Selena Gomez and I don’t really have a lot in common. I haven’t dated Justin Bieber or The Weeknd, I don’t have contracts with Coach or Louis Vuitton, and I’m not the most followed person on Instagram – but a girl can dream. However, the one thing we do have in common, along with many other people, is the anxiety that comes from continuously scrolling through our Instagram feed.
From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep, we’re feeding our brain images of models, celebrities, food, friends, vacation, dogs, parties and all other things that make us feel like we’re missing something from our lives. Comparing ourselves to everything we see on social media it creates an anxiety fed by the worry that we are somehow less than all of this noise happening on social media. Unfortunately, we too often forget that social media platforms and Instagram in particular are look at the world through rose colored glasses and a lot of editing. Take a look at your own Instagram, if you’re anything like the rest of us you’re probably only going to post the highlights from your life that you want people to see. With everyone showing the highlight reel of their lives it’s no wonder we all feel this way! This feeling is so real that even Insta queen Selena Gomez feels it.
CNN reported on a study called #StatusOfMind that interviewed 1,500 people ages 14-24 to measure the effects of social media on their mental health. While YouTube was ranked the highest with a positive effect, Instagram came in dead last because of its effects of anxiety, depression, identity and body image issues. The author of the study stated that Instagram pulls in young women to “compare themselves against unrealistic, largely curated, filtered and Photoshopped versions of reality.”
As a celebrity who has been extremely open about her battle with social media, anxiety and depression she is a great example of how to cope with all these emotions. Selena even spoke to Vogue about her ongoing issues with the app and its relationship with mental health by stating,
Can we get an “amen” to that? Like Selena, we’re big proponents of unplugging from technology, especially when they cause so much anxiety. Below, we’ve included ways to help deal with anxiety.
If you, like Selena, feel addicted to the app then it’s probably time to power down from the app. It could be every night before bed, on Sunday during your self-care sunday routine, or if you’re really feeling like Selena then delete the app for a few days and see how you feel.
A lot of what we see on Instagram is artificial from celebrities and models we don’t know, there could also be people in your life who you’re following that are a source of anxiety. Take a look through who you’re following and see if there is anyone or account that is particularly triggering in someway. You can really curate your account to include the people who make you feel like your best self.
Instagram can really make you feel like you’ve achieved nothing, especially when your best friend’s 3rd cousin in Texas just gave a small village clean water, has a 4.5 GPA and it’s blowing up everywhere. Step back and write down all the things you’ve achieved and are proud of. Baby steps still move us forward!
If you’re anything like me, picking up the phone to call someone is less desirable than doing dishes. However, it is so important to maintain connections with the people we love! Get some good real talk in with your BFF, cousin, aunt, grandma, mom, dog, cat – anyone! It’s bound to make you feel better or atleast take you away from Insta for a bit.
COVER IMAGE: Pinterest