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LIFE

All About You

Is your relationship with social media toxic?

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Social media can be fun. You get to see what your friends are up to, share your own adventures and hobbies and scroll through memes. But we've all heard about and experienced some of the negatives: unrealistic beauty expectations, the fear of missing out and having to deal with hate or cyberbullying. It's a good idea to eval your relationship with social media from time to time and make sure it's not a toxic one. Here are some q's to help you decide whether it's time to take a break or delete the app for good.

Is getting the perfect pic stopping you from enjoying the moment?

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It's normal to snap a few pics when you're having fun. However, documenting the moment can keep you from living in it. When you think back on your prom or a trip to the pumpkin patch with friends, you don't want to just recall posing for the perfect photo, or being glued to your phone to post, like, and comment. To truly live in the moment and make the most of your memories, put the phone down. That doesn't mean you should never take photos. Just be conscious of the time your spending on socials when you're face-to-face. And make sure you're doing activities you want to do, not just what you think would look good on your feed.

Have you ever deleted a post because it didn't get enough likes?

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We're all guilty of getting excited when a new notification pops up announcing that someone has 'liked' our photo. After all, social media is designed that way. The more you feel rewarded and engaged with, the longer you'll use the app—meaning more ad revenue and data for the social media company to collect. This can lead you to feel embarrassed or bummed out when a post doesn't do as well as you'd hoped. If these bad vibes are tanking your social media experience, take a step back. Ask yourself if you're posting because you want to share what you love, or to seek validation from others. If your answer is the second one, you might want to consider deleting an app. Keep in mind that the worth of your content (and yourself) is not determined by how many likes you get.

Are your friends' posts giving you FOMO?

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AKA fear of missing out, FOMO is a term meant to describe the pressure and insecurity that comes with seeing those around you doing different things, hanging out together and generally having a great time without you. It's important to remember that your feed is a highlight reel of the best moments of those around you. No one's life is as perfect as they pretend on Instagram or Twitter. The stream of perfect moments can take a toll on your mental health. Take a look at your own feeds. Are you painting a perfect picture, even when things are rough? You're not alone. Social media is a distorted view of the world, and you shouldn't mistake it for the real thing.

Have you ever taken a social media break?

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Unplugging brings major mental health bennies. Think about how stressful and overwhelming it would be if you could never turn off your television. A constant stream of information can be a major stressor, not to mention a distraction from other activities that don't involve the web. If you've never taken a social media break, consider doing it for a week. You might be surprised at all the extra free time and mental energy you have. Those who have already taken a break can challenge themselves to go unplugged for longer. It's one of the easiest ways to practice self-care and keep yourself from getting addicted to socials.

Ever had one of these social media struggles? Let us know on Twitter by tagging @girlslifemag (after your break, of course)!

Slider Photo: Cristian Dina/Pexels

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by Bailey Bujnosek | 9/15/2020
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