Facebook Depression! Is it a reality? How to overcome it?

Social media, Facebook in particular has been shown to increase social capital among users, especially those with low self-esteem and life satisfaction Although social media relationships can have a positive effect on us emotionally, numerous studies have been conducted linking social networking to depression, social isolation, eliciting feelings of envy, insecurity and poor self-esteem. 

What health professionals do know is that children and teens are more sensitive to media influences. And even though depression affects both sexes, women are more commonly diagnosed with the condition than men. One could speculate that these trends of depression carry over to social media sites as well.

A term called “Facebook Depression” was in news recently. Facebook depression, according to the AAP(American Academy of Pediatrics) report, may result if, for example, young users see status updates, wall posts, and photos that make them feel unpopular. Social media sites may have greater psychosocial impact on kids with low self-esteem or who are already otherwise troubled. The report recommended that pediatricians help families better understand the potential harms of social networking sites and encourage parents to monitor Internet usage and talk to their kids about cyberbullying, sexting, and exposure to social media content that could negatively affect mental health.

Facebook and other social media may contribute to depression in three ways—bullying, comparison with others, and influencing self-worth. Bullying can occur when ‘friends’ post mean or derogatory statements about others or upload unflattering photos and make negative comments about them. Facebook friends’ lists and status postings can have a detrimental effect when children or teens begin comparing themselves with others on Facebook and find themselves lacking. Thought processes, such as “They have x number of friends and I don’t” or “They have the relationship status I want or the life I want,” can lead to low self-esteem.

Research shows that the more time a person spends in obsessively checking social media accounts , the more likely he will experience anxiety and emotional loneliness. So far, it’s believed that people’s addiction to social media sites is influenced by their personality traits — a fact suggesting that psychology may play a larger role than social media Web sites on their own.

To overcome this Facebook Depression it is suggested to resist the urge to compare your life with those of other people in your social networks. Also, remember that online communication is very different from face-to-face interactions; online, body language and face-time can’t be used to prevent miscommunication. There’s nothing wrong with using social media to stay in touch, but consider talking over the phone or meeting in person if you’re not satisfied with your online relationships with others.

If social media is taking a toll on your mental health, don’t be afraid to talk to someone about it or contact a trained professional for advice.

Sources

  • http://www.mainlinetoday.com/Blogs/Thinking-Forward/February-2014/Can-Too-Much-Social-Media-Cause-Depression/
  • http://www.socialworktoday.com/archive/exc_080811.shtml
  • http://healthieyou.com/natural-remedies-for-depression

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