We have another awesome guest post for today! This one is written by Rana Mohamed from Bedisland.com, a blog that helps you to sleep easier at night. As a single lady in her 20s, she brings an interesting perspective on the power social media can have on our minds.
Does Social Media Cause Depression?
It’s 2019 and every little thing in our lives is literally posted online. If you are not posting about something, then people automatically assume that it is not happening. If you are not posting about your friends then you are lonely. If you are not posting about your relationship then you must be going to break up soon. If you are not posting about your pet then what the heck proves that you have one?!
I am a 25 year old woman and as much as I hate to admit it, my phone is the closest thing I have to a best friend. My phone is the first thing I check in the morning and the last thing I check before going to sleep. If I am in an awkward situation I turn to my phone to save me.
If I am having a bad day I turn to social media and it gives me a false feeling that I am surrounded by my loved ones. I say false feeling because it really is. In reality I am all alone in my bad day but that is what social media is best at, creating parallel realities .
If I am bored or feeling dull for whatever reason I turn to my phone to chat with a close friend and if no one is available I turn to my phone to play a random game. Our phones are completely dominating our lives. I can’t go for an hour without checking it.
Physical interactions are becoming less and less each and every day. All this definitely has an impact on the population’s mental health and that is why things like anxiety and depression are excessively spreading in our generation.
My Story (The Rise Of Addiction)
I get back home every day from my 9-5 job that I tolerate. I can’t say I hate it, but I also don’t love it either. I start scrolling down my social media feeds for hours and hours, especially INSTAGRAM. I used to call Instagram my happy place, my window to other cultures and other worlds until I started noticing the negative impact the platform had on me.
“An image is worth a thousand words.” This is the whole idea of Instagram. The impact of an image is huge. As much as I refused to believe that it would affect me, I have to admit that it did. I feel that I have a bad life every time I am on Instagram. I am single but I feel like I need to have 5 kids of my own and a husband. I feel like I am in some kind of a race that everyone is winning and I am somehow losing.
As long as I don’t have content to post on my stories or a photo to post on my feed I feel that my life is not worthy. So I started a new thing. Every once in a while I try to film the process of me making my morning coffee and I film myself singing in the car on my way to work. I can’t film anything at work of course but if I am going out for dinner I make sure to take a picture of my meal before I lay a finger on it.
I make sure to post pictures on my feed of me and my friends that shows how happy and how amazing I exactly felt. I wanted everyone to know that I have a perfect life and that I am happy. I went to every new place in town. I went out with the popular girls. I started posting more and more and I was actually happy, I felt trendy and relevant.
However, my happiness only lasted for a short period of time, as I realized that I wanted MORE, more of what life has to offer and more of what I can afford. I lost myself in this toxic “insta world.”
Recently, a famous influencer proposed to his girlfriend. He posted everything about it online and I felt extremely happy for them. I mean I love them, but at the same time I wanted the same thing if not better to happen to me. The only problem is that I don’t have a boyfriend! So I felt non-worthy.
A personal friend of mine started posting photos from her holiday in Europe, a holiday that I can by no means afford. I saw her photos in the morning before going to work and I spent the whole day feeling like I was supposed to be on a holiday in Europe not wasting the young years of my life in a company that will replace me as soon as I am no longer useful for them. I felt the same feeling every time she posted a new photo. I only felt relieved when she got back home.
Social Media and Depression
I spent a while in this Instagram hole, my mood was dependent on whether or not my life looks good online, on whether or not I have a new thing to post about. Am I relevant?! Am I popular?! Are people still interested in my life?! Am I getting enough likes and views?! These were the questions I frequently asked myself.
I remember being depressed all the time, sad, and pressured to do better. I was not trying to do better for myself, I was trying to do better so that other people would like me more.
One day a friend of mine broke her engagement. I felt sad for her of course but mostly I felt relieved that the life of other people is not perfect, just like the life of mine isn’t.
I wondered if I am a bad person. I was disappointed in myself for feeling this way towards a person who has done me no wrong.
What I realize now that I didn’t realize then is that no, I am not a bad person. it is just the human nature, something out of anybody’s control. Oversharing on Instagram is a dangerous thing. It will affect you no matter how strong and confident you think you are.
Moral Of The Story
Social media doesn’t show the whole truth. Life is a series of unexpected ups and downs and nobody shares the downside of things. If you are in a good time in your life, enjoy it as much as you can while it lasts and just be mentally prepared for the surprises that life may be preparing for you.
If you are having some hard times just hang in there. It is not the end of the world – at least not yet. This is not going to last forever and in the end everything will be okay. And if it’s not okay, it’s not the end .
To sum up, if you are currently struggling like I did you gotta do something about it. The first and the best thing to do is to limit the time you spend on social media every day. If you can’t control yourself just delete the app off your phone, get back to the hobbies you used to have before social media dominated our lives. Try reading a book or two. I hear it’s a lot of fun!
Does Social Media Cause Depression?
YESSS, I truly believe from a personal experience that social media – specifically Instagram – can cause a feeling of loneliness and sadness which will eventually turn into some form of depression if you don’t do something about it, so dear friend, “DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.”
Rana, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us today. I completely agree that social media can have a very negative impact on our health. In fact, I even mentioned it as one of the ways depression stole my smile from me.
If you would like to know more about Rana, be sure to check her out at her blog as well as following her on Pinterest. Speaking of Pinterest, be sure to pin this article to keep it for reference later or to share with your friends.