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Sunday, January 17, 2021

Following Virat-Anushka/Ambani family a lot? 6 ways how celeb social media affect your mental health

Are you following Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma through all their social media channels? Or are you gathering all details about Akash Ambani and Shloka Mehta's newborn? Let us remind you that too much of following celebs on social media can affect your mental health.

Are you following Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma through all their social media channels? Or are you gathering all details about Akash Ambani and Shloka Mehta’s newborn? Do you follow celebs on a daily basis and think in deep about their personal/social lives? Well, let us remind you that too much of following celebs on social media can affect your mental health. Fandom is good but standing celebs too much may hamper your own life. It may lead to several problems for your mental health.

The background

Social media has become an inseparable part of our daily lives. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are growing with each day. More and more such channels are coming up also. One of the latest is OnlyFans where fans pay to get complete access to celeb social media lives. No doubt social media are invading our lives dangerously.

We are so engrossed in following our celebrities on social media that we start having negative psychological effects of fandom in the process. Social media’s influence and appeal on us are undeniable. Apparently, living a parallel life on social life, showing happy pictures and videos of yourself with friends and family may seem to be a good idea. But is it healthy? Do we really show the way we are on social media? Are we falling victims of celeb worship syndrome by following star personalities? Read the full article and raise awareness about social media mental health issues.

6 ways following too much celeb social media can affect your mental health

1. Lifestyle imitation

We fall victim to this lifestyle imitation by celebrity social media posts knowingly or unknowingly. Plush and glittery lives of celebs that we witness on their social media accounts create an impact on our minds. Becoming obsessed about how a particular celeb is getting ready for a party, or which outfit he/she is wearing at the airport or during pregnancy may disrupt your own independent thoughts. As an obsessed fan, one tends to follow or want to follow celeb lifestyle and habits despite their poor socio-economic status.

Expensive cars, bikes, luxurious houses and outfits may cause relative deprivation, anxiety, depression many. Often these conditions go to the extreme and people fall into the trap of it, bringing miseries to their own life and that of close ones.

social media mental health
Photo: Twitter

2. Couple goals vs singlehood status

Couple goals, flaunting their love life, PDA are not new for celebs on social media. Virat-Anushka pregnancy photos, Blake Lively-Ryan Reynolds ideal couple clicks, Prince Harry-Meghan Markle with their newborn Archie, all these are extremely pleasant or attractive for any of their fans. These people set the definition of couplehood. One realizes how “complete” or “happy” he/she if they have this kind of couplehood. It’s alright if you are already in a relationship and quite content about it. But those single, or just had a breakup may not have a good experience with this online exhibition of celeb couple life.

No, we are not blaming celebs for sharing their personal lives with their fans. It is totally up to the fans how they perceive those photos, videos and selfies. Seeing your favorite celebs in their ideal couple life might trigger anxious thoughts about your own love life. Again, imitation tendencies may occur. One may feel desperate to fit himself/herself in a relationship just to shed their “single” status. Obsessive fandom or celeb worship has the capacity to bring such worries.

3. “Look good” pressure through social media on mental health

Social media has become an increasingly dramatic environment for body image in the past few years. Celebrities have had a huge influence on this shift—for better or worse. On one hand, countless celebrities post Photoshopped and Facetuned images of themselves. This portrays an unrealistic beauty standard. Remember the famous size zero debate that started with Kareena Kapoor Khan a few years ago?

On the other hand, many celebs are using social media as a platform to share their own body-image struggles as a way to both relate to their fans and fight back against these unrealistic standards. If you remember, Lady Gaga defended her “belly fat” on Instagram. Chrissy Teigen explained she hasn’t lost all of her “baby weight”— and probably won’t try to. Demi Lovato called out a journalist for suggesting her weight was the most newsworthy thing about her. Because even though it’s safe to assume that Kim K has an army of personal trainers, chefs, dietitians, and plastic surgeons helping her look the ways she does, it can be easy to forget that when someone with physical attributes society admires says they’ve found a quick, easy way for you to look just like them.

Be your own body

Overall, consuming celeb social media body images can have an impact on how you see your own body, how you view other people’s bodies, and what you find attractive in general. That’s not to say you should stop following celebs completely. But being armed with the knowledge of how celebrity social media culture may affect you—consciously and subconsciously—is key.

4. Addictive tendencies

Internet fan culture isn’t all positive, though. In the past few years, “stans,” or overly passionate “stalker fans,” have created a somewhat toxic environment online. This type of fan is quick to defend the celebrity that they stan, and come for anyone who suggests otherwise with robotic fervor. Studies suggest that people who rank high on “celebrity-worship scales” also tend to display problematic psychosocial characteristics. This includes narcissism, addictive tendencies and stalking.

Those who are on the far end of the celebrity worship spectrum may also have poorer mental health. They may experience depression, anxiety and social dysfunction. “For the vast majority of people, [fandom] is probably a good thing,” Dr. Wann says. “Still, it’s important to recognize that there are potential qualities out there for people who get too wrapped up in it.”

5. Below self-esteem from social media

Another thing that can decrease the positive effects of fandom? When a celebrity does something problematic. There’s a psychological phenomenon called “self-conception.” This posits that people tend to be fans of people who we imagine as an idealized version of ourselves. But being a fan and supporter of someone also means developing coping mechanisms when they do something we don’t agree with. In order to keep a healthy distance from the person or team you stan, it’s important to remember that whatever they did, you’re not responsible for it. “You shouldn’t feel more guilty about that then you should good and proud if that person doesn’t something good,” an expert says.

Pop culture also has an impact as an escape. Latching onto a specific thing in pop culture refuels us and is such a necessity particularly in the time we’re in right now.

6. Limit your own social life

Research has very clearly suggested that there’s a link between being a fan of something and improved psychological health. If you consider yourself a fan of something — whether it’s a sports team, the Vanderpump Rules cast, or a K-pop band or Game of Thrones — it not only enhances your identity but allows you to interact with other people who have similar interests, explains Dan Wann, PhD, a psychology professor at Murray State University, where his research program centers on the psychology of sport fandom. “What you get as a consequence of that are a lot of connections to other people,” he says. Social connection is one of the key determinants of health, and these relationships can have a protective effect on developing a variety of health conditions, such as heart disease.

Missing connection in real life?

In addition to finding common ground and connecting with people who have shared interests as you, fandom can also be a personal hobby. As anyone who’s spent hours on Reddit boards for specific shows or become emotionally invested in a Facebook watch thread knows, the internet has allowed people to become instant experts on the topic that they care about. It allows for a greater expanse of these social connection networks,” he says. Consider the way that we consume TV now. Most of us have a laptop or phone open while we watch, so we can easily text a friend or fire off a tweet to other fans when something epic happens. Even if you’re watching something alone, you can feel like you’re with a big group online.

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