Depression is real. Every year, about 1 out of 15 people suffer from major depression in the WHO European Region. If anxiety and all forms of depression are included, nearly 4 out of 15 people are affected. Apart from genetic and other psychological reasons, one of the major causes of depression is now social media. Yes, our beloved social media without which we cannot spend an hour, leave alone a day.
Our constant desire to be liked by other people is not new. We formed civilisations and societies because of this desire to mingle and become likeable for the other people around. That was healthy indeed. But what we have today is social media instead which introduces us to new people and wants us to befriend them.
Facebook is one such social media platform which gets us hooked up to our smartphones, scrolling through news feed and looking at memes all day long. You ‘like’ stuff and ‘comment’ on posts. Suddenly, one of your nicely intended comments gets a rude reply. You reply back clearing the misunderstanding but then a third person comments against you. The quarrel goes on to the point that strangers start abusing you and you do the same in return. Finally, you shutdown your phone to get rid of it all. But wait, how come is it still on your mind? Why is this tiny thing giving you sleepless nights?
A full array of emotions running through your body and mind can cause high level of anxiety within you to the point that you feel extremely low and sad about your being. All these things quietly accumulate within you and that is what leads to depression. The internet is full of stats showing the average number of people sitting online at a moment, the number of people who face social anxiety due to social media and the number of people who have social media depression but what they will not tell you is how to avoid this kind of depression from happening to you.
The whole system boils down to clicks and money in the end. What do you get in return? Endless mood swings, anxiety, psychological disorders and most importantly, depression. Twitter can make you a star in just 140 characters. And the latest urge to read good stuff about yourself from strangers via Sarahah is slowly bringing out one of the greatest weaknesses of humankind, the irrational want to be appreciated and acknowledged, and creeping into your mental faculty thereby pushing you towards one psychological disorder or another.
So what do you do? The only option that you have access to is to shun it out. Avoid using social media as a way to fight your anxiety ‘cause it is what is causing that anxiety to surge within you. It is a virtual space, yes, but it can still cause real emotions to go up and down as and when it likes. Go out, meet people for real, get to know them for real, have real conversations, like their thoughts, not by clicking on the thumbsup but by actually telling them how you feel about them. Go back to the era when sanity was not sacrificed to technology. Old times are good.