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DPA Ten 10s:10 Social Media Behaviors That Lower Your Self Esteem
You know not to check on your ex’s page, and to avoid the profile of your high school bully who today is a model. But there are some other social media behaviors that lower your self esteem in less obvious ways.

Friending too many people in your industry

If you’re friends with dozens of people who work in your industry, all day long you’ll see posts about events, job opportunities, photos from events, shout outs to someone who’s “made it” and so on. This could leave you feeling like you’re always missing out on something and that you’re lazy if you’re not out there, hustling and networking every single moment. Social media makes you feel like everyone else is out there every single moment.

Following food pages

You follow a food page with recipes to get inspired to cook, or to even learn how to cook. But often these pages are full of photos of dishes. You might see dozens of images of food that make you think of how you wish you could eat more. Without them, you you may not really think of food until you’re hungry. But when you’re bombarded with these images, you’re constantly aware of all the moments you’re not “allowed” to eat.

Following fitness pages

You follow a personal trainer or a community page where people share photos and tips from their fitness journeys. But these might make you more insecure than inspired. Admit it: you rarely go on there thinking, “Let’s see how much more exercise I did today than the others on here.” No, you go on there to compare your accomplishments to the over-achievers. And that never makes you feel good. Like with any goal, keep track of personal successes but don’t necessarily compare your path to anybody else’s.

Friending old high school buddies

If anybody will provoke you to compare your journey to another’s, it’s an old high school friend. They’re the exact same age as you, came from the same area, similar socio-economic status, and predominantly the same education. So…you should be in the exact same places in your lives right…?! Wrong. You don’t really know what went on in that person’s life that could have sped them along, or held them back. And likewise, you’ve had your own personal obstacles and successes.

Posting hot photos of yourself

You take a picture of yourself looking in extremely good shape and post it on Facebook. The compliments and comments role in. This feels great for a day or two until it just becomes a lot of pressure! Now, every time you pick up a cookie you think of one person’s comment of, “I gotta try whatever diet you’re on,” you feel terrified to “fall from” the image everyone sees of you.

Posting strong opinions on controversial matters

It always feels liberating and empowering to post a rant on some controversial issue. But that high lasts for all of an hour and before you know it, people are posting nasty comments in reply. Perhaps your rant provokes a full-on argument between two people who begin name calling one another. Now you’ve just brought out the angry people, and exposed yourself to their wrath.

“Checking in” places

You “check in” to the bar or concert you’re at, to show off to everyone what a great life you lead. But then you just become conscious of all the people in the world who know where you are tonight, and the kind of experience they think you should be having there. You end up comparing your real experience to the one you believe all your Facebook friends are imaging you having, and of course the real thing always falls short.

Creating events

First off, barely anybody checks their Facebook events anymore because half of them are spam. So right off the bat you feel insecure about how few people RSVPd to your party. But what’s worse is that since Facebook makes it so easy to invite dozens if not hundreds of people to something with the click of the mouse, the rejection feels even worse. It’s not just that only 12 people RSVPd: it’s that only 12 people out of the 100 you invited RSVPd. Sending a real invitation or even a text message always gets more responses and restricts you to inviting only people who really matter.

Using Facebook chat

It’s a nice distraction for a moment. Maybe you need a pick-me-up in between work projects or are just feeling lonely, and hundreds of FB friends are at your fingertips for a chat! But those chats always end up going on far longer than you intended, and suddenly you’re behind on work, or stayed in all afternoon when you meant to go out into the world. Now you just feel you have no life off the Internet. 

Posting cries for help

When you’ve been broken up with, fired from a job, or are just feeling depressed, it’s tempting to post something about it on Facebook, where hundreds of people can immediately post sympathetic comments. But people remember your sad posts way more than your happy ones. In fact for many people, if you post one sad status, they believe you’re just a sad person. Then for weeks or months you have people “checking up on you,” when you’re perfectly fine. Because you posted that very public cry for help, they’ll never believe you’re perfectly fine again.

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