Help! I’m obsessed with what people think about me on Instagram

Dear Friend,

I care so much about my social media presence. On Instagram, after I post something, I am very aware of who liked my post and who did not, and who comments. Is this a healthy habit? What should I do?

Sincerely, Obsessed


Dear Obsessed,

Social media is undoubtedly a double- edged sword; it lets us connect wit others and share information that can change the world – and it has enough kitten videos to make us laugh for days. However, one downside is that it can hurt our self-esteem as we become obsessed with likes. Here are a few tips for building healthy social media habits:

Accept your feelings

Wanting to be seen and understood is a natural human need; we all want to build connections with others and feel like we belong to a community. Your brain has also been trained to love likes;

it associates social media notifications with a positive experience and actively seeks those feelings out again. So it’s not strange to look to social media for a bit of validation, and you’re far from the only person to feel this way.

Take a step back

The best thing you can do for yourself is to back away from social media. It’s too easy to get stuck in the loop of posting, waiting for a reaction, getting a reward (your likes) and repeating the whole process.

You can remove social media apps from your phone, so mindlessly scrolling through them isn’t as easy. If that sounds too extreme, you could set limits on how much time you can spend on social media; Instagram has features that remind you to take breaks from the app and allow you to set daily time limits.

We know you care a lot about your social media presence; is this partly because of the people you follow? Unfollow anyone who makes you feel self-conscious, and add more accounts that make you feel good.

Find joy offline

Spend more time doing the real-life hobbies you enjoy to shift your attention away from social media, or pick up a new hobby you’ve always wanted to try. Spend more time with your friends and family; you could play board games or watch films. Soon it should start cooling down in Hong Kong, so it’s the perfect time for a hike.

Social media is still a young phenomenon, and we’re still learning about its emotional and mental impact. While there are many good things about social media, remember it’s not all sunshine and daisies. Take care of yourself and be alert for any signs of distress.

You’ve got this, Friend of a Friend

This was answered by clinical psychologists from the Department of Health under Shall We Talk, a mental health initiative launched with the Advisory Committee on Mental Health.
Source: Young Post