Sunday, July 14, 2024

FYI:Don’t let your addiction turn into depression

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No surprise, most of us spend nearly a third of our day on social media, whether for entertainment or professional purposes. But do we consider how our time spent on social media affects us not only physically but also mentally? A new term that’s trending in regards to this is “Facebook depression”. To understand more about this, The Pioneer’s Tejal Sinha connects with health experts, who explain it to us in detail.

With the increase in technological development, our lives have become much more comfortable and manageable. In fact, for children and youth, technology has brought the world to their fingertips.The gaming industry and the social media world have seen a boom over the past few years.

However, on the other side, video games and social media have replaced the fun and joy of outdoor activities for millions of youngsters. It’s not uncommon to see a tween glued to their screens. Several studies have earlier claimed that excessive use of social media has resulted in several mental issues, including anxiety and depression.

Meanwhile, a recent Malaysian study discovered that excessive Facebook use is detrimental to depressed users, worsening their current and future depression severity. The findings, published in “Computers in Human Behavior”, further suggest that overuse of Facebook can lower a person’s sense of self-worth.

The findings are in line with past research suggesting that overuse of Facebook can have a detrimental effect on individuals undergoing medical help to overcome depression and related mental health issues.

Findings from studies like this have given rise to the term “Facebook depression,” which defines depression resulting from the prolonged use of Facebook.Recently, media reports were flooded with warnings about “Facebook depression” in children and teens. According to the AAP report, Facebook depression may result if, for example, young users see status updates, wall posts, and photos that make them feel unpopular.

Social media sites may have a greater psychosocial impact on kids with low self-esteem or who are already otherwise troubled. The report recommended that paediatricians help families better understand the potential harms of social networking sites and encourage parents to monitor Internet usage and talk to their kids about cyberbullying, sexting, and exposure to social media content that could negatively affect mental health.

“If an adolescent is experiencing feelings of depression and seeks out media to match those feelings of depression, then yes, Facebook and other social media can contribute to feelings of depression. Facebook and other social media may contribute to depression in three ways: by bullying, comparing others, and influencing self-worth.

For example, bullying can occur when “friends” post mean or derogatory statements about others or upload unflattering photos and make negative comments about them. Facebook friend lists or followers on other social media platforms and status postings can have a detrimental effect when children or teens begin comparing themselves with others on Facebook and find themselves lacking. Thought processes, such as “They have x number of friends and I don’t” or “They have the relationship status I want or the life I want,” can lead to low self-esteem,” explained Dr. Sparsh Rao, a clinical psychologist.

Concerning self-worth, Dr. Sparsh said, “The child or teen may think, ‘What if I post something and nobody responds to it or clicks the “Like” button on it?’ Consequently, it is easy for them to become depressed when they are getting their sense of self-worth from the approval of others on social networking sites.”

Meanwhile, on the other side, Dr. Kalpana Sringar, a mental health professional, in simple terms defines “Facebook depression” as: “What the person sees on Facebook or social media that makes them feel depressed. On a regular basis, we see a lot of posts. Your friends may share a post about health, someone posting about the death of a loved one, or any other type of issue to which you may feel connected. It is dependent on what causes one person to feel depressed. Some people might get depressed for no reason at all or for small things. We see many such people on a regular basis.

On the other side, people might even get depressed because they might not be getting as many likes as they might be expecting. In fact, their friend might be getting more likes and followers, and one might start getting depressed because of it. Their virtual identity becomes much more important. In some cases, people might even get depressed because people are not appreciating their profile picture, and then they keep changing it. It all depends on what effects or makes a person depressed on social media.”

There are particular types of social networking behaviours that make it more likely for individuals to develop Facebook depression. These include:

.Obsessing over “virtual identity” and how it is perceived by others.
.Envy is activated by observing other people’s lives.
.Accepting invites from former partners to become Facebook friends.
.Frequently posting status updates and interacting excessively.
.They are comparing themselves negatively to others.

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