Monday, October 31, 2022

Why Social Media Causes Depression

Every now and then we hear that social media causes depression, but they don't elaborate on it. Then even if they do, they don't go on to say much about what you can do about it. We hear all the time that more and more people have anxiety and depression, not to mention to the horrible things it can lead to, especially when it comes to young people. They simply don't have the maturity and experience to deal with it. 
1. People not liking your posts: You post something you think is wonderful and only get a few likes. So how does that make you feel? Where are your great friends? Do they even care? It's all so depressing. 

First of all, not all of them are seeing your posts. Especially if they don't bother to like them. Often times posts get buried, and they simply get missed. What can you do about it? Make the effort to contact some of your friends in person, by phone or at least a private message. Show interest in them, and not yourself. Not all will respond, but some will. Most people love that private message. That's how you reconnect. 

2. People posting about their perfect lives: Just seeing the pictures of someone on vacation while you have to work is enough to make anyone scream. Many people I follow on social media post about their vacations, holidays, weddings, babies, and other glorious events. This is like keeping up with the Jones. A person sees all these wonderful pictures from their friends, and they just can't wait to post about their awesome vacation, etc. Then when they do, they only get two likes. 

What is happening? Isn't it depressing when you have to keep up with the Jones? When you're never going to be as good as the Jones? People have fallen into the trap of comparing themselves to the seemingly perfect lives of others. Then of course you don't feel like you measure up. 

So what can you do?

Remember to not compare yourself to others. Keep in mind nobody has a perfect life. Most people don't post about their problems, which we all have. We're all human and we're all going to face problems. Nobody is happy all the time. Each of us is unique and more than enough. Focus your energy on doing something much more important than bragging on social media. Remember social media isn't reality. Keep in mind if someone is overly braggy, you can keep them as a friend, but unfollow them. There is no reason you have to see it.   

Oddly enough, at least for me, I like seeing the pictures and the good news when it's from a person that is real to me. When it's balanced with reality, I feel happy for them. However, I like to see some truth. 

3. When social media takes away time from in person socializing. We all know this one. Most of us spend too much time online. It can be easier for many people to socialize online. However, this can lead to feelings of being isolated because it's never going to be the same as in person. How many people have come and gone with your online friends? Probably tons. I don't even remember them all. 

I value my online friends whether or not I know them in person. Before social media, I used to have email friends that I had never met in person. What happened most of the time is one day they simply did not write back. It was upsetting. I've always had a strong sense of loyalty to my friends, and I felt I was being let down a lot. One time I even did not write a person back, feeling that at least I would be the person not to write back. I did that after feelings of being dumped. It's funny now that I think about it. 

What can we do about it? First of all, you have to keep in mind that people you only meet online might well fade away some day. So simply accept the reality of online friendships. Even in person relationships can fade away. People will often disappoint because we're all imperfect humans. We have all disappointed someone. What did we do before social media? We went out and found friends. Yes, we can do that again. 

4. A whole lotta hate. Yes, there is a lot of hate online, and it hasn't been good for our society. Whenever you look at a thread about a controversial subject, you will find people yelling on both sides of the issue. Many times, it's about something political. When you see people disagreeing with your position, it can be upsetting. You wonder how some people can be so stupid. You might be tempted to get involved and argue with them. Yet, this just adds to negative emotions, and does it really change anyone? It doesn't seem so. Then you regret that you even spent the time and energy. 

What can one do? Don't click on controversial subjects. This can be hard to do, but a lot of posts are set up as click bait. Don't give into the temptation and move on. 

This has been my contribution to mental health improvement. Have a great Halloween. 


  1. The first one can be really frustrating. It's especially frustrating when you read someone's blog and comment on every entry and they only very sporadically (if at all) comment on your blog. And I don't mean you; you've been pretty good about that. I mean some other people. It's like, really, what, you think your time is so much more important that you can't visit my blog? But I'm supposed to visit yours because you're so much more special and important. [eye roll]

    I just think it's a Golden Rule kind of thing.

    As for #4, in my long experience, I know you can't "win" Internet arguments. You never change anyone's minds. I've tried to curtail that but sometimes it happens anyway. Mostly I've tried to avoid follow public news sites and other sites trolls frequent and not really following any message boards or anything like that helps a lot.

    1. I totally agree that returning a comment is a Golden Rule. It's the right thing to do.