What to do when you fall victim to Facebook syndrome & how to cure the disease.
It's truly an epidemic. No, not Facebook. Facebook is a phenomenon designed to connect us in ways we never conceived of. It is truly the greatest medium for sparking new relationships and revitalizing old ones — from spying on old classmates to sending electronic margaritas, who would have imagined?! But what happens when we get too much of a good thing? We develop a deadly disease known as "Facebook Syndrome." Have you caught the illness? Check out the list below to see if you suffer from the following symptoms:
- Unrealistic perceptions of your "friends" levels of happiness; /node/91408
- Obsessing on others daily activities;
- Comparing the quality of your life with the lives of your "friends;"
- Frequently changing your profile picture to gain attention;
- Experiencing anxiety if you cannot check your newsfeed at regular intervals;
- Wracking your brain and scouring the internet for funny quotes, status updates, posts and articles that create the illusion that you are hip, happening, happy and humorous.
If you are sheepishly agreeing to at least two or more indicators, you may just have Facebook Syndrome! Fear not, friends. Help is on the way.
Symptom relief comes from the understanding of one very simple premise: no one is as happy as their pages make them appear. No matter your status or position in life, nothing is perfect or as flawless as it may seem. That's not to say all people are miserable. We just rarely post sad news, or unflattering pictures, or updates about how difficult our lives are. Instead, we focus on the positives ... on the good things we have going on, on the pictures in which we look attractive, and on the fun parties we've gone to. WOW: 20 Percent Of Women Would Rather Give Up Sex Than Facebook
While some may do this to actively create a false image of success and joy (which is really nothing more than their own insecurities rearing their ugly heads), others mostly post the good things to forget about the bad. This gives themselves a momentary respite and an online scrapbook of their best times. This can actually be very healing. But what isn't? Assuming everyone has it better than you and shaming yourself and your life as a result, isn't.
When you choose to start paying more attention to your own self than the attention you pay to others, and actively remind yourself of the inaccurate perceptions you are buying into, you'll notice a powerful shift. You'll stop comparing and judging what doesn't work about your life and start being grateful for what does, especially when you understand that it works both ways. While you are glamorizing your friends lives, they are glamorizing yours; the parties you went to, how great you looked in your recent pictures and how darn popular you must be, because you have 897 "friends" on your list. Facebook Friend Requests: Dos And Don'ts
Take a virtual sledgehammer to everything you thought you knew about your Facebook friends, their lives and what you thought you needed to do to compete with them. Make a choice to develop a realistic appraisal of life in general by reminding yourself that no one—no matter what perception may dictate—has it easy. No one gets off scot-free and no one has a free pass. Release yourself from the self imposed shackles that force you into a life of pointless and inaccurate ruminations. Surf your newsfeed when you're bored or simply because you want to check in with your friends. Change your profile picture because you want to shake it up and do something new for you and nobody else but you. Watch your anxiety slip away.
If you are finding this paradigm shift too hard to manage, start to examine what makes it so difficult and why the need for attention/relevance is so great. It might just be time to seek counseling to get some outside feedback, tools and support. Social Media Addiction: Are You At Risk?
Most importantly, always remember the beauty that awaits you outside the confines of your laptop. There are roses to smell, walks to take, restaurants to try and friends to speak to (gasp – in person!) Forget what I'm talking about? It might just be time to step away from Facebook to cure that nasty disease.
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