Depression, Social Media, & the Ridiculous Social Norms
By: Wishma Zainab
The commencement of the Twenty first century brought in a number of wondrous innovations. Internet being one of them, Internet plays a major role in impacting today’s generation, and a vast section of internet can be regarded as social media, where a number of people come together to interact online. Such new changes pose different challenges to mankind, similarly Social media has posed a threat to the mental health of a number of teenagers.
FOMO – Fear of Missing Out
Several studies have proved that people who spend more time browsing through Instagram or Facebook are more likely to suffer with depression and anxiety, statically speaking 13 to 66% of the users were diagnosed with higher rate of reported depression. If we compare the newer generations with the young adults, we can notice that the latter group prefers to electronically interact with their peers, instead of face to face, this leaves them feeling emotionally isolated and unsatisfied. That is where we introduce the term “FOMO”; Fear of Missing Out. The acronym is pretty self-explanatory. As Jerry Bubrick, PhD, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, states that “FOMO is really the fear of not being connected to our social world, and that need to feel connected sometimes trumps whatever’s going on in the actual situation we’re in. The more we use social media, the less we think about being present at the moment.” This is an accurate example of how one disconnects from reality and starts believing in faux lifestyles devised by people who desperately fish for likes and comments.
Development of Personality Complexes
When a fatigued student scrolls through their Instagram feed, they come across the fake, crafted image of their classmates, idols etc. living through the most perfect of experiences, a negative impact is ensued. The adverse influence has higher chances of affecting a teenage girl compared to a teenage boy. It is noted that among girls, the more they used social media, the more psychological distress they experience, as the results proposed. In 2014, 28% of girls who used social media a lot were reported to be suffering psychologically, in comparison to 20% of those who use it occasionally. This result was not as strong in teenage boys, the study writers concluded. According to Netsanity, boys can be intensely influenced by social media. “Boys will compare themselves to other boys on social media or even men that they see on TV and in print ads.” Nowadays, boys at the age of 6 to 8 develop complexities due to the pictures they view online. Not only anxiety, but many mental disorders can emerge due to the cyberbullying that takes place online, since boys too are also conscious of their body image.
The display of the fabricated lifestyle may not only leave people feeling unsatisfied, but may also badly affect people who are successful and content with themselves. Teens, especially the girls find themselves getting more conscious about their body appearance, and they end up developing a low self-esteem. They begin to compare themselves with the flawless depiction online, this constant comparison flames up a sense of insecurity and anxiety.
The seamless routine displayed on social media regarding an ideal school life and a large friend group only enhance the solitude felt by an individual. They start drowning in self-pity and self-consciousness, unaware of what actually might go on behind the screen of the person they are so envious of. This persistent misery and despair can be put to a halt. Here’s how;
Tips on Keeping Your Mind Healthy and a Healthy Lifestyle
- Focus on Balance; by ensuring that your offline and online interactions are balanced, you can reduce the chances if feeling secluded, saving yourself from the nasty grasp of melancholy.
- Turn off Notifications; turning your notifications off can be a great way to focus on what’s going on at the moment and not grow distracted.
- Follow people and pages that are inspiring; this way you are bound to remain motivated throughout by constantly getting reminded of your goals and aims, you’re guaranteed to remain energized and positive.
- Avoid using Social Media before bed; in this way, you’re less likely to get carried away, a decent sleeping pattern is induced, which plays an important role in remaining optimistic and confident.
- Take Breaks; if you sense that Social Media usage is harmfully altering your mental health, affecting your daily routine, distracting you from focusing, you should take a break, probably blast your favorite songs and uninstall your social media apps off your phone for a few days. Being away from all the hustle can prove to be refreshing and relaxing to the mind.
- Stay Aware; the key factor in remaining calm and affirmative is to keep in mind that Social Media is nothing but a fascia and most of the portrayals are anything but true.
These methods can be equipped to minimize the adverse effects of Social Media and aid in producing a healthy online environment. Surfing through the internet should be a knowledgeable, enjoyable experience rather than a draining one, it is in the ways we decide to deploy these applications into our daily lives. Safety of mind is the only means one can protect themselves from going astray, that is by Healthy Practices and Healthy Surfing!