Is Social Media Use Leading To Depression?

in life •  2 months ago 

We live in a world where we seek instant gratification all the time. Apps like Facebook, Instagram and more recently TikTok help everyone accomplish just that. It gets addictive to a point that social media addiction has become a real issue worth debating.

But there is no easy way to cut out social media from our lives. I recall a few friends asking me my whereabouts a couple of months ago when I decreased my social media activity. I was busy with some aspects of my life and not posting as frequently. They thought maybe I was unwell or something because I wasn't active on social media.

Social media is opt-in for everyone but has become borderline necessary for survival for those who depend on it not just for their income but mostly for social recognition, fame and popularity.

Platforms like FB and Instagram have several uses but they are also known to cause depression, loneliness, anxiety amongst other issues.

I came across this video on social media about an instagrammer with 113K followers who's account was deleted after users reported it. I'm not sure why it was reported but there's more info here if you are interested about the particular details.

Internet trolling is a real thing. People troll each other at every conceivable platform they can, including Steem. In case of this Insta user the biggest loss is perhaps the follower base that helped boost her self image? I don't have a crazy following anywhere and i'm not dependant on a massive following for anything in life so maybe it's hard to relate directly with the person.

But, it does come across a little stupid to me. Are IG or TikTok users with thousands of users or millions in some cases, celebrities? I guess this is subjective. People who have these numbers might take offence to the ridicule and while those that don't have this following may feel envious about those who do.

What's crazier is that I've been testing TikTok last couple of days and understanding why people are so gaga over it. Here's a Google playstore review from a kid using TikTok. I'm baffled to say the least. Do kids really need to be on any social media let alone TikTok?

WhatsApp Image 2019-04-07 at 12.10.59 AM.jpeg

As someone born in the late 80s, computers and all the current technology made way into my life in a progressive manner. It wasn't something I was thrown into as a child. But for the current generation of kids even as young as 5 years old, they are exposed to everything. All they need is a parent that is careless enough to give them a device with unlimited access.

This is a topic that can be debated endlessly. But I think in the next 5-10 years we'll see many users reeling under the pressures of being a celebrity or from not being successful in their so called "IG, TikTok careers."

But for teenagers and even for adults the issues caused by social media usage is real and it's high time we accept that an overuse of social media is unhealthy for us.

What is your view on this? Have you or someone you know encountered this issue?


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I was born in the mid 90s, isaw the rise of social media and it's effect on the world.

Social media induced Depression is a real thing and like you rightfully said, it Steem from the fact that we get instat gratification.

When someone compliments you, you feel good, you want more.

It's crazy and amazing at the same time.

It takes away the work of going out and looking for real friends.

It also seems from the fact that many many people suffer from low self esteem and require validation from individuals to feel good about themselves.

You see that follower/following counter? It's perhaps one of the biggest part of the whole game, that's why it's not hidden in any social media platform. The more followers in regard to following you have, the more popular and amazing you must be!

I agree that kids should not be allowed into social media platforms until they have learnt proper social norms and cues to be able to survive in the real world.

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I couldn't agree with you more! It is a drug for the youth, a very addictive one with no positive outcomes (with the way it is all going).

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Hmm, there are some positive sides tho. If you're a business owner, using social media to it's fullest could very well mean the growth or death of your business.

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Very true! I just focused on the negative side in terms of the ego surrounding Instagram. It’s great to keep in contact with people, to share what you’ve been doing with friends, having pictures with friends etc, and whatever an individual may want to use it for :) like you said, it’s awsome for businesses! :)

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Great points and I agree with all of them.

Are you being influenced by Social Media? Are you allowing yourself to be affected by what you see or how people are responding to your activity on social media? Those are the questions you have to ask.

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Yes! Those are indeed very objective but hard to answer for those who are sucked in by this world.

Depression due to social media is real.
When i was sick and almost not on track in my life. Whenever i would browse through instagram or facebook, all i would end up feeling is "I am not enough", I am no one.
I realised the negative impact of social media on my being that day and after that i decided to not give it a shit even when i come out of my sickness.

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I'm glad you are feeling better now. :)

I dont this is limited to social media alone, but ALL aspects of online engagement.The interwebs can be a really dark place at times and I dont think that everyone is actually emotionally or mentally geared to handle the things and people which they encounter.... such as trolls, negative media etc.

Yes it has its plusses too but I think for the most part, and especially for young kids, tweens and teens... it can have exceptionally detrimental effects. And not only the visuals and/or individuals that cross their paths but just the impact it has on their brains. I have noticed this even with my 9 yr old son. Too much tech time and his personality literally changes! He is moody, short tempered etc. And his sleep patterns become really distrupted. So he is only allowed tech time on weekends now and he is a LOT happier for it.

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I'm glad you observed this and made changes. It's real and I've seen similar things happen with a few of my friends children and distant cousins who have been introduced to technology when they were even younger. Sadly some of their parents aren't bothered about it. They are barely social and remain glued into their devices instead of making any communication whatsoever. :(

This depends on personal attachment and psychology.

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perhaps it does.

Yes it can but I dont think that inherently leads to depression. Though i would argue it is very easy to interact with social media in a way that does lead to depression.

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Social media becomes a trend to the society that makes it more likely becoming a chain difficult to be broken. It has been tied to our everyday lives.

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True that!

Several years ago, Facebook admitted to conducting a social experiement on a select group of users, in which they forced more negative content into those users' feeds to see if it caused depression or negative feelings. They used the tone/content of the selected group's comments and posts as a gauge to determine the results. I thought it was appalling.

Notwithstanding that, Facebook bombards users every day with fake news, non-targeted advertising, "suggestions" about other users they "might know," pages they "might like," and so forth, ad nauseum. I stopped using their site years ago and don't miss it, and feel immensely better for it on mental and emotional levels. The same with Instagram (which is really just an extension of Facebook, owned by them).

It isn't just social media that is triggering depression. I have also virtually boycotted "news" as well, both on television as well as online, and feel better for that, too. Mainstream religion falls into that same category, too, in my opinion, as do other things. We need to be more true to ourselves if we wish to reclaim our shreds of sanity.

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Great points and I concur. It's hard to escape the world of social media and i've seen cases of people being there just to drive away the loneliness in their real lives. People let go easily on social media and fall into the trap of instant gratification from likes and hearts on social media.

I was instgram user 2 years ago. But I will say something tragedic now. While I was seeing my friends pictures or people I followed, I felt a depression.. The reason was wow they go to there they do that. They have so and so follwers why I dont have.. I was like they are so happy and active and popular why I am not.. Than it took my 2 years to start using Instagram again. I said no matter what people do or go or how many followers they have, this is me. Why I compare myself with others. Now I don't care this. But yeah social media has a big effect on people.

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I'm glad you have a new outlook on life. We've all been there and felt that seeing strangers only enjoying their lives. But accepting that we live different lives with our own challenges and successes can be difficult sometimes.

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the need for belonging is leading to changing who you are or obtaining psychological issues of even both. those psychological issues are never solved because it's hard to accept that you actually has it, some of which are loneliness that will end up in depression and worst.

The social media is just a way to feel that "you belong somewhere", that you have friends and acceptance from the society + the more you use the more dopamine comes into play. dopamine makes you feel happy and can be found in gambling too. As you can imagine it provides you the addiction you never had and you end up as a social media junkie. After that welcome to the club of depression!

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True that! But people rarely think about long term implications eh?

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that's true and that's something everyone needs to understand as soon as possible

Gaining followers on social media is a addiction among teenagers especially generation Y (After born 1990), there should be limit on social media usage as an individual responsibility.

some of the major disadvantage of social media is Doxing, loneliness,and trolling. Social media has became symbol of social status, people are jealous with each other on social media even though on Steem as well. there are many cases seen on Steem that people flag high earning post on Steem. When people share something personal over social media they get many likes but dark side is most of who liked content feel jealous, it is an human behavior which we can not avoid.

We have to understand that Social Media website are designed in such a way that people engage more and more..It i say it is an addiction that would not be wrong.People post most happiest pic on Facebook are most loneliest person in theri life, there have been many cases that people have thousand of follower committed suicide.

What we can do as an Individual Responsibility-:

  1. Do not be expert on Social Media. Never express your opinion on sensitive issue. otherwise you may be victim of Doxing and Trolling.
  2. If you earn your bread and butter through social media, then work on alternate plan of earning source, because you may not know when you will be get mass reported and you lost everything, As good video share in this post.
  3. Stop sharing personal thing on social media, be happy with your self. If you want to share something Good do not share on social media call and talk to your loved one.
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You make some great points and I couldn't agree more. Human behaviour is complex and we aren't taught from a young age how to handle social media attention in our lives which makes it difficult to deal with the problems as they occur when we get addicted to it.

I think there is a correlation between social media and anxiety and depression, maybe an abuse of them not just a use, social media mostly give us an incorrect and fake image of what we must be, many photos of super cool, slim and sexy girls on Instagram, people who travel, smile, dinners in fancy restaurants, many people show a golden life, a fantastic life and people who have not these kind of life can feel less worthing or not enough successfull or something similar it can leads to alow self esteem and unrealistic expectations on how we must look, live, work etc...

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All great points there and I agree with all of them. Sadly though some people consider these to be real values worth chasing after in their life and ultimately feel disappointed and dejected with themselves for setting an unrealistic bar and not accomplishing it.

Where is there money to be made, happiness or depression?

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None sadly but who can make the social media addicts understand this? Perhaps all they need and crave for is attention and fame?

I give up Facebook by not using my smartphone anymore and spending time on social activities, you can do charity work or play a very active sport. It was a great way I did to avoid Facebook.

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That's a good idea!

Social media isn't just causing depression, it is molding society into a ego driven false natured society (for the most part). The youth are ALL obsessed with their accounts, and if not their own accounts, then false idols and people posting pictures and videos to make it all look like they have 'made it' or living the 'dream' like of money and glamour. But, I believe the youth need new idols and to look inside of themselves as individuals, before its too late! I hope we all make it out of this phase

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Perhaps it would also help to be taught how to deal with the effects of social media at a young age.

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Very true! Education in a proper way can solve so many issues