Social media could seem to be a good way to take the sting out of loneliness, but the reverse is often the case. Social media can lead to envy, competition and hopelessness as everyone tries to get the most ‘likes’ and showcase their lives as if they were perfect.
This has two bad effects. Firstly, if you compete it means you don’t show yourself as you are so much as what you want to be. Deep inside you know that any connections you make on that basis are meaningless. Secondly, looking at the picture perfect lives of others can make you feel inferior.
Social media can also be addictive. Before you know it you’ve spent a couple of hours on line and it’s too late to do anything else. So be strict with yourself. Time yourself – ten minutes at most on FB, Snapchat or whatever, and then go out, or at least voice call a friend. Unfollow any accounts that leave you feeling inadequate or unhappy and unfriend anyone who stresses you or brings you down.
Give an invitation for an outing – just something simple such as meeting for a coffee or going to the cinema. Try to be brave. If you are a sensitive person you are very aware of social cues but what you may not realise is that you can interpret them slightly wrong. For instance, you may sense that a friend is uneasy and assume you’re the cause. This can make you withdraw, but the truth is that something or someone else could well have been behind your friend’s reactions. So, be positive, pleasant, considerate and natural, and always assume people will like you! No-one’s perfect, and although it may surprise you, some of the most confident-seeming people feel scared and lonely inside.