SOCIAL MEDIA AND DEPRESSION: WHY ARE YOU ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
By Serwaa Ampaafo
Social media is a great tool when one understands and know how to utilize them; it could be just like a real life community even much more better than real-life because on social media everyone has the chance to determine who they actually want to see, be friends with or benefit from unlike real life where these options are somewhat unavailable.
With just a click, one could decide and equally change their minds on people they want to be surrounded by and benefit from.
Unfortunately many do not understand this: For some reason, most people choose to be friends with people they know very well they share no interest or world-view with hence do not like. It happens on my facebook wall all time.
Why anyone would use their own hands to cause headache for themselves is still a question yet to be answered by the gods.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND DEPRESSION
Trawling instagram, facebook, snap chat etc feeds of beautiful people with perfect bodies, jobs and relationships makes us feel insecure and inadequate. We then put tremendous pressure on ourselves to live up to these unrealistic portrayals of a social media worthy life. Even some famous influencers that others aspire to be like have broken under the pressure.
Social media could become a ‘Soul consumer’ for individuals who do not know how to manage or mentally adjust themselves– It may sound harsh for something that’s intended to connect us with others, right? But it is true: While Social Media is consuming you within, you’re likely to display envy, feel empty and worse than before the last time you checked your account.
Why is this so?
As it turns out, most people tend to put their best foot forward, broadcasting only their best attributes and qualities online. They choose what to reveal about themselves and filter or minimize negative characteristics.
They are able, in other words, to promote a somewhat deceptively positive sense of themselves. In response, their friends’ feedback, comments, and posts tend to be overwhelmingly positive, creating a positive feedback loop.
For less well-adjusted people, constantly reading about the seeming success of their social media “friends” can make them feel worse than in real life where, at least, their peers visibly fail from time to time unlike in virtual reality.
In fact, We might end up comparing apples and oranges when looking at other people’s timelines. Basically, hardly anyone would post something like: “they feel insignificant or their lives are a mess”
All we see are happy family pictures, amazing once-in-a-lifetime trips to high end places and some few successes.
We forget, that this most likely isn’t everyday life for a person; that person don’t always smile, that going to high end places doesn’t happen every day and that, frankly, we all have our worse times or days.
The guise of Social Media is built on “friends” and supposed values of intimacy.
-But, it’s very understandable why we don’t share our vulnerability with each other: With an average of 350 friends the stage can feel too public for us to reveal anything beyond what our public selves would want people to know about.
So, maybe asking yourself what you want from social media is the crux: What is this social media appearance to me? Why do I want and have it? Do I want it to be a public or private presentation of myself? How authentically should I reveal my true thoughts and feelings? These questions don’t necessarily have a right or wrong answer, but it’s important for you to know your personal answer.
If we don’t have clear answers to these questions we can end up comparing our inner (at times) sad self with people’s greatest moments in life and public accomplishments. It doesn’t take a genius to tell you: That’ll be a losing battle. It could lead to low self esteem, sad, depression hence suicide.
Social media is a great tool when one understands it and know how to utilize them; they could make and unmake you