The year 2004 saw the creation of the world’s most popular social media network, even if it was only available to Harvard students at the time. Only one man, at the time, knew just how popular it could (would) become, and up until that point we had to contend with the likes of Myspace and Neopets. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have changed our lives in more ways that you probably realize.
Let’s be perfectly honest, when you say you’re going to ‘get online’, do you surf the web, or do you head straight to Facebook? Furthermore, do you e-mail your friends and family, or do you just open up the Facebook messenger and have a conversation? Facebook has put our social lives at our fingertips and we can have meaningful conversations without ever leaving the house! It’s definitely a timesaver, and we can argue the antisocial aspect of it all we want another day, because we have a bigger problem to tackle right now. We’re talking about the depression that can easily be linked to social media and it’s becoming a huge issue.
Why Are So Many People Depressed on Social Media?
I want to start by saying I’ve fallen into this trap myself. I have this friend on Facebook who I grew up with, went to the same school with, and had some of the same experiences with, who now has a life that is vastly different from mine. That in itself really isn’t unexpected, but her life seems so much more exciting. She’s always taking pictures of exotic locations, always on a trip, always friends, always, always, always, ALWAYS having fun.
I mean how can she have such an exciting life and so much time to travel around the world while I work nearly every waking hour of the day and have no time for a social life? I can’t say I’m horribly depressed over it, I do what I have to do in my own life, but still. I can definitely see why other people are depressed and feel the competition when they view their friend’s feeds and see pictures of The Bahamas, Puerto Rico, or cruise ship decks on some faraway sea. Don’t worry though, sometimes it’s all just smoke and mirrors.
Why It’s All a Ruse
So why is it all smoke and mirrors exactly? If they’re posting the pictures, it must be happening, right? Well, in a sense, yes, but think about your own life. You have a job, you have obligations, and it would almost be ludicrous to think that they don’t have the same. Something to consider, heavily, is how often these people are actually posting pictures. The vast majority of people really don’t post every day, so when they do, they tend to post something significant. If they keep posting their vacation pictures, then yes, it’s going to look like they live the life of 007. No one is going to post a picture of themselves at work, or cleaning the bathroom, or making dinner (with a few exceptions, and when they do, you might start asking yourself why they seem to cook better than you); people just don’t post boring pictures or pictures of their failures.
I once saw a great meme floating around the internet that said: “May your life be as good as you pretend it is on Facebook”, which rang true in many ways. I’m not saying that everyone is lying, I’m just saying that your friends aren’t living out their entire lives on a catamaran off the coast of Miami, no matter how well they sell it in their photo album.
So what more can I say? Live your life in the way you see fit, take it easy, take it slow, and save up for your own vacation. Your day is coming, and you can post all about it on Facebook!
Photo Credit Tatiana Niño via Unsplash
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