Facebook is your security blanket
istock/Geber86 When you’re at a social event and suddenly alone for a moment, you might pull up Facebook to avoid looking awkward. But taking the chance to mingle with other people will help build your confidence, says Karen Sobel Lojeski, PhD, assistant professor of technology and society at Stony Brook University. “It’s not easy to become socially comfortable,” she says. “But when we avoid it all the time because of the habits we’ve developed around machines, we can’t feel secure as a human being.” You’ll be more relaxed and stop feeling socially awkward if you quit using Facebook as a crutch.
You think everyone has it better than you
istock/jacoblund We naturally use other people to gauge how our own lives should be going, says Tim Bono, PhD, assistant dean of the college of arts and sciences, and lecturer in psychological and brain sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. “Social media—especially Facebook—is exposing us to information that is ultimately exaggerating how much better off others are in comparison to our own lives because we are gaining access only to a narrow segment of other people’s lives,” he says. Facebook pages are usually highlight reels. People post about their incredible vacations or fun nights out with friends, but rarely talk about their insecurities or struggles, says Dr. Bono. Spending too much time envying others’ best moments could make you feel like your life—ups, downs, and all the mundane things in between—doesn’t measure up. Use these tricks to stop negative self talk.