Everyone who owns some sort of a social media page ends up, at some point, stalking or creeping on their friends and family, whether they will admit to it or not.
People do this for many reasons. Some feel the need to see how their lives add up to their friends. For others, it’s about making sure their social media “lives” look better than their friends online.
While constantly checking your family and friends’ social media is a little obsessive and creepy, it also can cause negative feelings and behaviors. Scrolling through all of your friends’ pictures and only seeing happy ones of them surrounded by friends can make people feel as if their friends are having a more fun and satisfied life.
In a Time article, Alexandra Sifferlin writes, “The most common cause of Facebook frustration came from users comparing themselves socially to their peers, while the second most common source of dissatisfaction was ‘lack of attention’ from having fewer comments, likes and general feedback compared to friends.”
Not only is that comment accurate for Facebook, but it applies to other social media sites as well. On outlets like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, the main goal is to promote your life, what you’re doing and how many people care enough to be your friend or follower on that site.
Not only can social media cause your negative feelings and behaviors, it can also hurt personal relationships. People point at sites such as Facebook for ruined relationships.
An article in the Huffington Post explained how Facebook is detrimental to romantic relationships. It said “A 2009 study suggested Facebook makes ‘unique contributions to the experience of jealousy in romantic relationships.’ Divorce attorneys say Facebook flirtations are frequently cited in their cases. And this poor guy had an asthma attack supposedly prompted by seeing how many men his ex-girlfriend had friended since their breakup.”
Tagged photos of your significant other with an ex, the status updates and wall posts are all grounds for jealousy and insecurity.
The Huffington Post’s Katherine Bindley writes, “A couples’ therapist from San Diego … reported that she sometimes hears about Facebook issues on a daily basis in her office. Couples come into conflict over everything from one party reconnecting with an ex to one not mentioning the relationship on Facebook at all.”
Instead of pining away over your friends’, family’s or significant other’s social media, it seems more beneficial to build your life and personal relationships without outside involvement from social media. What use is having more than 1,000 followers and friends or an amazing Instagram picture if your life outside of social media is just sad and lonely?
Live life without the restrictions
of social media and put more focus on the tangible parts of it.
Reach the columnist at Kassidy.McDonald@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @kassmcdonald