My attention span is the size of a fruit fly, am I suffering from ADD?

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Talking about being fake, having ego issues and being distorted from the reality are some other psychological problems majority faces.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that in today’s digital era, there are a number of ‘dying for attention and fame’ bloggers and influencers who post eye-catching and unrealistic images of their petty lifestyles.

If you feel like every other blogger out there who has a fruitful life than yours then you are being victimized just like anybody else who is looking up to them. It happens that whenever you check your feed, it is jammed up with bloggers who are wearing fancy desi clothes or promoting a fancy food outlet you haven’t ever heard of.

Oftentimes, many of the people you are following will hang out at lavish places, tagging different brands and letting you know how productive they are in life.

It also gives a mental image to others that such a Pakistani community is superior to them, who deserve to live the best of their lives, spend weekends at luxurious hotels and look stunning 24/7.

Don’t you ever think of becoming like one of them? Being perfect from top to bottom and making others drool over you? If you think like that, then try to remind yourself that all of this is fake and worthless. As you might have heard already that ‘all that glitters is not gold.’

Most of the people understand the fakeness of social media but for those of you know who are falling for it, you need to be aware about the consequences of social media.

There are a lot of studies which have given evidence about the negative side-effects of social media on people’s mental and physical health. Instagram is one of those platforms which is messing up with the young minds of the teenagers.

It has been noted that many of the posts are so addictive that they interfere with the sleeping routine of the people. Here, people check on posts where girls will look beautiful than ever through applying heavy makeup on their face, wearing clothes they wouldn’t wear every day, giving the impression that they are perfect. Not just girls but boys will do the same, slowly shattering the self-esteem of the ones seeing their posts, who cannot possibly be that perfect.

Not just the sleeping routine is messed up, but people start behaving like one of the bloggers on Instagram. This leads to the birth of major psychological problems when a person basically loses their own identity, trying to be someone else.

Be it the feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, or depression, not being good enough is one major cause of it. This is yet another leading cause of suicide among teenagers who are negatively influenced by social media.

There are bloggers on Facebook as well who don’t even think twice before shattering other people’s self-confidence. They use harsh words and belittle others who cannot be perfect like them which is unethical in every single way. Above is a screenshot of Dr. Nezihe Hussain, I was a part of the group this lady founded, but it became quite clear to me that she was just fueling her narcissism. I left it in late 2016 and urged others to do so. She is a mature woman (at least, that is what she claims) and look at the way she is behaving with her audience, the same audience that helped built her group from nothing to a social media sensation.

Such stunts can easily make someone feel bad about themselves, who might think that they can never compete with others on social media. Young people become the main targets who then become anxious and depressed by not being like others.

Certainly, social media can be beneficial as well like influencing people in a positive way. There are sites which will motivate teenagers to think outside the box and be more confident around people. People who are depressed make friends on social media and use various platforms to vent out their negativity.

Take YouTube as an example which has given awareness to millions of people around the world. You want to know the latest desi food recipes then YouTube is there to help you out. If you want to learn new DIYs then YouTube is there. This is why such a platform has helped people stick to the reality and deal with the psychological problems they have been facing. Sites like this one is a nice distraction but to be blunt, social media’s disadvantages has outnumbered its advantages so far.

Except YouTube, every other platform promotes negativity where viewers are manipulated to do things according to what has been shown out there. This shatters the body image and leads to sever form of depression and anxiety.

A study was conducted where young adults were supposed to rank the sites which have depressed them in anyway. They were asked the negative implications of major social media platforms and some mental health issues.

As the results poured in, it was noticed that YouTube was ranked the best followed by Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.

Furthermore, the study also showed that some of the young adults faced psychological issues like depression, loneliness, body image concerns and anxiety while using social apps frequently.

Down below are 14 mental health issues that the young adults were asked about in the survey:

  1. Awareness and understanding of other people’s health experiences
  2. Access to expert health information you know you can trust
  3. Emotional support
  4. Anxiety
  5. Depression
  6. Loneliness
  7. Sleep disturbance
  8. Self-expression
  9. Self-identity
  10. Body image
  11. Real world relationships and its maintenance
  12. Community building and socializing with others
  13. Bullying or being bullied by others
  14. FoMo (Fear Of Missing Out on events)

However, there are five guidelines you can implement in your life if you want to stay healthy mentally and physically.

  1. Limit the time you spend on Instagram:

Don’t waste your time by looking at other people’s lives. Instead, try to live your own life and be more practical. There is no use of wasting time scrolling down the feed, instead make use of your leverage time.

2. Stop depending on social sites as a source of your knowledge:

Social media shouldn’t be made the primary source of news as you might be completely dependent on it. Start reading books and invest your time in something else other than scrolling your feed. Books are the most wonderful treasure.

3. Be more productive – Take a Social Media Vacation:

There are a number of habits you can adapt like baking, cooking, reading, swimming, running, and what not. There is more to the world than using social media apps 24/7. This will not only distract you from the social media but make you healthier and happier. So be more productive, plan out meet ups with friends and forget that you own a smartphone at all.

4. Communicate with people around you and build real life relationships:

Your family is the one you should start with. Engage with your friends, family, and colleagues as much as you can. This helps in staying occupied and you will use your time efficiently. Connecting regularly with your real-life friends is all you need to move ahead in life.

5. Remind yourself that social media doesn’t show the bitter realities of life most of the time:

Laci Green pointed out in one of her health v-logging reports that “Because platforms like Instagram and Facebook present highly curated versions of the people we know and the world around us, it’s easy for our perspective of reality to become distorted.” Another aspect ubiquitous in our people is belittling people who have depression. We need to understand that depression is not just a sad phase in someone’s life, it is a clinical illness! Instead of hurling mockery at them, we should give them hope and lift their spirits. Remember the Anam Tanoli case not so long ago? How many more Anam Tanolis will we devour to understand the graveness of the issue?

Also, it should be highlighted that by late 2016, Instagram also introduced mental health support tools for its users when health issues were at peak. Below are some videos where celebrities and speakers shed light on how social media is driving us into the pits of depression.