Facebook is your security blanket
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
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.
You get annoyed with friends in person
That highlight reel you keep seeing doesn’t just make you feel worthless when you’re alone. That envy could carry over to your real life relationship with that person. “They carry that angst, anger, frustration, and envy with them into an actual conversation,” says Dr. Sobel Lojeski. When you do see that friend face-to-face, the resentment could come through and leave you with a shorter fuse. Find out if you’re in a toxic friendship.