Social Media and Happiness

Are you observing life or engaging in it? What is social media doing for you? Or to you? Do you watch others on Facebook with regret or envy? Don’t worry…. That is totally normal. According to the Happiness Research Institute, “Five out of 10 people envy the amazing experiences of others who post on Facebook, while one out of three envy how happy other people seem on Facebook, and four out of 10 envy the apparent success of others on Facebook.”

This is only exacerbated by the fact that people are very selective about what they share through social media. According to the same report, ‘69% prefer to post pictures of the great things they experience, and 61% prefer to post their good sides to Facebook’. It makes total sense. But the cumulative effect of only showing the good stuff leads to increased stress, anxiety, and loneliness for the viewer; forcing one to contemplate their ‘ordinary’ lives, which may actually be pretty good.

If you are a part of the 94% of people that check Facebook as part of your daily routine, pay attention to the feelings you have spending time browsing and posting to see if this is enhancing your relationships, or robbing you of true connection and intimacy. Social media is an easy to way to check-out from everyday interactions. But often the connection that we are seeking online is all around us. We just have to be present and look around a little bit.

Try this exercise: Every time you have the urge to check social media, take a breath and think of something you are grateful for instead. Maybe even write it all down at the end of the day. Review this gratitude journal regularly and see if you feel differently.

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Dr. Mike Klaybor

Dr. Mike Klaybor

Dr. Mike Klaybor brings thirty years of experience in practicing counseling psychology with individuals and couples. His approach is cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. Specific specialties include; anxiety and stress management, chronic pain & chronic illness management, depression, substance abuse evaluations, employee assistance and executive coaching for workplace performance and leadership.