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To Sam

Feeling pessured bu social media

Hi Sam,

I know it might sound really weird but I find myself pressurised by social media.

Sometimes when I go to bed I get depressed and worry about what my friends might think about me on social media. I find myself tossing and turning in bed worrying that I might not have as many followers or likes on my social media as my friends do. Is this normal? Sometimes my classmates make fun of me on social media making stupid faces and silly comments. It really makes me feel bad but I still want to have social media. What shall I do?

Thanks

x

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Social media can be a place to chat to friends and share things you enjoy. But sometimes it can feel like there's pressure about how many followers you have or how many likes you get on posts. There's a lot of pressure to be “popular” and this can make social media stressful when it's meant to be for fun.

Social media can be used in many different ways.  Mostly it’s a positive and supportive place to share things with friends but sometimes people can take things too far. Making someone feel uncomfortable, stressed or upset is online bullying which is not okay. It’s also not okay for people to put you down for having less followers than they do.

Remember that social media is also a very false image of what people’s lives are like. Just because someone has thousands of followers doesn’t mean that they're any better of a person than you are. The things people post online tend to be the highlights of what's going on in their lives. In the end we're all just normal people with everyday worries and fears – even for the most popular YouTube and Instagram stars.

It's possible to block people who're making you feel uncomfortable and it’s also okay to report them on the app or site if they make abusive comments or send illegal content such as naked images or sexting. Taking a break from social media can be good as well. Sometimes it can be easier and more rewarding to meet up with friends in person or do more things offline.

The important thing is to feel happy and safe, and to feel accepted and respected by your friends. Building your confidence and self-esteem can help you feel good about yourself, your abilities and your thoughts. It can take time to build up confidence but often taking small steps can lead to a big change.

Remember our counsellors are always here for advice and support.

Thanks for your letter.

Take care,

Sam

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