the world will have to seek out the aged, as the ones who knew how to communicate before cell phones took over. Writing a letter? Where do I find a pen let alone a postage stamp ?

    Liked by 6 people

  30. Farah Bee says:

    I first joined Instagram 7 years ago. The app helped me become interested in photography but as the site grew in popularity and selfies and celebrities started taking popularity the site became just another popularity contest. I still mostly post nature photography but that’s what I like sharing.

    Liked by 5 people

  31. Farah Bee says:

    Social media has made me feel like I don’t measure up at times Facebook and Instagram both. I know I can’t tell other people what to post. I can control what I post and how much time I spend viewing other people’s content.

    Liked by 4 people

  32. Hi Dr Perry you said something I absolutely loved “validation from total strangers.” when I think of those words and read them it makes me want to vomit..I was a model for adult lingerie for over 10 years and in magazines and on the internet until 2010 and many of those photos I had to feel that I had approval from everyone who saw them of how beautiful I was in order to feel good about my self. It makes me angry that I once was this way . That I need the approval of a total stranger in order to fill good about myself. but I blame society for this mainly because every where you look there has got to be sexiness involved. It’s with film, music, magazines, advertisements it in everything we see and do everyday. It’s just everywhere. It’s no wonder kids are posting such pics of themselves. My daughter would take some beautiful face shots and get upset if they didn’t get as many likes as her friend got sometimes..its obvious that society is getting worse and worse each day, however if we allow are our kids to participate in such activities on social media then we are to blame for their depression and mental illness.. We as parents got to snap out of it and start being parents and not let our children have social media in their life like we do. However though we sit there on our phone surfing Facebook and Instagram,commenting on post from friends who we have never met while our kids sit beside us doing the same..We are robbing them of social time with family as well then. It’s then that will they go on social media to get noticed,,,,,,,,,,, SO SAD BUT TRUE..

    Liked by 3 people

    • esoterica says:

      You make such a great point!! I think parent’s have the responsibility to lead by example. Though not a parent myself, I see family and strangers handing their toddlers a tablet while they surf the web on their phone. On the other hand, about 5% of families I know put down the phone to have dinner as a family, spend the day in nature, and give their kids 100% of their attention. I bet you can guess which children are more well-adjusted, polite, sociable, etc. Social media (and technology) is becoming increasing problematic, and parents really do need to step in (even when it makes them the “bad guy”) to help their kids’ long-term health and well-being.

      Liked by 3 people

      • its really sad that parents don’t lead anymore. Instead the child leads the parent. My friend is a school teacher and she told me she can tell when her kids come in each morning which ones were allowed on social media that morning just by their attitudes. Parents are not being parents anymore so children go else where for attention… its just really sad the whole thing with technology as its being used for all the wrong reasons. Its destroying so many children and families when technology can be such a wonderful thing if used right.

        Liked by 2 people

  33. I also have an Instagram account. Although it’s a personal account, I’m often using it to promote literature, to connect with readers and authors worldwide, so I enjoy it. Every now and then, I don’t mind the occasional selfie; however, I’ve come across way too many filtered selfies from particular friends and family members. I just find it annoying when it comes to the hype of the Snapchat selfies. Are these people really as confident as they claim? In my opinion, if they all were that confident, they wouldn’t need to go out of their way to receive that kind of feedback.
    Thanks for sharing this article. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  34. As an individual who Blogs, Instagrams, Twitters, runs a group & has 2 Facebook pages…It can become overwhelming.

    However, I use some of my own pictures to give my poetry a more personal feel. I love using the effects to change the tints & such.

    But I do agree that Selfies can be overdone. I can’t simply sit there taking pictures of myself all day…For what? I don’t like the camera that much. However, it never occurred to me that this could actually be a sickness. Wow!
    Very interesting article. Thanks for sharing!

    “Namastè & One Love”❤️💛💚

    Liked by 3 people

  35. arsenedk says:

    So true, great article. I am an active IG user , and i also use it mostly for travels and such , minus certains occasions.
    Honestly i like it , even though last year i started using less FB for example and i immediatly so a difference so we should exercice restraint with social media.
    In time i’ve noticed that i have friends and acquaitances that mostly post selfies or pictures of themselves.Without judging I often wonder why , because they are usually attractive people. Could it also be some of them try to imitate they favorite stars and idols whether they come from the cinema, fashion or music industry?

    Liked by 3 people

  36. Rayne says:

    I have no problem sitting with myself in silence. I do that often, as I crave the silence and alone time, with my phone set to silent. I can go days without social media, but there are days where I’m on it often just because it’s what I want to do… it’s mostly to interact in groups I’m part of, no selfie stuff, haha.

    Liked by 4 people

  37. Good morning Doc. I hope you are well. This goes back as far as mankind. The young man who puts on a bear skin rather than a goat skin to attract the attention of the young lady 3 caves down the hill. The display of various creatures trying to attract a mate. Once Hollywood and Madison Ave. came on the scene Malignant narcissism was born. I use IG for advertising my bead work. You can sell anything if you can convince people it makes them look or feel better. Remember your story of the naked emperor. Thank you for an enlightening article young man…….Johnny

    Liked by 3 people

  38. Personally, I couldn’t agree more. It scares me in reality when I see young people so absorbed, so controlled by the “it” they will go to any length to be accepted either by peers or the “unknown” who might witness their antics. Even more troubling is the fact that most of these people care more about this type of validation than learning about life, past and present, and about coping in the world and workplace. The level of intelligence of our young people sadly has dropped. I can attest this when my grandchildren come home with stories about people they work with who can’t do simple math or figure out daily problems posed in life. They are stumped at what to do when faced with any situation. Their world revolves around their current friends and their ideals and notions and nothing beyond.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. esoterica says:

    Great post! I deleted my IG and Twitter about 6 years ago, and Facebook this year. I never had Snapchat, Tinder, or any of the newer apps. After a pragmatic Pro/Con list and a few months-long “tests,” I realized I felt so much freer and more myself away from social media. Perhaps I lost some great connections and some (what I thought were) good friends, but the freedom, lack of worry, and new ease of focus have been so, so worth it. It’s been a blank slate and a fresh start.
    A tip for anyone considering reducing social media use: start by “unfollowing” brands, celebrities, or people who are not actively adding to or improving you life; suddenly, social media will become extremely boring and it will be much easier to step back. Work wonders for me, at least. 😁

    Liked by 3 people

  40. Great post! I must admit that I am a bit of a social media junkie. I’m on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, SnapChat, YouTube, WordPress…I’m not sure though that I’m on them to gain acceptance. I think I just like to meet new people. I will say though that there are a lot of fake people out there, which makes it a little scary at times. I have to be very careful with that. I’ve run into instances on Instagram where two different accounts will ask to follow me, but the picture shows the same person. It’s a bit on the creepy side. I started with Facebook over 10 years ago when my daughter wanted an account. The only way she was going to get one is if I got one and I was her first friend and I could keep tabs on her posts and friends. Then I got a bit hooked. Now I use it to keep in touch with family and friends. I do take selfies, but not more than 1 a day. I typically take 1 a week to update on my weight loss efforts. I will have to see if I can challenge myself with a week away from social media. I think I could as long as I could still text people. I would spend my times on school work and reading. I’ll have to give it a try after I do my 30 day blog challenge.

    Liked by 2 people

  41. Emme says:

    Love this post! I stopped instagram about a month ago. I was beginning to feel pressure to click and like everyone’s photos. Like a trained rat! Horrible. I am not going back

    Liked by 2 people

  42. C.B. says:

    I am on instagram and I have seen this type of account. They are super disturbing. It’s selfie after selfie of the person with no special background. Just their face. Really odd. Keeping this in mind I am not posting any selfies as it doesn’t matter what I look like. I bet excessive selfies will be found to be mental disorder in the future. Thank you for another thought provoking blog.

    Liked by 3 people

  43. Monaminga says:

    Interesting article, I really hope that people are going to moderate their use of social media which are not so social after all. When I started blogging one of my challenges was to see if I would have an audience without promoting my blog on the most common social media such as instagram, facebook etc. I have never used any social media after facebook, and my personnal account on FB is for feeds I like (news, groups), I Don’t post personnal pictures or tell people my life. It’s possible to live without all of that, or to know how to manage them so that they become useful and not overwhelming. A good way I found to avoir constatnt intrusion of the virtual world is that I have disabled all the notifications, and I only connect my phone to the Internet when I decide and that is when I receive some notifications (emails, facebook). In that way, I am never disturbed during the day by a bip Calling me to peep at my phone. Like someone said when I spend time on the Internet or social media it’s because I choose to, not because I feel an urge.
    What do you think, am I gonna be a successful blogger without the social media? 😉

    Liked by 6 people

  44. In general, I found myself addicted to social media and found it warping my views. The notifications ruled me.

    On IG, I felt I had to click and like people’s stuff and I needed to take selfies and get them to like my posts — and why did I care so much? I had started measuring my self-worth based on likes and then comparing myself to other’s selfies and how I thought their lives were so much better. They were always posting — sitting on a beach or in an exclusive event — what they hell was I doing with my time? Nothing apparently. I felt I needed to take more pics and post. I began to feel jealous of these fun photogenic people.

    And then I had to pump the brakes on that because I knew some of these people fairly well and actually they weren’t really happier — they had problems that didn’t show up in those photos — whether financial, work, relationship, etc. And take away the filters and they had some of the same worry lines. On the surface, they looked happy posting constant pics of themselves in cool places doing fun things, but much of it was a facade. But regardless, why was I letting someone’s selfies impact me?

    Now, I only look at IG occasionally and I haven’t posted a pic in months. I try to keep things in perspective.

    Liked by 3 people

  45. Bee says:

    I loved this post. I wish I could reblog it and post it all over places I work. I found it fascinating, engaging and a study that has long needed done. Those of us on the front lines are just as quickly lost in the trenches of social media and self image. Very good post!

    Liked by 2 people

  46. Bill says:

    Great post. Remember when facebook admitted that they purposely made it so that we would become addicted to using facebook? No one seemed to care. Honestly it’s nuts and I don’t see it getting any better. It’s like as a society we want to tune out and be lead.

    Liked by 2 people

  47. Very helpful information as always Dr. Perry. One most certainly has to digg​ deep and ask the question “why am I engaged in social media”? I saw a video that also echoed many of the points you share. Quite enlightening info.🙂👍🏾

    Liked by 1 person

  48. A great post from you, Dr. Perry! I’m so glad excessive selfie-ing is being talked about, because it has too many detrimental effects on the individual and the community around them. I’m not opposed to the concept of selfies – as it can be quite fun and entertaining at times – but when the motivation to take selfies is simply to parade them to an audience through social media, it makes me wonder if any of it is healthy at all. I’ve taken selfies with my family and friends, but they were taken in a moment of fun memory-making, and not for the sake of splashing across Facebook or Instagram to get validation from others. I guess the point I’m trying to make is this: we need to explore the drive behind taking selfies and the expectations of using social media to popularize one’s selfies. Because this is where the dysfunctionality lays. I wouldn’t be surprised if this evolves into a new-age disorder, as you have mentioned. A pity, indeed.

    (I have to say though: I do enjoy my Instagram, because I use it to post pictures of scenes around me – nature, art, poems, etc – and it serves as a sort of handy memory bank!)

    Liked by 2 people

  49. Ash says:

    Spot on! This is such a well written post. I’m definitely sharing this with everyone I know as I think it’ll really help others who are currently suffering from a validation addiction.

    Liked by 4 people

  50. Great message. I love your statement “Like a tight knot that does not allow any light into its inner core, self-absorbed people are so consumed with themselves that they appear to lack insight about their actions and surroundings.” I just recently visited a place and that was the term I would use to describe the people – self-absorbed. I’m from a more rural setting and I guess we speak more, but every time I would say hello in passing in this city people would looked shocked and didn’t seem to know how to respond. Sad

    Liked by 2 people

  51. Naad says:

    I totally loved this post. It’s the need of the hour to tackle an issue which is highly sensitive but people are too ignorant to see that. Social media especially Instagram feeds so much of negativity into our minds. And I agree with you, women are the biggest victims. We need to love ourselves for who we are and we need to present ourselves as such before the world as well. It was an illuminating read✌

    Liked by 2 people

  52. Enjoyed reading… I do get rid of my social media accounts when I start feeling like they are having an impact on my personal life and health.. It gives me peace as well…as at times these things have an impact on my happiness and i start feeling low just by looking at pictures and daily updates of my friends and family. 🌼

    Liked by 1 person

  53. I love your challenge. We experienced a 10 day break from social media and actually all artificial communication in the aftermath of hurricane Wilma back in 2005. It was great: neighbors got to talk to each other again and forced us into introspection which felt like an oasis in the desert. I suggest practicing a withdrawal from social media once a month, almost like resetting the button and keeping track of the human touch.

    Liked by 2 people

  54. Purwi Pranshul says:

    It’s a really great post. Worth reading. The issue of selfie and social validation is increasing and with apps that help to make you look “thinner” or more “beautiful” just as harmful! I, myself have become any addict to Instagram even though knowing the consequences. The post is well put. Hats off.

    Liked by 1 person

  55. Chantel says:

    My best friend posted a beautiful writing about her 20 year marriage. She attached a candid photo of her and her husband laughing on their wedding day… Everyone was commenting on her heartfelt words of admiration for her husband and how special their love is, and how they wished they could have that. I knew however, they were miserable and he had recently asked for divorce. It’s not just selfie takers that are seeking the recognition that your life is perfect. It’s sad.
    P.S. They have pulled through and seem to be making it.

    Liked by 2 people

  56. I love this article. I never take many selfies because I never liked the way I looked. I only take them now because I want to encourage my sister who is fighting Lyme Disease. I have learned to accept who I am so I am not as ashamed to take selfies of myself because I am embrace myself and my sexuality as a woman. Thanks for sharing this article. Have a great evening!

    Liked by 2 people

      • This sudden urge of selfies and painting a picture perfect “life” on online platforms is something which surprises me totally. I myself am in my 20s but most of the times I feel like I have a generation gap with my own generation.
        Hope you don’t mind me sharing this on my blog. I want my students to read this article. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  57. Thanks for this blog. I agree with “I suggest limited contact with social media or avoiding it completely’. It is time consuming and addictive. Rather than social media helping us strengthen relationships it probably as often does the opposite. How often I hear that friendships terminate after unsolicited advice or political posts.

    Liked by 2 people

  58. mynewbubbles says:

    My oldest son has recently gotten rid of all forms of social media. He says it skews his perception of real life. He read that the some of creators who worked on FB regret their involvement.
    Most people only post the “best” things. It’s like a constant brag session. I hope for more honesty on social media. If we all posted real life wouldn’t it be healthier? Those tend to be the people I follow. Let our flaws fly! That’s what makes us unique. And really are they even flaws? No!

    Liked by 2 people

  59. heavensreef says:

    Thanks for your post here…….yes social media is changing our culture for sure. And a while back I realized that it was a time sucker. Especially FB! My future goal is to cancel my accounts. I do prefer to spend time in the blog world, where people share their hearts. But all this comes down to priorities and balance. Shouldn’t we live our lives, instead of living them electronically??

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dr. Perry says:

      You’re welcome. Thank you for your insightful comment and yes we should be living the majority our lives in the real world and not on our phones✨

      Liked by 2 people

  60. Jay says:

    Great post! I was cursed (blessed?) with a complete lack of talent for taking selfies. Any and all attempts end up resulting in me dropping my phone on my face (very classy). On a more serious note, I had an instagram account (well, still have it, but more properly used it) for a couple weeks just to see what the attraction was, and after posting a few pictures, the fun just faded away. I believe it does have its attraction for some people, but for me, social media is just to communicate with friends and family who live away from me and prefer this form of communication.

    The one-week challenge is a good idea, and, as someone who takes a week off social media every now and then, it’s a pretty good way to recharge and relax.

    Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  61. Great post. I actually love instagram, but I rarely post selfies or photos with me in them and I do not follow anyone who has a ‘look at me I love myself and my rock hard abs’ type of account. I love to take photos, and I post photos of my travels and what I am cooking/making, etc. I also post to instagram when I have a new blog post. Most of my followers are people I know/know of, or who follow my blog. I prefer instagram to facebook, as it is mostly photos and it is not bombarded by a lot of ads. Social media requires that recessive gene called common sense. Ciao, Cristina
    Ps-Ok so I did post a photo of myself in Napoli last month……but I was in front of a Caravaggio. the other person admiring the painting said I looked mesmerized and had to take a photo. How could I not?

    Liked by 2 people

  62. aquis says:

    So much truth in this article. Life is all about a healthy balance , and social media – particularly Instagram- quickly becomes a unhealthy, unbalanced addiction in many people’s lives. Thank you for shedding light on such a crucial issue of our times , I truly believe that your words will help and inspire many

    Liked by 1 person

  63. Huntorius says:

    Very well said Dr. Perry! I think you covered the issue very well. I appreciate you mentioning the percentage of people that say they need to cut down on their social media use, that is a good sign.

    Liked by 1 person

  64. Katherine says:

    Another aspect of the social media phenomenon i’ve noticed repeatedly: People i know and like close-up, IRL, seem less likable to me via their accounts. My inner response to their online presence is, ‘If i didn’t already know them, i wouldn’t be interested in them.’ Usually it’s that they post too many pics of themselves — as if they don’t realize how this can come across.I suspect their perspective is that they are merely celebrating, and inviting others to celebrate along with them.
    (I didn’t read all the replies above, so maybe this has been noted already.)

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Pingbacks & Trackbacks