“I felt bad when I saw my ex-girlfriend’s marriage photo on FB.”
“I am upset to see my friends’ pictures on FB enjoying weekend on the beach. I feel isolated for not being invited to join them.”
“I feel incomplete when I see my school friends upload selfies with their babies on FB, while I cannot do it for some reason.”
And the list goes on. These are some common worries my clients use to struggle through. And I often hear them saying so, raising one big question in my mind.
Does a social site like FB really cause depression, jealousy, sadness or low self-esteem?
A study in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology finds Facebook and Depressive Symptoms go side by side, and the main reason behind this is Social Comparison. Researchers found that heavy Facebook use results in feelings of envy in individual, which in turn could lead to depression.
FB came to our life with a hope of re-connecting with old friends and as a platform for making new friends. And it has been doing its job perfectly for all these years giving pleasure and happiness to those who want to stay connect with their friends and pals. FB is fun for those who are using it as a platform to share experience and gain knowledge. However, it can lead to a series of depression and sadness for those who are using FB too much (heavy users of FB) and compare their lives to the ‘happy and life-enjoying’ posts of their friends. It creates a feeling of depression for those who start envying the fact that their friends are having fun in life and somehow their friends are better than them.
A little bit of change in the thought process and attitude can make a huge difference for those who think they are having less fun than their friends.
FB User: FB keeps me depressed. Should I block or delete my account?
Answer: Do you think it will be an ideal solution. Avoiding the problem will never get you any solution. Of course, you can cut down your FB time and modified your attitude with the situation. Learn to tackle the problem.
FB User: My best friend announced his new job. I am feeling jealous. Why not me.? Am I worthless?
Answer: You are pursuing higher studies. And someday you will end up with your dream job. Cherish about your own accomplishment. Remember, comparison is no less than an addicting. Avoid it.
FB User: My colleague updated his status — Enjoying vacation in paris. I felt disappointed. He made it. I didn’t.
Answer: That colleague who went to vacation might have marital issues or suffer from health troubles or might have other problems in life. Facebook posts never show the full story and you also agree to the fact that majority of Facebook users post only good things going on in their life.
FB User: I feel anxious when my friends do not like my pics or do not comment on my post. Random thoughts comes to my mind — like, may be they do not like me or they are ignoring me for some reason.
Answer: Stop reading minds as it generates negative thoughts. Instead, consider all other possible reasons for the action — like they might not have seen your pics or were too busy in their work to comment.
In any addictions, half the battle is won just by recognizing that you have a problem. The other half is about beating it. Beat social media addiction by changing your lifestyle and way of thinking.