Social Media

Social Media IconsI have a love/hate relationship with social media. It’s become the easiest place to keep up with the hustle and bustle of everyone’s lives- I can see the latest pictures of my cousin’s baby, find audition postings for plays, and watch cute bunny videos. I can send messages to family members who live halfway across the country, see all the cool art people have been working on, catch up on the latest news stories and everyone’s take on them. You can definitely find a sense of community while using social media.

Sites like Facebook and Instagram are definitely beneficial to me- when I’m in a good headspace. When I’m doing well, I’m able to comment on people’s pictures and status updates, I can objectively read articles that are shared, and I can be a part of the online community at large. When I get those random bouts of depression and anxiety, however, social media becomes more of a hindrance than anything. 

Depression and anxiety makes socializing hard in general. Socializing online is no exception- at least for me. My view of everything becomes so much more cynical; pictures of my friend’s getting engaged reminds me that I’m still not married, pictures of my friends hanging out makes me wonder why I wasn’t invited, and those positive quote posts make me want to throw my phone across the room. The most detrimental thing I do, though, when I’m depressed is venting about my life in a status update, not necessarily for attention, but as a means of throwing a lifesaver out into the dark, looking for a friend. It’s at that point that I’m at my most vulnerable. 

I’m definitely not alone here. Out of curiosity, I created an online survey to learn more about my social network’s social media habits and how it affects their mental health.