The real reason why social media might be making you feel bad
by Victoria Pitz, LPMHC
Cognitive dissonance is the feeling of discomfort one feels when your thoughts or feelings about ourselves do not align with our actions.
Social media tends to exacerbate this phenomenon at an overwhelming rate. It perpetuates the feelings of “should”. I should be having more fun, I should be doing what they’re doing, I shouldn’t be feeling the way that I feel…It can be difficult to recognize the direct damage social media does to your self-esteem because it has become so ingrained in our daily lives.
So how might social media trigger cognitive dissonance?
Perhaps you are not feeling your best lately. Things just don’t seem to be going your way; maybe you experienced something that shook you up. Life just feels awful and overwhelming right now.You scroll through social media when you're bored. Half the time you don’t even realize how long you’ve been scrolling for. But your brain is taking note:
"Wow. So-and-so went to Paris; why can’t I do that?"
"Look, this person got their dream job, but I’m still stuck in one that I hate."
"How nice, this person goes out every weekend and has a blast, here I am, feeling like cr*p."
Video Blog by Victoria Pitz, LPMHC
by Victoria Pitz, MHC
Both inside and out of the therapy room I have met some of the most inspiring, compassionate, empathetic, passionate individuals, many of whom have expressed interest in joining the mental healthcare field. Most follow this interest with something like “How am I supposed to help others if I can’t fix myself?”