• By Ian Roth

Mayo Clinic Minute: Why social media is a bad place to measure your self-worth

April 5, 2018

Social media can be a wonderful communication tool, but it also can be a brutal arena for your emotions. Dr. Amit Sood, a Mayo Clinic complementary and integrative medicine physician, says it's because what we see on social media isn't completely accurate.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

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"When I see your social media feed, I am going to see all that is wonderful happening in your life, and ... I'm going to feel unworthy because my life is so boring compared to yours," Dr. Sood says, explaining how many people feel when scrolling through their social media feeds.

But Dr. Sood says most people don't post the negative things in their lives, so we tend to compare our worst with other people's best. That, he says, can be misleading.

On the other hands, many people seek out social media popularity to feel good about themselves.

"People are paying attention to what I am doing," Dr. Sood says, explaining why some people seek out social media fame. "And if I have, you know, 20 million followers, I feel good about myself, too."

He offers two recommendations to stop you from basing your self-worth on social media. First, limit your time online.

"Just visit there and come back to your real life," he says. "So decrease your dose and duration, and keep it optimal."

Second, use social media for information – not emotional investment.

"So it's like a handshake – not a hug," Dr. Sood says. "Don't use it for emotional fulfillment. It can't provide that."

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