Stress-Free Social Media

November 28, 2001

As much fun as social media can be, you may also be familiar with the unpleasant side effects of constantly comparing yourself to others. Maybe a bunch of your dance friends posted photos from a performance you couldn’t make it to, or your classmate got into the summer intensive you wanted and then boasted about it on Facebook.

But a German study found that, while it’s true that social media can cause negative feelings like loneliness or envy, it may also boost positive emotions when used in the right way. Of the Facebook users surveyed, those who used the social network passively—scrolling through other people’s profiles or browsing their photos—tended to have more negative emotions than those who were active users—interacting with others through their own posts, comments and photos.

Another study at Cornell University found that Facebook may increase self-esteem by allowing users to be selective about how they present themselves on their profiles. You can choose what information you want to share and how you’d like to share it, and showing who you are in a positive way helps boost confidence. 

Next time you log in to your Facebook or Instagram account, try posting a photo you’re excited about, like backstage with your fellow dancers at a recent show, or reaching out to that friend from your old studio whom you haven’t caught up with in a while. If you’re an active participant, you won’t feel left out.