Arts & Lifestyle

Is Social Media Making Us Depressed?

The use of Social Media continues to increase and be the most popular computer technology that we use on a daily basis. We feel the need to look directly at our phones every time we receive a beep of a text or alerts from Whatsapp, Twitter or Instagram. Receiving alerts from devices has become our reality, we could be anywhere in the world such as on the train going to work, at the beach sipping a mimosa, doing work and “tap tapping” away or at home in bed checking what your favourite followers are up to. 

However, it‘s becomsing more than a reality; the word to use is an obsession, like a drug that we cannot “shake off” as Taylor Swift points out. It’s our way of life to share and post information about each other such as with your friends, celebrities or influencers like the next ‘IT’ blogger we all admire and once we indulge in following each other, we are more connected than ever 

Some people might say that’s a good thing to be connected to anyone and everyone, but to a certain extent, the more we have access and allow social media to take over our lives, the more we watch others and compare, we start to analyse our own and reflect on how we can change our routine, but should we suffer at the expense of social media or would it be a good option to take a break/deactivate your account. “It sounds scary”, but we all need to take a breather from time to time. 

Three ladies made a healthy decision and decided to have a Social Media detox:

Michele Ong, an inspiring writer who decided to say “au revoir” to Social Media, because it became her whole life, scanning news feeds every few minutes, viewing wedding engagements, adventurous holidays and upcoming baby showers. “I can feel a headache approaching” lol. She needed to drown out the noise from the constant beeping from her devices. As soon as she made the sacrifice, it was the best thing she ever did. She stopped having negative thoughts, focussed more on the positives in her life and reconnected with her friends.

“Moving away from social media has allowed me to cancel out all this noise, and to re-gather my focus”, said Michele Ong.

Writer Anna Newell Jones thought it would be a good idea to connect with friends and meet new acquaintances, but decided to delete her Twitter account because it became, again “overwhelming and confusing”. As you get so many notifications all at once, you don’t know which one to look at first and soon your mission will be getting as many likes and followers as possible.

“I guarantee digitally downsizing will open up opportunities and experiences in your life that you never could have imagined”, said Anna Newell Jones.

For Writer Olivia Mulligan, she found herself scrolling constantly. This is not a health decision to embrace as it can affect your mood and sleeping pattern which may lead to insomnia and depression. Embracing this detox, she felt free, more productive and achieved better sleep.

I am in control of what I do and when, and I have the confidence to be online and not addicted’, says Olivia Mulligan.

You need to tell yourself the life behind social media is not their normal lives. You have no idea what the other person is going through or what they have to deal with on a daily basis. The best practice is not to give yourself added stress, but have a detox every once in a while.

To ask the question, is Social Media Making Us Depressed? The answer is Yes it can, but more importantly it depends on the person’s mental state and how they allow social media to take over their lives, especially when you have multiple notifications from not just one, three or even five social platforms beeping all day, it can be overwhelming and stressful but you still have the ability to reduce your searching, peek-a-booing, gazing and observing ways to a minimum or tell yourself to switch off, it’s simple.

Social Media consumption can cause an effect with someone dealing with depression and I can sympathise with these feelings as I have been through a similar case but you realise your followers are creating a moment that expresses “their” happiness and looking at their lives, how is it benefitting you as a person? You need to occupy yourself such as pick up a book or go out to dinner with a friend and not have a selfie moment every 5 minutes. You have the opportunity to create face to face moments instead and that is something you can cherish.





By Charlene Foreman