The Social Media Depression Epidemic...

The topic of this rant has been coming up more and more lately in different discussions I have had with friends: The Blessing/Curse of Facebook, Instagram and social media in general. 

I love social media for so very many reasons. I actually vividly remember starting my Facebook account way back in 2005 when it still required a ".edu" email address. I certainly didn't have a clue how much it would eventually permeate my life and society in general. I love it, I really do. I love it because I can keep up or reconnect with friends from a lifetime ago. The fact that I am friends with and actively talk to a group from my ballet class at age 12 amazes to me. It is hilarious when you run into someone you haven't actually seen physically in years yet you know every major life event and where they went to lunch last week. As you all are very well aware, I put my whole life out there on this blog, and when old friends who have never even met my kids before feel like they know them... its just a funny phenomenon. Sharing pictures with relatives across the country. Wishing old friends happy birthday and feeling the love on your own birthday. Finding out exciting news like engagements, pregnancies, new jobs. Reading interesting articles people post... all of these things are part of the positives and blessing that is Facebook. 

Now the curse... 

Everyone has annoyingness in their feed. I'm sure I am someone's source of annoyance in their feed. I have categorized these people according to their posting tendencies: 

The Negative Nancy's-- Seriously there must be nothing positive in their life. Ever. Like, for real, ever.  

The Vague Vera's-- Random statements posted with no explanation. There are inevitably those who comment on these asking what is wrong.

The Rainbows and Butterflies Betty's-- Which is where one of my favorite e-cards comes into play 

The Foodie Fred's-- Pics of every meal with the perfect fork and knife placement. You make me hungry.

The Active Allen's-- I am so happy you just ran 10 miles but I am sitting on the couch watching Real Housewives with a bag of Dove chocolates. 

I know I have been all of these people on any given day (well, not so much the Vague Vera. I tend to overshare). Instead of getting worked up or wasting energy on these people, I have just started to hide them. No need for the awkward defriend (because you will inevitably, randomly run into them shortly after). Just hide them and you will never have to deal with it again. 

What it all comes down to is comparing our actual, real lives with teeny snapshots of others. It is like having your own reality show with full control of editing so you never appear in a way other than how you want. People typically put either the best or the worst out there. There is no in between. A picture, post or status needs to be "news-worthy." It needs to get likes, comments, retweets, etc to be validated. Since when did someone you knew 15 years ago liking your random, witty status or funny picture mean anything? Since Facebook, that's when. 

I love Facebook for what it is, but I also hate it for what it is. I hate that it makes people feel terrible about themselves and the place they are at in their lives. 

You are desperately trying to have a baby and every nanosecond there is someone's sonogram picture or newborn baby popping up.

You just broke up with your significant other and have no prospects, and wedding pictures (that you weren't even invited to) are taking over your feed. 

You are having a hard time losing weight and skinny-mini's in bikini's are smacking you in the face. 

You can't afford a weekend beach trip and pictures of tropical paradises are everywhere. 

I could go on and on. 

I have no wise statement to end this rant on. I'm just putting my frustrations out there. In most times, people aren't being malicious in their posts. It is unfortunate that it is so easy to compare what you think is crappy about your life with what seems fabulous about someone else's. Next time you are tempted to feel bad about yourself... remember this is an epidemic. And don't get sucked in. 

Happy Thursday! 

1 comment:

  1. Well said. I tend to share the happier things both in social media and on my blog, because I feel as if people read for a pick me up, and I hate being the Debbie Downer. Every once in awhile though, it's good to put the sad stuff out there, so at least people know you are REAL. Everyone has the ups and the downs, they just don't always show all sides of themselves on social media. Thanks for keeping it real on your blog and elsewhere.