Image courtesy Culturalmarxism.net
By Blanca Reyes
Social media has become very important in many people’s lives. If we add to it the fact that a big percent of the population has a smart phone, so they can have access to their social media anytime and anywhere. It is not difficult to guess that we spend hours and hours checking, posting and sharing content.
At first glance, it looks fun and harmless, but for vulnerable groups like kids, teenagers and young adults, it has become a health problem. It is called “Social Media Depression.”
Although some people say social media is just a tool and it can’t cause an illness by itself, it is a fact that these social platforms, especially Facebook, contribute to depression symptoms. When a person is dealing with depression or is part of a vulnerable group, they can easily be trapped in an unhealthy cycle.
A way in what social media can affect people is social comparison. Studies have showed that there is a link between Facebook use and depression symptoms. These studies reveal that when people are sad or depressed, they tend to spend more time in Facebook comparing their lives with other people’s lives. It might worse their sadness or depression thinking that others have better lives, better opportunities or better relationships, which is highly questionable since nobody can check the veracity of the post or these posts represent just a moment in live.
When these people spend many hours in social media, they become isolated from the real world. This isolation leads to a sense of loneliness and they become prey of their own negative thoughts, which is very common since a main element of depression is dysfunctional believes.
Although social media can be used to stay connected with family and friends, it will never replace the face-to-face interaction. These platforms can short distances between people, but these relationships can’t be compare to, for example, drinking a coffee with a friend. When people interact face-to-face, they develop social skills necessary for life. People also tent to pay more attention on what they say when they are in person because they do not feel protected by the screen, which leads in being more emphatic.
It is unquestionable that social media is a great tool to keep in touch with friend and family, but we should never compare ourselves with an unrealistic image. Also, it should never replace our relationships and the quality time with our loved ones. We need to remember that social media is just a tool and much of its content is a fantasy.
Pelt, Jennifer Van. “Is ‘Facebook Depression’ For Real?” Social Work Today, 2016, www.socialworktoday.com/archive/exc_080811.shtml. Accessed 6 Nov. 2016.
Hamblin, James. “The Psychology of Healthy Facebook Use: No Comparing to Other Lives.” The Atlantic, 8 Apr. 2015, http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/04/ ways-to-use-facebook-without-feeling-depressed/389916/. Accessed 6 Nov. 2016.
“Social Media and Face-to-Face Interaction.” Netessays.com, Netessays, Nov. 2014, http://www.netessays.net/ viewpaper/129978.html. Accessed 6 Nov. 2016.