mental health · mental illness · Uncategorized

Social Media and Mental Health

We are all guilty of it. I don’t know anyone whose social media posts truly reflect the reality of their lives. Nobody wants to share the bad and the ugly. We all post the pretty holiday photos,  pictures with friends and exciting news about new jobs and relationships. It’s a dangerous part of our society.

Scrolling through Instagram and Facebook, I cannot stop myself from comparing my life to that of everyone else. Even though I am fully aware that social media is just a small snap shot of people’s lives, it’s really easy to forget that when you’re already feeling bad about yourself.

I really hope that young people are being educated about social media – not only the dangers of it but the fact that people only present the best parts of themselves and their lives online. People are not always happy as social media would suggest and that is okay. Taking social media presence as full reality can lead to low self esteem and judging ourselves really harshly.

I try to take time away from social media every now and again, especially when I’m stuck in an episode of depression. Seeing people having fun without you isn’t fun at all. Comparing your job to the jobs that your friends have can be really disheartening. There is a pressure that we put on ourselves to be happy and successful that is increased by our Facebook feeds. It’s hard because so much is done through social media these days but I’d recommend that everyone take a break from it occasionally just to focus on being in the present.

If someone looked through my Facebook timeline, it would be easy to assume that everything in my life is hunky dory. It seems like I socialise with friends a lot and am happy and healthy. The reality is that I barely see my friends at all and there are many aspects of my life which I am not satisfied with. I won’t claim that I’ll try to portray a more realistic version of myself and life on social media because nobody wants to see posts about medication, self harm and feeling suicidal. But I do want to make more of an effort to continuously remind myself that people choose to share the positives so you cannot really know what a person is experiencing through looking at their Facebook/Twitter/Instagram etc.

So this is a reminder to you if you feel bad about your life, if you feel like you’re not experiencing as much good stuff as others, if you think you’re failing because the people you know appear to be doing so well – social media does not tell anyone’s full story. Live your life for you and don’t let filtered photos dictate your self esteem! We are all more than an online persona.

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