Is social media making us depressed?

The average South African spends 2h45 on social media a day, this according  to the 2016 We Are Social report. That’s a big chunk of our day, but have you ever wondered what impact this has on our psyche? We take a look and ask, is social media making us depressed?

Why I deleted the Facebook app from my phone

I need to be on social media, and especially Facebook because of the work I do. I have the Pages app on my phone so that I can check any of the brand pages when I’m out and about. The regular Facebook app is just for me.

Image result for sad emojiAt first I would hardly ever check it, then it became more frequent. I wasn’t even going to profiles to see what so and so said, but rather to see what was in my newsfeed. And every time someone had an update, I’d get a feeling of inadequacy. Why?

Because Jane was overseas again, Lebo just got promoted, and so on. And even though I know that social media is usually a highlights reel, it seemed as though everyone had a lot more to highlight than I did.

While planning our annual December holiday, I remembered that last year I just left my phone off for a week and felt amazing. So I deleted the Facebook app right then and there.

There could be a link between social media and depression

A 2015 study, which you can read about here, found that:

There were significant and linear associations between social media usage and depression whether social media was measured based on total time spent or frequency of visits.

Why would heavy social media usage cause depression? The exposure to highly idealized representations of peers on social media elicits feelings of envy and the distorted belief that others lead happier, more successful lives.

SEE ALSO: How many times do you check your phone a day? This app will tell you.  

It’s been 6 days and I’m feeling better about things. The only drawback is that when I want to sign up for things that require Facebook logins, I have to manually add it in. But that’s okay ?

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Author’s Note: I am by no means demonising social media. There are many benefits of social media, it forms part of our daily lives and keeps us connected. 

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