I know I posted like last week about social media and depression, however, I found a couple more articles that were not exclusive to cult followings like Tumblr, so I think the conversation could be expanded into another post.
Social media is not the only culprit of the World Wide Web, in fact, the internet itself can be a playground for depression. One writer recalls the days before people sat in front of a computer all day to help them cope, and sees where we are headed as a “plugged in” generation.
We are all guilty of this. We bury ourselves in our phones, sit aimlessly on forums and newsfeeds, talking about vapid things, trolling and demeaning others for not sharing out same views. In a sense we are two people, the face we show on the internet, and the face we show in the world.
Face to face contact is not a big thing anymore. With things like Facebook and Facetime, people don’t get together like they used to- so our social life has gone from human to becoming best friends with a screen. The internet contributes to narcissism and a feeling of being superior to others, because it removes human emotion into lines of narrow text.
This is why the internet contributes so into depression. It can be a coping method, sure, but at the end of the day it’s just you and your computer. Some people use the internet for “retail therapy.” This simply merits the same effect- you leave just as empty, and even more broke.
The coldness of the internet gets to people. We portray ourselves as someone we really aren’t. We sometimes end up more outspoken, when the reality is we are living this second, made up, life. It’s also a vicious cycle. People see you on social media, you look like you have it all together- the perfect job, the perfect boyfriend, the perfect life- but your reality is really a far cry from this.
In a study conducted by the University of New Hampshire it was proven the more time you spend on Facebook the more likely it will effect your mental health.
We are all no strangers to the mindless newsfeed scroll. When there is nothing else to do it’s just easier for us to consume ourselves into the digital world because it’s at the tips of our fingers.
However, in this study it was proven that the more friends one has on Facebook the more inadequate they being to feel about their own life. You would assume it to be the other way around, but the reality is the more “friends” you have the worse off you may end up feeling. A Facebook friendship really isn’t worth anything when you don’t even speak to 2/3s of the people on your friends list.
It’s important to remember that what people display on the wonderful World Wide Web is not always the truth, we have to stop consuming data at face value. The study suggests limiting time on Facebook, and putting that energy into something productive, like studying or doing something you enjoy.
Facebook was meant to be a place where people connected with friends, but it’s become so easy for it to turn into a place where people go to complain, brag, and say things they probably wouldn’t out into the real world. We have to stop comparing ourselves to our Facebook community of friends because it’s simply not realistic. Some one can look great on the internet, but you meet them in real life and it’s a complete 360 (You’ve seen Catfish right?) There’s nothing wrong with you, and comparing yourself to others will always make you feel inadequate.
One thing depression is really good at doing is blinding you from seeing the truth and full potential of yourself. If you take a step back from the fantasy world on the Internet, you might find that things aren’t as bad as they seem through the screen on your phone.