Does social media cause depression?
Imagine a scenario where you are randomly compelled to spend a week without social media. That is an unnerving thought in itself. We fail to realize the fact that this is a situation created by us. It’s unnatural to be attached to something so short-lived. This involvement has affected the mental health of millions globally.
However, we cannot rule out the importance of social media entirely. Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Sanpchat has become an app in every household. A large section of society today is dependent on social media for news, entertainment, and crucial information. This makes evident how much it is important for social media to have credibility and authenticity.
The social media statistics worldwide indicate that there are more people on social media than the real world. Well, obviously the multiple accounts under the pretext of masking identities. Moreover, the penetration of social media causes depression, misleading and affecting the education of the youth. In a way, it is encouraging indirect communication which is not healthy.
Expectation of Fame and the Importance of Being Liked
Social media is a world full of illusions. A space that was initially created to expose the ground reality of individuals has now become a false portrayal of the real world. Sadly some people are envious of relationships, friendships, and lifestyles that don’t even exist.
Only if people would be as happy they are in their selfies and “insta-stories”, the world would be a much happier place to live in. Instead today social media has become a cause of depression. Spending money on things you don’t need and visiting places you don’t really enjoy just focusing on likes is a prevalent thing now. Weaving your lives around the internet applications and then blaming that social media causes depression is ridiculously funny.
These days we come across many ” Social Media Celebrities”. Some have most definitely carved a niche and attained fame but most of them experience very short-lived fame. This surges a feeling among such individuals that they are famous and set some high unachievable expectations for themselves. They become so busy making comparisons that they get crushed under the weight of their own high standards.
The urge to being liked is so astounding that it leads to having too many fake friends. People are detached from their family and friends. Youngsters take some drastic steps which may not be acceptable in general even progressive society for less face time.
Positive effects of social media
The debate about whether social media is a good influence or bad is ever since the evolution of such applications. We all love social media as it is present at the intersection of humanity and technology.
It has revived connections in many families like between grandparents and their grandchildren that live in different countries. Staying in touch with family and friends has become very handy.
Among many other positive effects of social media, one is the ability to find and interact with new people. Social media has also played a distinguished role to establish a changed society in positive ways. The impactful nature of social media has played a pivotal role in spreading awareness to save the environment, a message of body positivity.
There are many campaigns carried out with the aid of social media by people living in different continents on topics like Feminism, LGBTQ rights, Pink tax rebate, Dove’s campaign for self-esteem and self-love, and the most famous of all the #MeToo movement.
These campaigns are like accepting the underlying risks that may or may not pay dividends. It is like possessing a divine power to spread news quickly. There have been incidents that have saved lives, transformed them and spread hope to continue living. These thoughtful campaigns are some of the positive effects of social media.
Negative effects of social media
The negative impact of social media is as evident as the positive one. We come across some concerning incidents like cyberbullying wherein people troll and criticize others perversely.
For the general public, studies show that people have lost interest in face-to-face conversations. They prefer chatting on social media over hanging out. Eventually, the social skills of the youth are deteriorating.
The regressive impact on students is equally astounding. The rat-race to be more famous, grab more likes from strangers, have more followers has resulted in anxiety, depression, and poor concentration. This shows that the education of the youth is at stake. It is profoundly affected.
Very often celebrities are at the receiving end of wrath from people who do not even dare to disclose their identity. This affects the self-esteem and mental health of theirs. There is an invasion of their private lives as they are stealthily photographed for two-minute fame by some miscreants.
On the other hand, it creates a compelling desire to be in the limelight and look good. This is something that makes them feel good. There have been multiple cases of anorexia, anxiety attacks, and insomnia reported solely as an effect of media.
The time spent by young people on social media platforms has profoundly affected their sleeping patterns. Spending more time with their mobile phones, laptops, and iPads leaves them with a feeling of inadequacy due to the tallies of likes, followers, and shares of posts.
After having weighed the pros and cons of social media, the only conclusion is living with mindfulness. It is very natural to infer that everyone else’s lives are cooler than yours. This is just because you have access to a “part of their life.” A portrayal is definitely not anybody’s entire life.
The “gram” generation needs to realize the irony that spending less time on social media, in fact, makes you feel less lonely. For safeguarding our youth, parental supervision is as important in instilling values online as it is offline. It is in our hands to not let social media cause depression.
So, the next time you feel anxious when your internet is down, or you are unable to browse through your social media accounts, its a red signal. Time for some Reality Check!