Published: 28th November 2020
Time for a social detox: How hiding behind social media filters is bad for overall well-being
Are you hiding behind social media filters too? The Coach tells us how that’s harmful to our mental health and overall well-being
I start our conversation this week with full disclosure, I’m the LEAST ACTIVE on social media. Why? One, I feel it’s a PSEUDO LIFE where everyone’s trying to portray that LIFE’S PERFECT! Two, simply because I value, cherish, treasure and feel that direct human interaction is more REAL. Which is why my column is read all over the country and yet I don’t even have 1,000 likes on my Facebook page and have a very humble Instagram account.
I’m trying to emphasise on the point of how important it is to be IN CONTACT rather than simply BE FRIENDS ONLINE. I’ve always followed three principles in my life: Honesty, Humility and Genuineness and I’ve never been able to DON A MASK and PRETEND to be something that I’M NOT... ever! I guess that’s why people can read me like an open book and I have no qualms about it. But on the flip side, I’ve seen MODELS on Instagram with millions of followers look very different and ORDINARY in REALITY. The same goes for celebrities too.
As per a study, social media filters on pictures have proved to be detrimental to the well-being of children and I’d like to add that it’s having quite the same effects on adults too. A close friend of mine in his forties would always be low and somewhat depressed in life. I could never understand the reason and honestly, when someone’s a friend, it’s quite tough to PERSUADE them to come to you for therapy. I decided on a more STEALTHY approach and started shadowing him. Through our interactions I came to know that he starts his day by opening Instagram and even relies on Facebook for news. He had unknowingly developed SELECTIVE VISION and would only focus on those posts which were of fancy cars, women, exotic locations and of course, the posts by celebrities.
He’d also focus only on the posts of his friends who were DOING BETTER than him (at least that’s what he thought just looking at their posts on social media). He had developed a DISSATISFACTION towards everything that he had but little did he realise that he had a SECURE JOB that stayed with him EVEN DURING this pandemic, a loving wife who was so worried about him and absolutely no loans or commitments. Yes! We all crave for more in life but THAT CRAVING has increased a HUNDREDFOLD because of the way we’re ADDICTED to social media.
Both teens and adults are letting their IDENTITIES be CHISELED by the LIKES, COMMENTS and FOLLOWERS on social media and have completely forgotten that it’s the HONEST FACE-TO-FACE interactions with family, friends or peers that truly matter. The PRIORITY of SEEKING APPROVAL has surpassed all other aspects which in turn has SHATTERED the very FOUNDATION OF SELF-IMAGE, SELF-ESTEEM and SELF-CONFIDENCE... Thereby affecting the overall mental health of most individuals.
The best thing to do is a SOCIAL DETOX. Stop using these apps for a week and see how better you feel. Introspect and understand how better your self-esteem is. If nothing else, ONE THING I CAN PROMISE is the difference in PRODUCTIVITY that you would have achieved as you’re MORE FOCUSED on your tasks and not STOPPING even before starting by looking at others and feeling that you’ll never be able to reach THAT LEVEL.
Adarsh Benakappa Basavaraj