Wednesday, 11 April 2018

PAULA: AM I AN INTERNET ADDICT?

It's problem page time again on DREAMCATCHER, and reader Paula has a question for HONEY TANBERRY about social media and how it seems to rule her life...

Paula says:
I think I am addicted to social media sites on the internet and it is getting me down. If I post a selfie or make any kind of post online, I panic that not enough people will 'like' it and if only a few seem to comment I take it down and feel really upset, as if nobody understands or cares about me. I feel irrationally jealous of other people's posts because they always seem to be having more fun than me. My dream is to have a super-successful Instagram account so that everyone knows me and maybe then write a book, but deep down I know that this will never happen and that even if it did, it really wouldn't be good for me. I have got to the point where I'd rather stay in with my phone than go out with my friends. Should I worry?

Honey says:
We are all addicted to social media to some extent... it's easy to feel envious of others or upset if a picture doesn't get enough 'likes' because the whole point of social media is to hook us in. And when we follow accounts of people who post about their designer clothes, their rock star boyfriends, their showbiz social life, their perfect pets and spiritual yoga sessions, it's not hard to feel a bit inferior. The thing is, social media isn't real... pictures are staged and filtered, comments carefully edited, timings all planned out. Whatever your phone implies, the rest of the world is NOT living a perfect life. When I lived in Australia briefly I was quite dependent on social media and boy did it backfire on me... it was only by stepping away from this and focusing on real life that I began to understand how toxic the internet could be. Now I limit the time I spend online, because the actual people in my life are more important than the pictures on my Instagram feed. I'm more interested in living my life than trying to document it all online. Try to spend more time with your friends and limit screen time to find a healthier balance... we all know the kick of a post that gets lots of attention online, but the internet has a darker side too. If your real life is filled with friendship, fun and adventure, you'll find you naturally rely less on social media... give it a go!

Cathy says:
I agree with Honey on this one... social media can be bad for our mental health and most of us know it can be addictive. Have YOU got any good advice for Paula? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!

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