Is Social Media Making You Depressed?
Written and reviewed by
M.Phil - Clinical Psychology, M.Sc - Neuropsychology
Most people today begin and end their days by looking into their phones. Whether its Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media platform, chances are that you devote a lot of time to browsing through other people’s lives and comparing them to yours. Social media platforms are a great way to keep in touch with people but they can have a negative effect on you as well. Social media is slowly becoming a common reason for depression. Here’s how.
- Glamour vs reality: A friend may put up a picture of the view out of an office room and caption it “view from my office”. When you see this while sitting in a room filled with cubicles, it can be depressing. What you may not know is that the picture may not really be of your friend’s office but be simply a temporary room they are working out of for the day.
- Overstimulation: We are constantly flooded with information. At times, this can get too much too handle. For people with existing anxiety issues, this could aggravate the problem and make the day more stressful than it already is.
- Distraction: The constant stream of notifications on your phone and laptop can distract you from the work you actually need to do. As a result, your productivity may decrease. In turn, this can make you frustrated at the end of the day and make you spend more time than you need to on simple tasks.
- Negativity: A majority of the social media posts on your timeline are negative rants against various people and institutions, news about sad events and agenda driven monologues. This negativity spreads easily and can easily influence your life and make you see things in a negative way.
- Unwanted attention: Just as social media makes it easy for you to get in touch with old friends; it also makes it easy for stalkers to get in touch with you. Lewd messages and unwanted attention can make a person feel harassed and bullied. In extreme cases, it can also make a person suicidal.
- Health issues: Our mental and physical health is interlinked. Thus, if you are physically unwell, you will feel mentally low as well. Peering into a phone and laptop screen constantly can give rise to a number of health issues such as deteriorating eyesight, neck pain and stress headaches. In turn, this can make you feel frustrated and low.
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