Prince Harry recently suggested that social media is more addictive than drugs and alcohol, and actually more dangerous too, “because it is normalised and there are no restrictions”.
Psychotherapist and creator of The Reframing Anxiety and People Pleasing courses, Anna Mathur, agrees. “Social media is like a substance addiction - so you get a similar dopamine hit as you would when taking drugs. It’s the immediacy of feedback that is addictive and ultimately, we are hooked. We let likes and interaction define our self-worth and that is an extremely toxic, damaging relationship to have," she said.
And new research by Facebook found that the average Brit now scrolls through 300ft of social media content every day (the equivalent to the height of the Statue of Liberty) and check their phone 30 times a day - and it’s not always a positive experience.
More than a third of Generation Z have confessed to quitting social media for good as 41% said social media platforms make them feel anxious, sad or depressed. Depressing, huh? It’s not all doom and gloom… people believe having more positivity and optimism in their life will benefit their health and motivation (86%), new research by Purdey’s reveals. Scientific research suggests that they’re right, The Mayo Clinic reports a number of health benefits associated with optimism, including: “less depression and an increased lifespan.
I deleted Instagram for a week and this is how it made me feel
Lucy Sheridan (aka the comparison coach) has been working with Purdey’s on their latest campaign, boosting the natural energy levels of the nation by channelling positivity on social media. She has helped thousands of people go from what she calls ‘compare and despair’ to #comparisonfree. She even has a book launching later this year called ‘The Comparison Cure’ which includes a three-step tried and tested methodology to help you improve your self-worth and self-confidence.
Lucy gets the importance of channelling positivity online- and has made a whole career out of it!
"The overwhelm of our digital lives can make it a real chore to seek out and easily spot those positivity sources," said Lucy. "It is all too easy to take what we see on our feed at face value and in doing so hold ourselves to unrealistic ideals and other people’s version of success. Social media is a bit like Las Vegas for compassions as it is open all hours and there is always something that can trigger our comparison and potentially take us into a low mood.”
Prince Harry is right: social media is as addictive as drugs and it's having a dangerous effect on our mental health
Here, Lucy shares her 4-step guide to avoiding negativity on social media and boosting those all-important endorphins...
- Follow the house party rule - if you would not invite that person, brand or thing to your own house party then it’s time to start to put that mute or unfollow button in action. You don’t have to phase those accounts out forever, just until you are feeling bit more restored and robust.
- Get really clear on what your definition of happiness and success is and be really conscious they are truly your own. All too often we inherit definitions from other people and yet waking up to this can put us back in alignment with our authentic motivations. This cuts off the oxygen to comparison because we feel more connected with ourselves and our own path.
- Fill your feeds with accounts that pull you out of your own bubble and are reminders of the rich, different, diverse and dynamic people and personalities in the world. Seeing only one versions of, for example, body shape (like on Love Island for example!) or on some of the big style blogger accounts, presents only a narrow view and will trick you into thinking you need to appear a certain way.
- Once you have your definitions start to put some goals together based on these and seek out those that can lift you up and help you on your way.
- Channelling positivity online seems to have more benefits than you might think. Research by natural energy drink Purdey’s found almost two thirds (62%) of Brits actively surround themselves with positive people as a way to increase their energy levels. Purdey’s has created an online ‘Positivity Check Up’ tool to help Brits curate their social media experience into a more positive one. for suggestions of the top people to follow and to take the test. Glamour is all about channelling positivity - we scored 83% on the test!