Before diving into the potential dangers associated with social media, it should be understood that this is not a suggestion to avoid social media platforms altogether, but instead to gain a deeper understanding of how the increasing ubiquitous nature of these platforms can create negative emotional states and exacerbate our negative perceptions of ourselves.
The first issue with social media is that it reflects back to us a falsely ideal representation of what others want us to see. We are inundated on Facebook and Instagram with pictures and videos that constitute a highlight reel of people’s lives. The constant influx of this type of imagery can lead us to believe that our own lives are not exceptional, boring, and leave much to be desired. The reality is, however, that the majority of people we might be jealous of online do not live, on a day to day basis, the highlight reel that they advertise to their audiences. The constant repetition of these images over time can be detrimental to our self-esteem and worth if we remain ignorant to the fact that this is a false reality. With a strong cultural and biological proclivity to rank order ourselves in relation to other people in order to better perceive our status in society, social media exacerbates this already existing tendency by making the ability to compare ourselves to others all the easier through technology. The game of comparing ourselves to others is a tempting one, but one that will ultimately result in our own feelings of inadequacy.
Because of the obviously tempting nature of social media platforms, we can also get caught up so much in them that we can forget we exist in the physical world! It isn’t uncommon to find ourselves in a group of friends in which no one is actually talking because we are all glued to our phone screens. We are too early on in the technological revolution to really understand what sacrifices go along with trading the actual world for a virtual one, but we can be certain that nothing as amazing as technology of this caliber comes without a price. Early sobriety is a time when we are particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of social media and therefore it may be to our advantage to keep our focus inward rather than to the external world. As influential psychiatrist Carl Jung stated, “Those who look outside, dream; but those who look inside, awaken.”
Tree House Recovery of Portland, Oregon uses cutting-edge techniques in individualized programs to help men achieve freedom from addiction. Taking a holistic, sustainable approach to the inner and outer effects of addiction ensures you or your loved one will emerge with the confidence and skills to manage your addiction independently. No one is beyond help- our Admissions Counselors are available 24/7 at (503) 850-2474