Each time you login on Facebook, some body in your friendlist is either getting engaged or married.Or you enviously and helplessly hit ‘Like’ on their pictures of their recent Ladakh/ Goa holiday. Theodore Roosevelt once quoted that, “ Comparison is the thief of joy”. Well, those words are resonating once again. According to a study on the effect of social networking in our lives, comparisons on Facebook and other social media have a negative impact on one’s mental health with some people experiencing symptoms of depression.
The study conducted by UK’s Lancaster University reviewed findings of 35,000 participants from 14 countries between the ages of 15 to 88 years to understand the impact of social media sites on mental health. It showed that comparing ourselves on social network platforms may have a negative impact. The researchers also found that social network platforms comparison may vary in terms of gender and age.
In cases of significant depression, comparing with other’s life on social media sites like Facebook may lead to a phase called ‘rumination’. It varies with the time, frequency and quality of social networking. The risk of showing depressive states increases when people observe others, accept ex’s friendship requests and put negative status updates on their profiles. Women Facebook users were found to be at a higher risk than men, the review noted.
Finding the exact cause of depression on Facebook is difficult, though putting up a status update with negative feelings may increase one’s risk.
Technology is rapidly reinventing itself. As new social networking platforms pop up, the good and bad things about social networking sites and its impact on mental health need to be continuously reviewed.
It is true a picture is worth a thousand words. However, with photoshop it can be worth a million lies. Never compare somebody else’s airbrushed lives to yours, who knows they too may have compared it to someone else to make them feel a bit cooler. Just a bit.
The next time you log on Facebook, instead of ‘Liking’ others’ pictures, learn to resist the urge. Do something else. Read a book. Paint. Listen to music. Pack your bags and leave for an impromptu trip with your friends. In short, live a little. Life is much more than a status update.
If you need to speak about your issues to a psychologist, you can find one here on Visitapp.
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