Psychotherapy; Salisbury Area  

 

For Adults, Children, & Couples by Jakota Herring LCSW-C

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How facebook can Depress You

Posted on November 2, 2017 at 8:20 PM

Have you ever found yourself feeling depressed after flipping through facebook posts? That’s not surprising. Although facebook can be a great way of staying connected to people, or re-connecting, it can also be a vehicle for feeling left out, inadequate, worse off than others, ignored, devalued, or unappreciated by others.


The nature of facebook is that the vast majority of people post only brag-worthy events, achievements, photos or comments. It can be hurtful to see post after post of people smiling with their significant others, family, or friends, when you never see the balance of reality. No one posts photos of themselves and partners glaring angrily at each other after a fight, or of their kids having a screaming hissy fit, or family sitting stone faced and looking bored together at dinner. No one posts culinary failure photos, or when they look their worst. You however are viewing all those happy bubbly photos and posts from your own real life context that includes the good, bad, and the ugly. Without realizing it you can be “sold” on the “advertising” that they have it all and that everyone is happier than you. And that’s just for starters.


No one seems to totally understand facebook’s formula for who shows up in whose feed. You will see your own posts, but not know who else did or didn’t see them. You also don’t know how often others are checking their facebook page during any given time period. That is seldom the first thought though when you get a disappointing response of “likes.” There is a certain amount of social politics behind who gets a lot of likes to their posts also. Its hard not to notice comparisons and feel bad if others consistently get more “likes” than you do. Whatever the reasons are, it’s a sure fire formula to feel down if you are not one of the lucky ones who got liked all over the place.


On top of everything else, are the personality differences in people as far as things like whether or not a person watches relationship status closely, or doesn’t bother with it. It seems that as a general rule (at least in my therapy practice experience) women are much more sensitive to relationship status postings than are men. Some people change their status after every big argument. Others let it sit as is one way or another, forgotten and ignored. In a relationship in which the partners utilize facebook very differently than each other, this can obviously be a fertile field for doubts, worries, anger, or depression.
My advice? If following facebook is making you upset, try ignoring it for awhile. If you want to see what is going on with someone or let them know about what’s happening in your life- call them. If you don’t know them well enough to call, then dial back how often you look at their posts. It will also save you a LOT of time!!


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