Social media is a part of almost every person’s life. In 2020 alone, over 3 billion people used social media in some way in their online activities. With such a large user base, many people find themselves using social media daily to connect online with others.
However, there is also a large culture of online bullying, unrealistic standards, and an unspoken requirement to fit the status quo. Many people deal with rejection online, which can be super harmful to self-esteem over time.
Let’s take a look at how to deal with social rejection online.
Remind Yourself That Social Media Is Often a False Reality
Not everyone on social media is giving a false version of themselves. However, many influencers are. The people we see come up in ads, popular Instagram posts, and inspiration threads on Pinterest often use filters, Photoshop, positioning, photography, and even face-changing technology to appear different from real life.
For someone who doesn’t know this, feelings of inadequacy can come up. Other people may reject you online, telling you that you’re not beautiful if you don’t look like that. They may say you do not try hard enough. These people are wrong.
The most beautiful person you can be is yourself. Some people enjoy and endorse authenticity. While filters and body changes can make some people feel more comfortable, you don’t have to choose to do it yourself.
Young children viewing adult women online think their bodies should look different, and many change their appearance to look like an adult. Body image issues are reported more in generation Z than ever before due to social media influence on apps like Tiktok, one of the world’s most popular apps.
Being an authentic voice online can help young children feel more comfortable with their appearance as well.
If you are being cyberbullied or canceled or rejected on a large scale online, know that you’re not alone. Many people are canceled daily for sharing an opinion that others do not agree with or being uneducated. Cyberbullies often go to extreme measures, such as calling your job, trying to remove your sense of community, and using verbal attacks.
Cyberbullying is illegal in some cases. You can report cyberbullying online to the federal government and your local police department. Check your state’s laws on cyberbullying to know what your next steps could be.
If you are feeling down or considering hurting yourself in some way, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).
Try a Few Days Without Screen Time
Sometimes taking a break is all you need to get back to feeling like yourself online. Put down your phone and computer and find an activity that calms your nervous system. Social media has been proven to cause and even enable stress, especially for Facebook users.
Here are some calming activities you can try on your break from social media:
- Meditation techniques
- A calming retreat
- Renting a vacation rental by yourself and ordering a yummy meal
- Spending time with your pets
- Hiking in nature
- Writing a letter to someone you love
There are countless ways to take time without using social media. You may find that you enjoy the silence and peace.
Block and Report People Who Are Harmful to Your Mental Health
If you find that many people online are constantly rejecting you or arguing with you on your page, it is possible to block them. Do not allow anyone who hurts your mental health into your space online.
You can change your privacy settings on most apps and websites to allow only friends to see your content. You can also limit your past posts to only those on your friends’ list on sites like Facebook. Ignore message requests from people trying to be mean online.
You can also block messages in Messenger and on apps like Tiktok and Instagram. Even if you have a large following, you can still block followers who interact negatively with your posts. Hiring a social media manager or moderator for your comment sections is a must if you’re an influencer. Doing this will take all the responsibility and stress off of you.
Post for Yourself and Not for Others
In the end, we often find ourselves posting online to try to get positive reactions out of others. When we don’t receive many likes or comments on our selfies or posts, we may feel rejected. In reality, there are so many things in play online.
Algorithms may hide your posts, and you may not be getting engagement. Even so, it will help you find ways to post for yourself without putting your mental health in the hands of others. Here are some ways you can try:
- Before posting, ask yourself: “Do I feel good about this?” If the answer is yes, post. If no, do not.
- Before posting, ask yourself if you are posting simply to get likes or reactions from others. If so, do not post.
- When you get positive responses from people, try telling yourself the same things daily. Affirmations are a great way to increase self-love.
Rejection on social media can be so painful. Luckily, there are ways to avoid it. You’re not alone in feeling this way. Billions of people use social media, and many people experience rejection in some form, whether it be canceling, bullying, or simply mean comments. Even celebrities receive these mean responses.
The best way to bring your self-esteem back up and feel comfortable online is to follow our tips and allow yourself to set boundaries.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com.
With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.