When you open Facebook, what do you see? Someone is getting married, getting promoted, traveling the world, or partying with their ‘bae’, and you are sitting at your job, doing the same work that you were doing last week. Feel blue? However, for some people, it can lead to sadness and even depression. Social media is used to connect with people, getting touch with long-lost friends, and help bring the world closer. However, there hides a dark side of it. According to researchers, the feeling of left out–caused due to excessive use of social media–can throw you into the dark pit of depression. Ironically, the use of social media is now turning people anti-social.
Social media has radically changed the way of communication. Moreover, it has made easy to socialize and make friends especially for introvert and shy teenagers. Even though the digital world made lives easier for some, there are several horrifying detriments to mental health. Today’s generation is more focused on making virtual friends than enjoying each other’s company and forgetting the traditional chit-chats. As a result, they get lost in the world of unrealistic comparisons, fake friendships, and relationships, and cyberbullying. Research shows that from 2005 to 2014, the number of teens with depressive symptoms increased from around 8 percent to 11 percent. This statistic made to ask how much social media and other platforms affect our lives and is there a real connection between social media and clinical depression?
It is obvious that once in a while, shared texts, posts and tweets will get a negative or harsh feedback as people or so-called “haters” get braver hiding behind their keyboards. Moreover, short texts, delayed replies, and even sharing the wrong emoji, reduces the affection toward the loved-ones, and create misunderstandings. There is no use of rapid digital technology if humans need time to process all the emotions. A recent study proved that couples feel less affectionate if they are spending too much time on social media instead of face-to-face conversion. U.K.’s Royal Society for Public Health surveyed roughly 1,500 youngsters, between the age of 14 to 24, to understand the ill-effects of social media and connection of social media with anxiety, depression, and self-esteem. The research proved that YouTube has a most positive impact on teenagers, but other platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat had negative effects on mental health. If social media has such adverse effects on mental health, will the problem get solved by just deleting those accounts?
According to psychiatrists, avoidance is not the solution in dealing with depression. Though people use these accounts to seek friendship, they even ask for help through it. The best way to fight with the side-effects of social media is by understanding why people use social media and supporting them if they show drastic and unexplainable emotional changes. Parents play a significant role in helping children cope with the negative sides of social media. When parents share their experiences of misuse of social media with their children, it can reignite their bond, and they will feel more comfortable talking about their encounters. The best weapon against depression is an emotional connection. Thus, if parents just talk face-to-face and be present for their children, the monster of depression can be defeated.