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Social Media Depression

How long has it been since you last checked a social media platform? 10 minutes? An hour? Three hours?

Chances are, it has not been very long. Since 2007, there has been a substantial increase in the number of people using social media, and these numbers are only expected to rise.

Researchers found that users spend an average of 35 minutes a day on social connecting mediums, 25 minutes on picture sharing platforms, and at least one minute on news & connecting mediums. If we spend so much time on social media, it begs the question of, “Does social media make us happy?”

Psychologists note that spending just one hour a day on social media networks can reduce your overall life satisfaction by 14 percent (McDool et al, 2016). Hence, if you feel anxious or unhappy after using it, there are a few reasons as to why this is possible.

Here are a few reasons why social media can be making you unhappy:

Social Comparison Theory

According to a study in the UK, it was found that students who spent more time on Facebook were more likely to think that other people were happier and had better lives than their own (Chow and Edge, 2012). This happens because of social comparison. The more you use social media, the more likely you are, to compare yourself to other people. Furthermore, because people tend to portray themselves in an idealized form, people tend to focus on negative comparisons over positive ones.

A lack of finite sources

Researchers have found links between Facebook use and negative mood post usage (Sagioglu and Greitemeyer, 2014). Increasing time on social media, reduces the amount of time spent on other activities that might otherwise, be helpful in enhancing your mental well-being. Being outdoors and engaging in activities such as face-to-face socializing, playing a sport, exercising or relaxing, can elevate your immediate mood, and overall mental well-being. On the other hand, using that time on social media, you are cutting out sources of wellbeing. One of the ill effects of social media use is the lack of sleep.

Cyber bullying

Lastly, the more time you spend on social media, the more likely you are to be a target of cyber bullying. This is particularly true of young adults and adolescents. Being a victim of cyber bullying can directly impact your emotional and social wellbeing, sense of self, and self-esteem.

If you feel like your time online is making you feel unhappy or anxious, seek help immediately. Contact our partner helplines for free phone counseling.

iCALL: 022-25521111

Monday to Saturday (08.00 am to 10.00 pm) | icall@tiss.edu

Sneha: 044-24640050 (24 hours) | 044-24640060

from 8 a.m to 10 p.m) |help@snehaindia.org

Parivarthan: 080- 65333323

Monday to Saturday (04.00 pm to 10.00 pm) | parivarthanblr@gmail.com

Aasra: 022-27546669

(24 hours) |aasrahelpline@yahoo.com

Sahai: 080 – 25497777; 080 – 25497777

Monday to Saturday (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.) | sahaihelpline@gmail.com

Lifeline: 033-24637401 | 033-24637432

(10 am to 6 pm)|lifelinekolkata@gmail.com

Sumaitri: 011-23389090

(2pm to 10pm) Monday to Friday; Saturday and
Sunday. (10am to 10pm)| feelingsuicidal@sumaitri.net

COOJ: 0832-2252525

(3 pm to 7 pm) | Monday to Saturday|coojtrust@yahoo.co.in

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The Live Love Laugh Foundation ("TLLLF") is not in the business of providing counselling services and does not own, operate or control the helpline numbers listed on the website. The helpline numbers are listed for referral purposes only, and TLLLF does not make any recommendations or guarantees regarding the quality of response and medical advice you might receive from any of the helplines. TLLLF does not endorse these helplines and makes no representations, warranties or guarantees as to, and assumes no responsibility for, the services provided by these entities. TLLLF disclaims all liability for damages of any kind arising out of calls made to these helpline numbers.