Why Are Women Quitting Social Media
Photo © Thought Catalog
According to Dr Paula Durlofsky, "the aimless scroll encourages irrational comparisons and a delusional sense of normality. Depression. Anxiety. Low self-esteem. These aren't the most exciting words to hear. In the cutthroat, competitive world we live in now, the need for perfectionism is too real.
How many times do you find yourself in a pit of envy over some stranger's Instagram profile? How much anxiety does it cause you when you post a photo and don't immediately see the likes start to pour in? Social media has become a way to confirm or prove popularity, and it has gotten out of hand.
Women make up a majority of audiences across Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Instagram, in particular, puts women under the microscope of seeking perfection.
Women, naturally, are more likely to multitask than men. The constant use of social media platforms as well as what's going on in your reality can cause chaos and irritability in your mind. Imagine having multiple tabs on your computer open. You go from one to the next in no particular order, without completing anything thoroughly. This is the female brain. Men are more likely to focus on one task at a time, and wait to start a new one until they are finish.
Even just reading that sounds so much more relaxing!
According to an article in Time Magazine, "Instagram easily makes girls and women feel as if their bodies aren't good enough as people add filters and edit their pictures in order for them to look perfect.” Research supports the idea, the more social networks a young adult uses, the more likely he or she is to report depression and anxiety.
Women and teens are more at risk for mental health issues caused by social media usage. Teens have a need to prove themselves to the world and their classmates, and because their brains aren't fully developed, it is generally more difficult for them to prioritise what really matters.
When women engage in consistent social media usage throughout the day, they expect the outside world to emulate what they see on the apps. They don't take into account filters and editing and airbrush.
Social media gives you the ability to pick and choose how you want your life to look and how you want people to perceive your life. You can make your life look picture-perfect when in reality, nobody's life is perfect.
While you're scrolling, you habitually are comparing yourself and your life to others. By participating in social media, what are you trying to prove to yourself and to the world?
A social media detox is something to consider, and it should be at the forefront of everyone's priorities. CNBC anchor, Kelly Evans decided to pull the plug on her social accounts, explaining "I felt lost in endless spools of social media. I was more responsive to comments on Instagram than to my own closest friends and family.”
Social media can be beneficial in certain ways, like networking for business or staying in touch with long-distance friends and family. Just make sure that you cut yourself some slack now and again and give yourself a break from comparing everyone's lives to yours.