Social Media vs. Social Community

Jessica Graiser
June 20, 2023
5 min read

Social Media vs. Social Community

“The clearer that division [ of social media ] is between it not being a reflection of reality, and being a complete make-believe world, the more we’re helping ourselves.” - Bryce Dallas Howard

We are all naturally social beings. We need connection! Having a community, feeling like we belong, friends and family to engage with and rely on… these are what we need to thrive. Social connection brings comfort, eases stress and anxiety, and helps build strong relationships. Without it, our mental and emotional health would deteriorate. 

However, today in 2023, social media seems to slowly be taking the place of authentic human connection. Apps and platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter are what we rely on to communicate with people and stay updated on their lives. And no, we’re not saying that social media is bad. Social media can be fun and convenient! However, it’s important to realize the potential long-term effects that social media consumption can have on our real-life human connections. 

Effects of social media on mental health 

While social media can be a great outlet for creativity, photography, marketing, and connecting with friends and family, it can also reap negative mental and emotional effects. Social media can become a huge trap that we can’t get out of. We tend to start comparing ourselves subconsciously with other people who seem to have their life put together. We become stressed about which photo we look best in or what our friends do. When we get sucked into over-consumption of social media, we start to live in an inauthentic reality and lose touch with our authentic selves. We can easily get lost in our image and neglect what’s really going on mentally and emotionally. 

The vicious cycle of comparison and consuming a fake reality can lead to feelings of inadequacy in our own lives, loneliness, isolation, FOMO (fear of missing out), and increased anxiety and depression. 

Effects of social media on relationships

Multiple studies have shown that over time, hours and hours spent on social media can start to eat away at real-world, human interactions, resulting in what’s called social displacement. While closer, more meaningful relationships may not be severely impacted, spending more time on social media can create an unhealthy distance within certain relationships when there is little to no one-on-one interaction. In turn, not spending one-on-one time with friends and family can cause you to disassociate altogether and experience increased dissatisfaction and loneliness.

Staying socially connected

So why is it that social media is meant to “connect us” and bring us closer than ever yet we feel more isolated and anxious than ever? The lack of social connectedness is what’s slowly taking its toll on our mental and emotional well-being and will only get worse if we don’t do something about it now. Social connectedness is vital. It’s prehistoric. It’s something we all need in order to live life to the fullest. 

So, how do we change the narrative? How do we experience social connectedness and community without the pressures of social media? 

  1. Become aware of your social media habits. Take the time to evaluate how much time you’re spending on social media and how it may be affecting your outlook on your own life and your relationships.

  1. Designate time with no social media. Set aside time every week or once a day to turn off your cell phone or go without social media. Learn to fully disconnect and be in the present moment or engage with people around you rather than check your phone or scroll through endless posts. 

  1. Prioritize social time. Make time every week to hang out with friends or spend one-on-one time with a close friend. 

  1. Put yourself out there. Challenge yourself to make a new friend at work, join a class at the gym, and get to know your neighbors! 

By lowering our social media intake and focusing on our health and social connections, we can then begin to rediscover our true selves free from comparison and filters and grow healthy, stable, real relationships. When we aren’t distracted, we have the freedom to fully enjoy what life has to offer with the people that we care about most. The real world is out there, it takes courage and vulnerability to truly be a part of it. 

Looking for a deeper connection and a solid, healthy community to be a part of? Flowell is your place to be your authentic self, share your life experiences, and be a part of a healthy lifestyle community! Learn more today at!

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