We are drowning under a digital flood of information. Much of the incoming information we receive is subscribed to or requested by us and the rest is generally unsolicited. However, as well as managing the information, most of the incoming content requires some form of interaction or response from us. We are spending increasing amounts of time online just trying to manage the 360-degree deluge of content.
The time of our own, rather than being spent effectively, is being ambushed by the checking, responding to and managing of both personal and professional emails, texts and social updates, which in fact leaves very little time for our real living.
Is Social Media actually making us depressed?
A study by the University of Michigan, observing 82 Facebook users over a 14-day period, found a direct correlation between the time they spent on Facebook and the negative impact upon their self-esteem. The study showed that as the time the group spent on Facebook increased, their feelings of depression also increased and their feelings of wellbeing decreased. The project’s lead researcher, Ethan Kross, explained: “On the
surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling such needs by allowing people to instantly connect.” But instead of increasing the feeling of wellbeing, these findings suggest that spending a lot of time on Facebook may actually undermine it.
According to Kross, the study findings went on to show that “the more time someone spends on Facebook, the worse their mood outcome”. These findings were further backed up by a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics which also found that both children and teenagers can develop what they term as “Facebook depression” as they feel overwhelmed by all the positive status updates and happy photos they see their friends posting.
London psychotherapist Jacqueline Palmer, who specializes in individual counselling and psychotherapy and provides help and guidance to cope with feelings of isolation and being overwhelmed, summarized this syndrome, calling it “compare and despair”.
As we become more aware of the negative impact of our dependence on social media,we may already be seeing the start of a backlash. Even Millennials are now starting to re-evaluate their social media activity.
Increasingly Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts are being either temporarily disabled or deleted. Share this post online if you liked it, to help others. Thanks