Happiness in the Digital Age

digital well-being Apr 19, 2023
Happiness in the Digital Age


Does social media add to or detract from your happiness? Reflecting on this question may be the key to boosting your well-being if you use social media daily (as do most teenagers). To answer this query, let’s break it down into six specific questions: 


Do you instinctively compare yourself to other users’ content on social media? 


Social comparison is a common phenomenon that can make social media a draining experience. 


Social media offers many opportunities for us to compare ourselves to others as we view their content. However, people generally only share the highlights of their lives on social media, so this comparison needs to be more accurate and fair. 


To combat social comparison, recognize when you instinctively practice social comparison and remind yourself that what you see online is highly curated and edited. 


Do you lose track of time while scrolling on social media? 


A recent study found that nearly half of social media users “lose track of time” while scrolling on social media apps. 


These platforms have many features (such as an infinite scroll) designed to help social media capture your attention for as long as possible. 


Rather than feeling shame and guilt when you spend more time scrolling than you had intended, remember that this is likely a platform goal. 


Try setting a timer (or even a mental intention) when you start scrolling to stay mindful and accountable. 


Do you check your follower count daily? 


A common misconception is that someone’s social media following represents their popularity accurately; in reality, following someone requires one push of a button, while creating meaningful friendships requires substantial time and energy. 


If you fixate on your follower count, remember that it does not indicate how loved or important you are. 


Do social media platforms help you communicate with friends and family? 


Social media can help us stay connected with our loved ones, especially if they live far away. 


Along with learning about the highlights of your friends’ and relatives’ lives through their posts, you can share any positive content that you come across with your loved ones on social media. 


Do you gain inspiration or creativity from the content you see on social media? 


Social media allows artists, musicians, and comedians to share their work. You may explore new art forms to inform your creativity or sense of humor. 


You can also prioritize social media as a source of inspiration by intentionally following artists you admire. 


Do you feel calmer or more stressed after scrolling on social media? 


Check in with yourself and your body after you use social media: is your heart rate faster, do you have a knot in your stomach, or are your palms sweaty? If so, social media use may add stress to your daily life. However, social media is a source of peace if you feel relaxed and energized. 


These feelings may differ daily, so pay attention to what type of content brings you calm vs. overwhelmed. 



For more tips and resources on boosting your well-being while engaging in the digital world, check out #ICANHELP’s Digital Wellness Training and join our community of kindness on social media (IG, Twitter, TikTok). 


Happiness in the Digital Age 

By: Sonia Cherian, Annual Content Creation Intern  |  Digital4Good

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