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Social Media and Self-doubt

Why do I constantly doubt myself?

Instead of asking ‘why do I constantly doubt myself?’, the question should be ‘why do people self-doubt?’ Removing the personal pronoun ‘I’ and analysing this problem from the third person point of view is extremely important because self-doubt is something that everyone struggles with. 

Advancement of technology

In the last decade, the advancement of technology has enabled us to have better access to social networking applications such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Whatsapp, Wechat etc. One may argue that such applications improve communication amongst individuals and provide a better glimpse of the stories or day-to-day moments of other people’s lives. However, some may also argue that such applications have led to severe internet addiction, hence disabling actual communication between people. Either way, experiencing self-doubt issues is more likely now than ever before due to the extensive information that people are provided with on a daily basis. 

Misinterpretations

Social media reminds me of intraspecific competition, where members of the same species compete for limited resources, except for media attention and popularity. Take the Instagram ‘stories’ function as an example, which showcases the photos or videos of different users for 24 hours only, unless added to the user’s ‘highlights’. Functions like such cause us to misinterpret Instagram stories as day-to-day moments that people experience, rather than once-in-a-while occasions that conceal difficulties and challenges that the same person goes through. It is important to remember that we tend to share glamorous, happy moments on social media, rather than hardships or grim times– that’s what social media was designed for. 

Self-comparison

The toxicity of social media is unveiled when self-comparison occurs. Self-comparison tends to happen when individuals have a negative self-image, hence they feel threatened or downbeat after observing the lives of other people. This eventually leads to self-doubt. 

Change your attitude

If self-comparison occurs, try fostering a positive self-image instead of negative thoughts and emotions. It is important to remember that each individual is unique and that there is no need to compare yourself to other people. Of course, this is quite difficult to remember, especially due to our extensive use and increasing obsession with social media. A simple way to change your attitude is to minimise the amount of time that you spend using social media. This can be achieved via ‘Screen time’ which gives you control over how much time you spend on your phone. It also provides a detailed report on how much time you spend using each app.

Remind yourself each day that social media is an application that allows us to celebrate our victorious moments in life as well as other people’s. Take advantage of this and stay positive!

Editor’s note: Click here to know how to achieve digital resilience.