When photos on social media solely focus on happy, exciting moments, it’s easy to feel our own lives fall short. If you have ever found scrolling down your gallery of smiling friends slightly depressing, it’s important to remind yourself the images don’t show the whole story. Perhaps you can take a breather from the feed for a few days and focus on other ways of interacting with friends.
The dissatisfaction generated from photogenic posts can go both ways. Over 50% of Instagram users in a New York Times study admitted their fixation on achieving a perfect shot stopped them from fully enjoying what they were doing. Are you a serial snapper? Try limiting yourself to taking one photo for each event.
Likes are easy to press and make recipients feel good. But how substantial are they really? Facebook researcher Moira Burke states comments can make people feel less lonely, but there is no such benefit when receiving likes. The next time you’re desperate for more likes, think about whether chasing them will bring lasting happiness.
Checking for messages can become a kind of lottery where we may be rewarded by a notification, or nothing. This uncertainty can make people distracted and compulsive. Have you noticed how anxious you can get when the other person’s reply is slow? To prevent burnout from a constant state of suspense, you can set aside specific times for messaging each day, and use the rest for uninterrupted work or play.