So you’re having a bad day. You need a break from work or the kids or the craziness of life and you take a few minutes to check out Facebook. You see your best friend cheering with other friends at a hockey game. You see your cousin with her new baby. You find out your old highschool teacher really loves Donald Trump (seriously?). And after 30 minutes of scrolling…you feel worse than when you started.
You’re not alone. A recent University of Michigan study found that subjects felt sadder after going on Facebook and that, over time, they felt unhappier with their lives in general. 50% of people in a 2012 study said social media had changed their behaviour negatively. 66% said they have a hard time sleeping or relaxing after spending time on social media. Why is that? Aren’t all social network platforms meant to “connect” us with each other…presumably in a positive way?
Today is “Let’s Talk Day”: a day where we all talk openly about mental illness and how it affects us personally or someone we love. Mental illness should be discussed openly but as with everything in life…it’s the individual story that matters. How one person struggles is not that same as another. Where one person is negatively impacted by social media, another person is helped by expanding their social interaction. There is no resolution that fits all needs.
So does Facebook add to your depression? Probably not on its own. But moderation is the key. Balance in life is what makes us all more rounded individuals. Check your likes on your latest posting…but also build a treehouse or take your hamster for a walk. There’s more to you than what’s in your profile. There’s more to the world than can be pixelated on a screen.
But don’t take my written word for it…Let’s talk.