By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.
Are you desperate for likes?
There are some very mentally unhealthy consequences of using social media in an unhelpful way. Don’t become one of those people who spends their life frantically looking for likes. Remember the like button it someone’s opinion about what you said, not a judgment about who you are as a person or what you are doing with your life. If you find your self-esteem is becoming dependent on likes, you have set yourself up to the victimized by bullies and trolls. Here are some reasons why likes are playing too big a role in your life.
In childhood, approval was your pay.
When you were a small child, adults and caregivers in your life rewarded your behavior by giving approval and attention. As we grow in life, the locus of approval should shift from needing the attention of others to working for our own approval. If other people’s opinions matter more than your own is still have some growing up to do.
Learn to do things because you can be proud of them. Make it a point to notice your accomplishments. Don’t turn your self-esteem over to a button on a social media site.
Social approval looks deceptively like success.
Having lots of people like you is a success mirage. Successful people follow their own path. Sometimes doing good things means doing things that aren’t popular. Don’t mistake following the herd for doing something worthwhile. Highly successful people are not on social media, begging to be liked. Saying something for others approval is not an accomplished. Successful people are busy doing things not talking about them
Beware the effect trolls will have on your self-confidence.
People who don’t feel good about themselves delight in hurting others. There will always be someone out there to criticize you. Don’t set yourself up as a human sacrifice to the trolls. The more you do in life, the more people will criticize you. There will always be haters, the bullies of life, out to build themselves up by pulling others down.
Only your mother cared, don’t expect others to.
When you were small, someone, often your mother, fawned over everything you did. When you were very small, taking that first step may have been a big deal. Don’t forget that every other walking person had to take their first step. If something you do gets around applause, or a compliment, acknowledge the gift of appreciation by don’t start doing things expecting acknowledgments.
Don’t expect adults to care what clothing you bought, on what you ate for lunch. Real accomplishments take a lot of time and effort. Getting likes for spending money evaporates rapidly. What matters in your life is not the round of applause you get on social media but the difficult things you do when you are off-line.
Comparing up keeps you small.
When you start comparing yourself to others on social media, you are likely to develop a very biased view of the world. People very rarely compare themselves to others with fewer friends and fewer likes. If you constantly compare yourself to people with more friends and likes you will always feel small. The person with fifty friends always compares themselves to people with thousands of friends. Don’t forget there are other people will only have five friends. The more you compare, the more you judge and measure yourself, the more you harm your self-esteem and diminish yourself confidence.
Staying connected with David Joel Miller
David Joel Miller MS is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC.) Mr. Miller provides supervision for beginning counselors and therapists and teaches at the local college in the Substance Abuse Counseling program.
Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!
Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.
Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.
For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.