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COMPARISON THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKS: CAUSES AND WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT

    Social media makes us feel connected to others. But sometimes it also triggers negative feelings such as comparison. However, on social media you can also share your latest wins of sportsbook online.

    A BALANCING ACT 

    Social media has many positive effects on everyday life:

    • You can socialize with people you might otherwise rarely or never see.
    • You can also use social media to make new contacts based on your interests.
    • You can also benefit from other people’s posts for your own life and gather inspiration.

    Ultimately, these platforms can help you shape your own identity by showing and revealing who you would like to be. 

    According to a survey, young people are also aware of the negative effects of social media. But Instagram, Facebook and co. also have some negative effects. The United Kingdom’s Royal Society of Public Health addresses this with its #StatusofMind brochure:

    Over 90% of teenagers and young adults in their early twenties use social media. According to a survey of this target group, social media is more addictive than alcohol or cigarettes.

    The negative consequences of social media can include anxiety disorders, poor sleep and depression. It should be noted that the rate of depression among young people has increased by 70% in the UK over the last 25 years.

    Young people who spend more than two hours a day on social media are more at risk of mental illness. Constantly seeing how others are on vacation or enjoying the evening with friends can lead them to despair.

    THE CASE OF INSTAGRAM

    Unrealistic or edited images online can influence us to feel bad. Instagram in particular performs the worst in terms of well-being and health among young people compared to other social networks such as Twitter, YouTube or Facebook. There are three main reasons for this:

    A lot of pictures are uploaded on this platform. According to psychology professor Danielle Leigh Wagstaff, the mass of images means we have to constantly assess whether we are more or less attractive, intelligent and cultured compared to the person. This upsets our “social comparison radar”. 

    In real life, we very rarely meet a large number of people a day who experience almost nothing but interesting things. Instead, in everyday life we also meet people who are in a bad mood or sad. This makes social media unrealistic. 

    We often follow people who have interesting lives. These can be influencers or celebrities. This comparison often makes us feel less good about ourselves, as these people do not lead a normal, average life.

    The often unrealistic portrayals on social media can have various consequences for users:

    • Self-esteem and self-confidence flatten and depressive moods increase.
    • Their own perfectionism grows.
    • It becomes more difficult to accept your own body image.

    HOW YOU CAN USE IT FOR YOU ADVANTAGE

    Filters often create a perfect image of reality. If you notice that using social media is not good for you, try to maintain good mental hygiene. Reflect on how you use social media. We also have eight ideas for you:

    1. realize that many people give an unrealistic image of themselves on social media. This ultimately distinguishes the perfect online world from the real offline world, where not everything is always perfect.
    1. remember: many body images are unrealistically posed or edited. People usually choose the one perfect photo from many posed photos.
    1. set yourself a daily time frame. You can sometimes set this on your smartphone so that a reminder flashes up after a certain number of minutes. Research shows that the longer users spend on social networks, the less successful and worse they feel. 
    1. try to build days or certain periods of the day into your life without social media. 
    1. to take the pressure off yourself and see social media more as a way of keeping in touch, you can also download the Demetricator for Instagram, Facebook and Twitter developed by Benjamin Grosser for your browser. This function then completely hides the follower and like numbers. 
    1. clean up your friends or subscriber list. If you don’t want to go that far, you can mute certain profiles on Instagram, for example, so that you don’t see their posts and stories immediately. You can also block people on other social networks.
    1. don’t use social media just before you go to sleep or just after you wake up, but schedule smartphone-free time during these quiet moments of the day. This will do you some good: you won’t get all worked up with thoughts and you’ll avoid the bright LED screen light, especially in the evening.

          8. If you find it difficult to control yourself, consider logging out of the app for a while or even deleting your account.