Imagine you are enjoying a beautiful sunset on a beach. Obviously, you will feel like capturing and posting it on social media. You will even prefer to post it with the trending hashtags. It is true that with the advent of social media, people are always connected with their loved ones. Correspondingly, they have become more conscious of their virtual appearance and behaviour. But is social media and depression connected?
Social Media and Well-being
Did one of your social media accounts top the list for the most frequently used application in your phone? Social media is a public platform where you can connect and communicate with people. Undoubtedly, this is a blessing to humankind. You may think about how the use of social media adversely impacts your well- being. Spending hours in it may distract you from your responsibilities. It is followed by loss of vision, hearing impairment, neck sprains, obesity and so on.
Admit it! Your concentration has been affected ever since you started using social media. Is that all? A big No! On the other hand, social media has affected an individual’s mental health. Heavily relying on it results in low self-esteem, insecurities and depression. Apparently, there is an overall dissatisfaction and anxiety experienced by its users. A word of caution: keep your eyes open (of course, metaphorically!) to the darker, unexposed corners of the social media world.
Does Social Media Cause Depression?
As you know, depression is a mental disorder when a person feels unwanted and melancholic. Did you ever notice that scrolling through your social media pages has become a part of your leisure time routine? Yes! This has brought attention disorders in people. This may or may not lead to depression. Remember, the world of social media is virtual, flawless and always happy. Reality is concealed there. Knowingly or unknowingly, people start to compare themselves with the appearance and life of others. They may feel extreme envy towards the showcased flamboyance. Isn’t it senseless to think that popularity is defined by the number of friends you have in your social media?
Logging onto social media has become a part of your normal routine. People feel empty and disconnected in its absence. You should realize that this may end up in addiction. Loneliness or social isolation is not a joke. Did you know that people are bullied and discriminated against in the cyberspace? Here, people are marginalised and underestimated if they deviate from the so-called social media standard. This will push them into the quagmire of depression. In conclusion, it is observed that social media and depression are nothing but two sides of the same coin.
How worse can depression get?
It is a fact that in the world of social media that expectation never meets reality. Hopelessness and despair are the twin symptoms of depression. Is the list complete? Not at all! It is followed by loss of interest in daily activities, aggressive behaviour, changes in sleep pattern, loss of appetite and energy. Depressed people find solace in isolation. This may result in anti-social behaviour and even suicidal tendencies. If you think it is less, sink in for a moment.
How to diagnose social media depression?
Since social media and depression are related, the former can be used to observe depression. You may wonder how! Depression language has got your back. All you have to do is to cautiously observe if a person excessively uses first- person pronouns or striking verbs to show his or her mood. A tip for you, they will be self-critical in their use of words. Furthermore, the egocentric social network analysis (SNA) helps you to understand how the structure, function and composition of a network tie around an individual.
It is interesting to know that most people often disclose their emotions and feelings via social media. So, social media disclosure and depression can be strategically recognised. Apart from the above mentioned, depression screening tests are clinically done to diagnose depression.
It is undeniable that social media has revolutionized human interaction. Life on social media might be ‘cool’ and ‘trendy’, but it is not a yardstick to assess your worth. Social media and depression are a serious matter of concern. If you experience social isolation and depressing thoughts, never hesitate to share it with your closest people. Make sure you monitor your social media usage as well. Your life is precious and let it sprout happiness.