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18 Reasons Why Social Media Makes Us Hate Ourselves

Why Social Media Makes Us Hate Ourselves

There are many reasons why social media is considered to be bad for our mental and emotional health, one of which is that social media causes self-hate. Social media is constructed in such a way that you can’t help but compare yourself with what you see online, leading to self-esteem issues. Let’s find out the reasons why social media makes us hate ourselves.


As more realms of human interaction are shaped by and start to resemble social media, its popularity-based protocols punish the vulnerable.

In a system where status derives from numbers-based popularity, it's all too easy to feel unliked and unseen.

Monitoring our social-media notifications is often painful, yet we invite this pain repeatedly each day.

Social media is designed to make us hate ourselves.

It’s engineered to scare and shame us — mainly by being a nonstop global gauge broadcasting our aloneness and unpopularity for all to see. Even its benefits — so far-reaching! so fast! — fuel its capacity for harm. Now shaping nearly every realm of human interaction, social media fuels our insecurities in these and other ways.

Related: Social Media Red Flags In Relationships

18 Reasons Why Social Media Causes Self Hate

1. It is a contest.

Between us and everyone, sparking our urge to view fellow humans as competitors and every word/act/interchange as an audition or race we might lose.

2. It’s science, so it must be true.

Pre-social media, we wondered vaguely how our hair looked or our presentations went. Now those answers are calculated technologically as numbers glaring out from screens.

social media causes self hate
Social media makes us hate ourselves

3. The lives of others seem so sexy, fun, and lush.

Compared to ours as we naively observe manufactured simulacra of such lives, mistaking them for true.

4. Our skills seem worthless.

Lacking skills such as sociability, makeup, or art which make others “good at” and/or are easily displayed on social media makes us deride whatever skills we have instead. You’re a statistician or master pipefitter? So what?!

Related: Negative Effects Of Instagram On Mental Health: 7 Ways Instagram Ruins Lives

5. We’re being watched and judged.

Humans have always (sensibly) feared being monitored and scanned. But social media exhorts us to expose ourselves and love being surveilled.

6. On virtual stages, we pose.

Performativity turns every word we type and every picture we post into a recital, everyplace we are into a stage — and thus every reality less real.

7. The more our sense of self depends on others, the less “ours” it is.

Following influencers, fawning and urgently seeking applause divides us from our inner selves.

18 Reasons Why Social Media Makes Us Hate Ourselves
Social media causes self-hate

8. Cheating and deception are normalized.

When platforms offer beauty filters with which users — including 90% of women, one study reveals — “improve” their looks, then declare: This is me.

9. We feel so ugly.

When comparing our unfiltered looks to those of users whom we don’t realize use filters — and when we feel forced to filter our own “unpresentable” selves.

Related: 8 Signs You Need To Stay Away From Social Media

10. All boundaries are broken.

Aspects of us that once would have stayed private, social media compels us to reveal — because it’s edgy, might attract emojis, and we’re among “friends.”

11. It makes us do things that make us dislike ourselves.

Such as boast, lying, argue, and self-obsess, as well as mocking others for their looks, views, or intelligence — even just secretly.

12. We constantly fear punishment.

For those of us who live in (mainly traumagenic) fear of making others sad or mad, social media is a terrifying gauntlet, a spotlit interrogation room.

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S. Rufus

S. Rufus, M.A., is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared at Elle, Salon, The Daily Beast, and other venues, and — under the byline Anneli Rufus — the author of twelve books including Unworthy: How to Stop Hating Yourself; Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto; Weird Europe; and Stuck: Why We Can't (or Won't) Move On. Translated into five languages and now in its fourteenth printing, Party of One has been cited as a landmark work on (and for) introverts.View Author posts