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Is Social Media Ruining Your Life?

by Dr. Andrew T. Brady, Chiropractic Physician

Dr. Andrew BradyMy wife and I were recently out to dinner and waiting to be seated. I couldn’t help but notice the number of people sitting on their phones texting, scrolling through Facebook, or taking pictures of their meals to “post.” At first it just seemed funny, but the more I thought about it, and then researched it, the more I realized that social media may be significantly harming our overall health and well-being.

Each day, the average American checks their phone roughly 2,617 times and spends anywhere from 2-4 hours on it. Every 60 seconds on Facebook, for example, roughly 510,000 comments are posted, 293,000 statuses are updated, and 136,000 photos are uploaded. Stop and think about those statistics….

Connection or Isolation?

Humans are pack animals, meaning our brains are hard-wired to be social with other people. So, does all the “liking,” “commenting” and “following” really create this social connection we were designed for? The research suggests that it doesn’t; it actually isolates us even more. Studies show that regularly engaging in social media leads to social comparison, or comparing our life to others’. The problem with this is that people typically only “share” things that make their life look perfect and omit all the imperfections, leading you to create certain expectations as to what your life should look like. If it’s not on par with your “friends,” you begin thinking about all the things you don’t have or all the things you haven’t done. If this becomes habitual, you may be “re-wiring” your neural pathways for depression.

Real Life or Digital Life?

I believe social media is robbing us of truly appreciating life experiences and creating meaningful connections with others. We’ve become so obsessed with trying to document and share on social media that we don’t always soak in the experience and feel grateful for the moment we’re having with the people we’re sharing it with. It also robs us of time we could be spending doing other things that may actually improve our lives. Imagine if you spent 2-4 hours per day learning a new language, for instance, or developing a new skill, hobby or interest instead of scrolling through social media feeds.

I encourage and challenge you to spend less time on your phones engaged in social media in favor of being present with people who truly matter to you. Who really cares how many “likes” a picture you post gets from a bunch of online friends? At the end of the day, it’s not going to make you any happier.

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Spine Integrative Wellness Article – Social Media | (234) 284-8002