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Things We Do on Social Media That We Should Quit

Updated: Jan 14, 2020

by Dewi Ridzuan. |

Let’s face it, many of us love social media. We have become accustomed to constantly swiping on our phones, looking at the latest Instagram trends to the funniest TikTok videos we can find to replace our once beloved Vine app. Social media networks also bring us closer when we can relate with our peers over the memes we find. However, some repercussions have now been sewn into the fabric of our daily routines that we must now re-evaluate.

1. Seeing is always not believing

Ever look at someone’s social media page on maybe Instagram or Twitter and think, “Wow, why can’t I be like that too?”. Well, you aren’t the only one as psychologist Leon Festinger has, in 1954, explained why we think in such a way.

Festinger’s concept called the Social Comparison Theory is still applicable to today’s generation; our constant need to compare ourselves to others may either help us in understanding ourselves more or is a detriment to our mental health. Hence, we must take everything we see with a grain of salt as social media allows us to edit the negatives away. So, it’s time to turn our jealousy over other people’s lives into being a catalyst for change. Instead of huffing over someone’s oh-so-aesthetic English Breakfast photo, go out there and make your own memories!

2. Don't correlate 'likes' with your worth

When Instagram announced that they were beta testing hiding the ‘Likes’ option on their application, many were left in a state of shock. Questions arose—how would influencers read their engagements? Would hiding the number of likes make us feel less pressured to conform to society’s ideals? Whether or not this option will be permanently enforced, the phrase “quality over quantity” comes to mind.

Sure, having a large following will boost your morale for a while but quality connections will help in the long run. Your self-worth is not a number, think about having 400 likes on a birthday post but with no one actually wishing you a happy birthday? It’s like inviting 400 friends to your birthday party and they all just sit there. Truth is, we all seek validation online but we should start seeking validation from ourselves.

3. Avoid 'cancel' culture

It’s fun when you have more friends or when you fit into a group with a goal in mind but, what happens if the goal does more harm than good? Cancel culture can be deceptive and misleading, which became apparent when Amber Heard first accused Johnny Depp of abusing her. This resulted in disruptions in Johnny Depp’s livelihood as production houses were criticized for hiring him in blockbuster movies such as Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them and he was vilified on social media and the news.

The plot twist? Depp released information that she was actually the alleged abuser and filed for a $50 million defamation lawsuit. Social media patrons should think twice before participating in cancel culture, as it leaves little chance for justice to be served. Here are some pointers before wanting to join in the next cancel culture:

  • Never believe headlines as they’re usually clickbait

  • Do some digging of your own for credible research

  • Not everyone is an expert on the Internet

  • A group with many supporters may not always be right

  • Not every opinion is relevant or valid

4. Social media influencers are neither your idols or your enemies

Since we were young, we have been asked whom our idols are and why do we believe in them. It may be a family member, a philanthropist like Ellen DeGeneres or an entrepreneur like Elon Musk. It is, however, easy to forget that these known figures are simply human as well. If we were to talk about hierarchy, influencers make the cut right below celebrities in terms of Hollywood status. Many may love the bold personality of Malaysian LBGTQ+ enthusiast Nur Sajat, but she has for long been condemned for her gender and sexuality by netizens.

We should think twice before imparting our opinions or thoughts on social media as words can disintegrate one’s mental and emotional stability. Influencers face hate every day and it is time to stop punishing them and start educating when mistakes occur.

Social media by far has been the most innovative and multi-faceted concept yet. It has given birth to thousands of online businesses, like-minded communities and so on forth. Despite its benefits, we must be aware and ready to assess ourselves regarding the above habits we tend to partake in. Quitting these habits will provide you with more cognitive clarity!

You may find out more about her on her Instagram as well.

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