Home  >  My Life  >  A Better Life

Dangers of Social Media: Why It Makes You Feel Really Insecure

We all think that social media is the best thing to happen to us, but there are hidden dangers of social media. Find out what they are in this feature.

dangers of social media

You may want to roll your eyes at the idea that there are dangers of social media. It’s just an online profile, right? Well, there are a lot of reasons you should be wary of the dangers of social media. Believe it or not, most of these concerns have nothing to do with your privacy.

You’ve probably been given speech after speech about why you need to protect your privacy online, but has anyone else told you about protecting your self-esteem? If you’re like most of us, then probably not. You might not be aware of it, but social media is destroying your self-esteem every minute.

Isn’t it ironic how we have a platform to post our accomplishments and highlights, but in the same sense, it can also destroy what little confidence we have left? So if you don’t know what the dangers of social media are, you have yet to find out in this feature. [Read: Social media addiction: The 16 alarming symptoms & how to break out]

The growth of the internet and social media

The internet has changed our lives so much. We all know this. You can now talk to someone on the opposite end of the world with just a click of a button. Buying items from just as far away and having them shipped to your door in a matter of days is just as easy.

Social media was originally made to help us connect more to others, no matter where they are in the world. With technological innovations left and right, social media is just proof that we now live in a digital era. Social media has changed your life just as much. Now, complete strangers can know what you’re doing and when.

It has been said by scientists that every single person who has social media can be connected to one another through mutual “friends” or “followers.”

Even if someone barely knows you, they can get a sense of who you are by just looking at your social media profile. Social media can be a blessing, but it can also be a curse. [Read: Social media and relationships – the good, the bad, and the ugly]

Social media: Toxic or not?

The point of this article isn’t to put down social media and all its uses. Look, social media is great, especially when you think of how it makes it convenient to connect with others *even strangers*. But for that same reason, it can be toxic, especially for your mental health.

Social media poses the risk of destroying your overall self-esteem and confidence. How, you may ask? Let’s take Instagram, for instance. If you’re not aware, there’s an extreme and unrealistic need to be perfect on Instagram. Everyone poses their highlights and their best moments.

Every photo posted is carefully articulated with the right angle, posing, lighting, filter, and a whole variety of factors. Again, not to diss social media but if you’re unaware of these aspects, it’s easy to compare yourself to the posts and photos of others.

You begin to think – why don’t I ever look that perfect, or why can’t I have a body like theirs? And that’s where the dangers of social media begin. This is just one of the many risks social media possesses. If you’re not careful or aware of these risks, it’s easy to drown yourself in the facade that is social media. [Read: 8 annoying social media users that make you wanna scream]

The dangers of social media when it comes to your self-esteem

You may think the only thing you have to worry about when it comes to your social media profiles is your privacy, but it’s not. The dangers of social media can run much deeper. Like with your self-esteem. It can be affected greatly through your online profiles and you may not even realize it.

Your self-esteem is crucial to your well being. Someone suffering from a lack of confidence may have the dangers of social media to blame. Here’s how social media can harm your self-esteem. [Read: Steps to see yourself in a better light if you have low self-worth]

1. You only see the best of everyone else

This hurts all of us. People don’t put the hard stuff online. They only put the very best of everything in their lives. So when we hop online and look at our social media, all we see is everyone being extremely successful.

The most common dangers of social media are how nobody ever posts their dark and ordinary moments – they just post the flawless and perfect ones.

So it’s easy to feel insecure when someone posts their ideal photo when you don’t realize it took them a hundred shots before getting that photo. Social media is a facade. Try to remember this before comparing yourself.

2. And you compare your life to the version you see

Speaking of comparison, here we go. We see everything people put online and automatically think about how our lives aren’t as great. Our lives aren’t that successful. This makes us feel horrible about ourselves because we sit and compare how someone else is doing to how we’re doing. But it’s not accurate.

This doesn’t just go for a flawless photo with the perfect angle, but even when someone posts how perfect their life seems. Engagements, promotions, kids? You can’t rely on everything you see online, and comparing yourself with them isn’t a valid comparison.

You never know what someone is dealing with behind doors. After all, it’s easy to fake your “perfect life” on Instagram, right? [Read: Stop comparing yourself and other steps to quit being jealous]

3. You aren’t fully yourself online

Anyone who can’t express who they really are ends up feeling like there’s something missing. And that thing is themselves. When you hop on social media, you’re holding your true self back. Everything that makes you different and unique isn’t shown.

You try and conform to what the online “norms” are and end up feeling like less of a person. It’s easy to hop in all these trends and pretend to be someone you’re not, all for the sake of views and likes. You want to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance online, and that’s just part of the problem.

One of the dangers of social media is that it’s easy to adjust your entire personality and character for the sake of views and likes. It’s a facade, remember? [Read: How to describe yourself online: The 30 best and worst words]

4. You feel the need to hide your struggles

Facing different challenges in our lives is what makes us human. But one of the dangers of social media is that you get online and you don’t see anyone’s problems, so you hide your own. Keeping all of your struggles inside makes you feel worse about your life and your situation.

Like we said, nobody ever posts their sad and dark moments. Nobody ever shows their vulnerability and struggles online. In social media, there’s an unspoken rule for being perfect and flawless. Anything less than that, you should never post. Ever.

So one of the dangers of social media is you’re comparing your dark moments to someone’s perfect day, and that alone will destroy your confidence. It’s just not a valid comparison. [Read: 12 ways to handle the struggle of hating your life]

5. The ads you see can even hurt you

Realizing how big of an impact ads can have on us is something we’re not good at. We see great-looking people dressed in impeccable clothing, and we just immediately compare ourselves – even when we don’t think we are.

Since social media tends to have a LOT of ads, this happens the most when we’re just browsing through our feeds. You might think ads are completely harmless, but not until they target your exact insecurities and flaws. You could be mindless scrolling through your feed, and then voila! You feel like utter ad complete sh*t.

6. Fake friends

How many people do you only communicate with via Facebook or Instagram or Snapchat? Another one of the dangers of social media when it comes to your self-esteem is that you won’t really build genuine friendships. Many people only visually act like your friend online and then aren’t there when you have a problem.

And this can make you feel less secure in yourself. Just like it’s easy to make friends online, it’s also easy to lose them. It’s harder to define the line between your real and fake friends because let’s admit it, it’s generally easy to like photos and comment. But what’s harder is staying through the bad times. That’s real friendship. [Read: How to spot a fake friend: 13 signs they can fake but can’t hide]

7. The need for attention not being met

Social media is all about attention. You put yourself out there and hope to get that “like” or that “share.” The problem is, if you don’t get those things, you feel like less of a person. And that hurts your confidence immensely.

You know exactly what we’re talking about if you’ve ever deleted a post when it didn’t get enough reactions or comments. Social media is a platform to get attention so if you don’t get the attention you want, it can trigger all your insecurities and flaws about yourself.

Why do you think all attention-seeking individuals thrive on social media? [Read: 16 signs you’re an attention whore]

8. It keeps you away from people in real life

Humans need to socialize. We thrive while engaging with others – even if you’re an introvert. But if you’re spending all your time on social media and using it in place of an active social life, it’ll make you feel worse about yourself.

The most ironic thing about the dangers of social media is that while it was made to connect, we couldn’t be further away from the people we love. If you’re not careful, it will create a wall in your existing relationships and friendships. So you see, even in socialization, social media has its downsides.

9. Craving validation

Have you ever experienced a rush of happiness after posting a picture on Instagram or Facebook only to have a flurry of likes or comments arrive immediately? It’s natural to feel ecstatic when you earn likes and comments on your postings, but this can lead to the dangers of social media. Self-esteem might be boosted as a result of this.

We must, however, be aware of how this may begin to influence our self-esteem. Likes and comments are an indication of social proof. ‘Like’ In general, the more likes a post receives, the happier we are. When this occurs, we emphasize other people’s views above our own.

When you let others judge your self-worth, you will quickly lose your self-confidence and doubt your abilities. It’s essential to keep in mind that your point of view is much more important than anybody else’s. [Read: What makes someone an attention seeker & how to read these traits]

10. Face-to-face interactions are no longer the norm

Posting and updating social networking sites often may help you feel connected to others digitally. Online communication is not the same as face-to-face interaction.

Online presence and tone cannot be replicated. Only eye contact creates genuine relationships and ties. Social skills crucial for life success are lost when chances to interact face-to-face are lost. Make more memories instead of hiding behind a screen.

Signs social media is hurting your self-esteem

If you’re lacking confidence, that doesn’t mean the dangers of social media are the reason for it. However, if you’re feeling down on yourself lately, these are some signs that social media may be the cause.

1. You regret going online

If you end up surfing your social media feed only to regret it, then you could be affected negatively by what’s online. Something that is a huge indicator that your self-esteem is being impacted by social media is how you feel after you get on it.

The minute you go online, you instantly regret it. But what’s worse is even if social media makes you feel like absolute crap, you can’t stay off. After all, it’s easy to get addicted and hooked to it – similar to a drug. [Read: Social media and relationships: The good, the bad, & the ugly]

2. You feel like your life is boring and you’re missing something

Everyone feels like their life is a little boring from time to time. But if you feel like this often and you find that you keep bringing up other people’s adventures as you’ve seen them online, the dangers of social media are affecting you. FOMO is getting to you, now more than ever.

You always feel like you should be getting on a plane, getting that promotion, being in a relationship, or something grand. You always feel like something’s missing in your life, even if you’re really not. This is all because of the influence of social media.

3. You’ve stopped going out and being with real people

Has your life basically moved to social media? If so, then you’re deeply affected by it negatively. You should never stop going out and having fun because others are making you think your life isn’t great. If this is you, you didn’t just suddenly discover that you’re an introvert.

This is just because the dangers of social media have been getting to you. You don’t know how to socialize anymore, or your insecurities have gotten to you that it’s robbed you of having an actual life. [Read: 30 best and worst words to describe yourself online]

4. You don’t feel like you have any friends

How ironic is it that we live in the age of social media, yet so many of us feel this way? How close are you with your friends? If you feel like you can’t really look at a friend and say they’re real, you may have an issue with your social media affecting your self-esteem.

You have friends you talk to, but none of them are people you can actually count on to relay your troubles and problems. The truth is that our online friends who comment and like our pictures aren’t the types of people with who we can build strong friendships with.

And that can hurt your self-esteem. It makes you feel like you’re someone not worth building a friendship with, even if that’s far from the truth. [Read: How to make friends outside of your social media network]

5. You seek attention online

This is quite probably the most common dangers of social media. If you’re craving attention and really only seem to get it online, that’s a huge problem. This is definitely a danger of social media you have to be wary of.

Online websites shouldn’t be your place to get attention and if you feel it’s the only way you’re getting it, your self-esteem could be compromised.

This could work against you, especially since the attention you get from social media is often short-lived and a temporary pleasure. Most importantly, the attention you earn online isn’t from the people that really know you. So it’s all superficial. [Read: 15 things you shouldn’t do on instagram when you have a girlfriend]

6. Inadequacy about your life or personal appearance

Even if you realize that photographs on social media are edited, they might make you feel uneasy about your appearance or personal life. The dangers of social media can start with seeing a beautiful face and perfect body ratio online, knowing it’s enhanced or edited, but still, we feel envious.

We also know that others prefer to relate only the significant parts of their life, seldom the negative ones. That doesn’t stop you from feeling envious and dissatisfied when you go through a friend’s photoshopped vacation images or hear about their fantastic new job advancement.

7. Depression and anxiety strike often

Face-to-face interaction is essential for the mental well-being of humans. The power of direct eye contact with a friend or loved one is unmatched when relieving stress and elevating mood. Anxiety and sadness are more likely to develop or worsen if you place a high value on social media connection over face-to-face interactions.

8. You fear cyberbullies

Social media is the source of harassment and abuse for a significant percentage of teenagers and a large number of adults. Twitter and other social media sites may be a breeding ground for rumors, hoaxes, and abuse that can have long-lasting effects on people’s mental well-being. [Read: How to deal with haters: Get rid of the negativity & keep your zen]

9. Fear of missing out (FOMO)

Faced with the perception that others are having more fun or enjoying better lives than you, Facebook and Instagram appear to amplify FOMO. Your self-esteem and anxiety might be affected by the perception that you’re missing out on certain things, which can drive even more social media usage.

There is a solid need to constantly check your phone for updates, even if it means putting your life in danger while driving, losing out on sleep at night, or preferring social media activity over face-to-face connections. [Read: What is FOMO? How to read the signs & overcome the stress it causes]

10. Self-absorption is taking over you

Sharing numerous selfies and all of your deepest thoughts on social media may lead to an unhealthy sense of self-centeredness and a disconnection from real-life relationships with your friends and family.

There are lots of dangers of social media found nowadays. Don’t let it destroy your life and your relationship with your family and friends. It’s just social media. What matters, still, is the real life. Stop pressuring yourself too much.

[Read: Signs you have low self-esteem and ways to increase it]

So, what are the dangers of social media?

It all comes down to this – social media is one big facade, and you can’t often trust anything online. Of course, there are still advantages to social media. But as long as you use it in moderation and with the newfound knowledge that you can’t compare yourself with others, then you’re good.

There are too many dangers of social media to count, the primary one being sabotaging to your self-esteem and confidence. So you need to be wary of these dangers to keep your overall sanity and well-being. 

Liked what you just read? Follow us on Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest and we promise, we’ll be your lucky charm to a beautiful love life.

Bella Pope LovePanky
Annabel Rodgers
Annabel is a lifestyle writer, cheese enthusiast (Wisconsin native over here) and fantasy adventure author-in-progress who enjoys all things love, dog,...