Excessive social media screen time interrupts quality experiences

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Social media is great and it can bring you closer to people you’ve lost touch with. But how often do you feel jealous or left out when you see recaps of your followers’ weekend adventures online?

With my multiple Instagram accounts I take full advantage of my ability to filter my posts and make sure my followers see only what I want them to see. Certain accounts allow me to be more honest and speak out freely without fear of judgement.

Some people filter their posts out of fear of judgement while others may filter content and plan photos to uphold a perfect facade about their life when, really, they’re hiding behind their screen.

In 2017, Ditch the Label posted a video on YouTube called “Are You Living an Insta Lie? Media Vs. Reality.” This video highlights what people go through to fit in, and shows the reality behind those photos.

Rarely anything you see online is real. No one’s life is as perfect as it seems, and if yours is, then please share your expert tips.

Whether being told a story about a recent event or seeing it on Instagram, feeling left out will always happen.

The facades of our friends’ day to day lives are often excuses for why we feel badly about how things are going in ours. When things aren’t going well it’s easy to think someone has it better.

According to clinical psychologist Jeff Nalin, social media and depression go together.

“When teenagers scroll through their newsfeed, it’s easy for them to think that all of their friends and classmates are perfect, making them feel left out,” he said.

They experience the fear of missing out and this can cause anxiety.

So how do we fix our fear of missing out?

The first step in clarifying these feelings is being aware that a post does not prove the quality of a moment.

Remember, not every moment needs a selfie, not every half-soy no foam double espresso is #goals and not every Wednesday needs a woman crush. Focus on being in the moment and appreciate the quality of the experiences playing out in front of you.

While deleting all of your apps may not seem like a viable option, limiting your time on them is. Track your usage for a week, you might be shocked by the amount of time you spend on your phone.

Limiting screen time will relieve the stress of keeping up with an ultimately unattainable Insta-worthy life.
This is time you could be using to experience the world around you and appreciate every part of it.

Life will become less stressful, and you will enjoy your time with friends and family more.

Social media is addicting and time consuming. While you waste time scrolling through staged photos of other people’s lives, your own passes you by.

AJ Spytek is a history education major and can be reached at athena.spytek@jacks.sdstate.edu

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