How “Social Comparison” Is Linked to Anxiety in Your Child or Teen

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It’s no secret, social media can negatively affect your mental health. But how bad is it really and what can you do? I’m Kyle Kittleson. This is MedCircle Weekly News.

The online addiction from our youth has reached the level of an epidemic. According to the article,

A recent survey of 14 to 24-year-olds by The Royal Society for Public Health and the Young Health Movement showed that image-based apps, in particular, deepen young people’s feelings of inadequacy and anxiety, with Instagram listed as the worst app for mental health, followed by Snapchat and Facebook.

All fuel anxiety, depression, poor sleep, loneliness, bullying, body image issues, and "FOMO,” or the "Fear of Missing Out."

So how does this happen?

Through what is known as “social comparison.”

Online, all of our images and our life’s story seems, well, perfect. With perfect lighting, the perfect filter, and a clever caption - anyone can make their life seem like it’s always fabulous and always fun. Seeing your friends live the perfect life immediately makes you feel inadequate and anxious because you aren’t spending New Year's Eve on a boat surrounded by gorgeous people. This can often lead to telling yourself that you are not good enough.

The article suggests, “Replacing self-sabotage with self-care, talking to yourself like a friend, and trying to see the bigger picture on everyone else’s posts is a start.”

It also offers the idea of being honest with your own social media. Don’t be afraid to share how life is really going. The article says, “Change starts with your own profile.”

For more information on anxiety, check out our original series Understanding the Anxious Self with Dr. Ramani. I'm Kyle Kittleson, and remember - whatever you're going through, you got this.

Source: Vice


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