7 Ways To Stop Seeking Validation on Social Media
As humans, we are naturally wired to crave attachment and validation. We share an instinct to connect and bond with others, and there is nothing wrong with that.
However, in the age of the Internet and technology, social media has become the place we turn to for contact, inclusion, and validation. It seems we have begun appreciating moments in our lives based on their acceptability on social media.
What Drives Us to Social Media?
Remember Snow White’s evil step-mother and her magic mirror? Once the mirror stopped validating her, the evil queen became extremely insecure.
It seems that social media taps into an innate human desire to connect and seek approval from others. Instead of asking your partner or a friend, “How do I look?” you post a selfie on Instagram. And, there you are; soon enough, hundreds or even thousands of people validate and praise your look.
In other words, people on social media who like our pictures and posts seem to give us a sense of worth, recognition, and satisfaction.
Most of us feel obligated to post pictures of our whereabouts. How often do you Instagram or Snapchat places you visit and what you do there? A pic of your cozy bedroom in the morning, a cup of steaming coffee, a stunning view from your hotel room’s terrace, your dinner table at a fancy restaurant – you share every detailed aspect of your life with followers on social media.
What do we hope to get from this?
While seeking validation is not wrong, looking for others’ approval to feel self-assured, valued, and fulfilled is definitely not healthy. Clinging to others’ approval can become your way of life, affecting your self-esteem, mood, and relationships.
Day in, day out connectivity makes it hard to feel happy and satisfied with your life. The excessive use of social media, fear of missing out (FOMO), and the urge to always compare yourself to others may cause feelings of anxiety, unhappiness, dissatisfaction, and loneliness.
Under constant pressure from social media to filter and fit, many of us (young people in particular) tend to forgo our values and needs just to feel accepted and valued, even when validation comes from complete strangers.
How to Stop Seeking Validation from Social Media?
Unrealistic expectations, FOMO, and comparing ourselves to others can make your experiences dull and isolating, causing feelings of loneliness, worthlessness, and depression. So, try taking breaks from seeking validation on social media and start some new habits as an alternative.
1. Set the Boundaries
We often forget to use social media responsibly and thoughtfully in our need to connect and get validation. Social media boundaries will help you feel safe and comfortable.
So, try being mindful of the content you share online. Much like in the real world, try setting healthy boundaries between ourselves and others, and find a healthy way to balance social media.
2. Start Your Days with Gratitude
Instead of posting a picture on Instagram as soon as you get up from your bed, try staring at a different morning routine. Begin your day writing down three things you feel thankful for instead.
This simple gratitude practice has the power to boost mood, improve self-esteem, help you experience more positive emotions, become more self-compassionate, and increase your life satisfaction.
3. Practice Affirmations
Instead of seeking validation on social media, turn to yourself and look for affirmation inside. Many of our insecurities, anxieties, and self-doubts come from the subconscious. So, feed your subconscious mind with positive statements about overcoming negative self-talk that ruins your self-esteem and confidence.
Instead of waiting for validation from social media, start and end your days repeating the following and similar statements:
- I am powerful and strong.
- I am confident.
- I am beautiful.
- I believe in myself.
- I am in charge of my future and my life.
- I choose to be happy.
- I acknowledge my own self-worth.
- I surround myself with positivity.
- I am capable and enough.
4. Connect with the Real People in Your Life
Studies show that people who use social media excessively tend to experience frequent mood swings, neglect their personal life, and withdraw from real-life interactions with others.
Turn off your social media notifications and spend time with people you love. Have a meaningful conversation with your friends, pay attention to your partner’s emotional bids for connection, and cook dinner for your family. No digital validation can replace the real-life appreciation we receive from those we care about.
5. Do Some Digital Detox
Research shows that too much time on social media can lead to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and other mental health problems. If you spend an excessive amount of time on social media, consider practicing a digital detox.
Take breaks and refrain from visiting social media or using your smartphone, computer, and other devices for a few hours a day. Connect with nature instead, and spend time outside whenever you get a chance.
6. Indulge in Mindfulness
You must have noticed that social apps have an infinite feed that keeps you scrolling down endlessly and mindlessly. Therefore, try to stick to the opposite routine and practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness meditation allows you to focus on the present moment without trying to interpret it. In other words, mindfulness can empower you to enjoy the moments in your life without the urge to post about them on social media.
7. Stay Authentic
Be mindful of how you resent yourself on social media and whether you like it or not. Ask yourself why you post the stuff you do. Does it inspire others? Does it add any value to your or other people’s lives? Or you post just to seek attention and validation?
Answering these questions can help you understand that no one can offer validation better than yourself.
Keep in mind that not every part of your life needs to be public. And remember, you are enough.
Are you ready to release the comparisons and see what is possible? Let’s talk. Book a complimentary call here.