When everyone's having fun - except you

Dr Aaron says things aren’t always what they seem...

Guess what? It’s the very nature of social media for people to show the good stuff and keep the not so good stuff to themselves. Think about selfies. How many selfies do you need to take before you post one? Those terrible photos just don’t go online, do they? Unless you’re having a laugh, you post the good ones.

It’s the same with lots of the things people put online. They like to show the fun stuff like the parties, the holidays, and the outings with friends. But when they’re feeling lonely, having a lousy time, or are bored silly, they may be less likely to share that. Because of this it often LOOKS like everyone is having a great time, but that’s not likely to be an accurate picture of what’s going on.

If you can, try not to compare yourself to others online. 

If your social media feed is making you feel a bit down, consider these tips

  • Notice how you feel after checking. If it’s “not so hot” a lot of the time, consider checking your social media less.
  • Look at your own feed, do you tend to put stuff up that doesn’t quite reflect how you really feel? Remember your friends are doing the same.
  • Offline life is fun and exciting too. Sign up for clubs, after school events, drama, or sports. The more fulfilling your offline life is, you’ll be too busy to bother that much about other people’s online lives.
  • Don’t wait for people to ask you to be part of things. Organise your own stuff and invite your friends along.
  • If you are feeling bad, excluded, or left out, speak to a trusted adult about it.

It’s a good idea to find an adult you can confide in and go through how you’re feeling. They’ll be able to chat you through how they deal with these kinds of feelings and keep a perspective on what’s important.

Remember, online lives are just a version of what’s happening in real life. Try paying more attention to keeping your offline life happy, and you might find you worry less what other people are saying they’re doing online.