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The allure of social media attention

today25 February 2024 43

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Social media has become integral to our daily lives in today’s digital age. Whether scrolling through Instagram, checking notifications on Facebook, or endlessly refreshing TikTok feeds, many of us constantly seek validation and attention in the virtual realm. But what happens when pursuing likes and comments affects our mental well-being?

A cycle of dependency

The allure of social media validation can be intoxicating. Each like, comment, and share triggers a dopamine rush in our brains, reinforcing the desire for more. We become addicted to the instant gratification that comes from receiving attention online. However, this addiction often leads to a cycle of dependency, where our self-worth becomes intertwined with the number of likes on our latest post.

But here’s the harsh truth: chasing after social media validation is like chasing after a mirage in the desert. No matter how many likes we accumulate, it never seems enough. We find ourselves constantly comparing our lives to the carefully curated personas of others, feeling inadequate and unworthy. The problem lies in the fact that social media presents a distorted reality. We showcase only the highlight reel of our lives, filtering out the mundane and the struggles. As a result, we create unrealistic expectations for ourselves and others, perpetuating a cycle of comparison and insecurity.

A mental health barometer

So how do we break free from this vicious cycle? The first step is awareness. Recognize the detrimental effects that excessive social media use is having on your mental health. Take note of how you feel after scrolling through your feed for hours. Are you left feeling drained, anxious, or inadequate? If so, it may be time to reassess your relationship with social media.

Next, set boundaries. Limit your daily time on social media and establish designated “offline” periods where you disconnect entirely. Use this time to engage in activities that bring you joy and fulfilment outside the digital realm. Practice self-compassion. Remember that your number of likes or followers does not determine your worth. Embrace your imperfections and celebrate your uniqueness. Focus on cultivating meaningful connections and experiences in the real world rather than seeking validation from strangers online.

Finally, consider a digital detox. Take a break from social media and observe how it impacts your mood and outlook on life. Use this time to reconnect with yourself and rediscover what truly brings you happiness and fulfilment.

In conclusion, pursuing social media validation may seem enticing, but it often leads to feelings of emptiness and dissatisfaction. By recognizing the adverse effects of excessive social media use and implementing strategies to break free from the cycle, you can reclaim your sense of self-worth and find true fulfilment beyond the confines of the digital world.

If you’re struggling to cope, it may help to speak to someone you don’t know closely; like a Counsellor, we offer free Counselling.

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and not I Am Youth.

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