Written by By Jamey Ross, CNN
In these days of social media addiction, the scope of emotional struggles can seem, at times, just as wide as the world.
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Now, with the rise of beauty websites and YouTube channels, as well as constant skin-glamming apps, there’s even more pressure to be beautiful.
It doesn’t help when, in general, people still date someone only because they want them, whether for a fresh pair of eyes or an enhanced butt.
Love doesn’t matter anymore. Just ask all the people on Tinder, OKCupid and Bumble who meet but never get to know each other, because they’re both too busy dealing with every problem under the sun.
“We find that women are so sick of being judged on their appearances now that they’re more sensitive to being judged on how they respond to others’ opinions and responses,” says Connie Fernandez, the director of the global urology practice practice at NYU Langone Medical Center and a fellow of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
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“Today, everything is an insecurity. One minute, you’re feeling confident because you’re eating five greens per day, and the next minute, you’re feeling neglected if people are on social media complaining about how they spent $150 on dinner and you just left to get your nails done.”
As our social media lives become increasingly superficial, so too do our relationships. “You’re going to be less conscious of people around you. You’re going to be more concerned with being at work, and so you’re not going to have your best friends or the people you would take to lunch. There’s going to be more of a guardedness to how you interact with people,” says Eileen Rock, the director of business development at Tender Care Transformative Surgery.
Other studies have shown that social media leads to unhappiness. A study from the University of Waterloo found that in addition to developing anxious traits, like post-social media reaction problems, people also developed unhealthy Facebook and Instagram habits.
Can anything make it all go away?
While there’s no wonder why some people appear to be more emotionally secure than others, there’s not a whole lot anyone can do to address it.
From there, you can try trying to make an effort to feel that sense of social acceptance.
According to Fernandez, it’s the socializing, rather than the way you respond to people, that’s really the issue. “It’s the fact that we’re constantly socializing and interacting with our friends and family,” she says. “That socialization is important. Having meaningful relationships is important. So as much as we try to push ourselves away from the virtual world, the moment that we get in a comfortable, good, positive role-model relationship, we naturally want to go back into our social media and look at what we see there.”
There are, however, some things that can help. Rock says that, in her experience, when one person is angry about something that’s been said to them in a dating profile, the original poster will try to make up for it by reaching out to them.
“We recommend that people try and have a relationship with the people they date, so that they would at least respect what they did.”
And though it might take time, Fernandez says that there’s nothing wrong with wanting someone to admire your outer appearance, as long as it’s not causing them undue stress.
“People can’t live in the mirror, but they do get a compliment when they are attractive,” she says. “But there are also people who were bullied in school who come out of it and say ‘I know you may say I’m beautiful, but look at my career. Look at how I change people’s lives,'” she adds.
But if you’re one of those people who still wants someone to admire your looks, or anything else for that matter, we can hope that the trend toward empathic communication that experts have seen lately is here to stay.