The Whirlwind of Social Media
The Lie of Facebook
By: Christine Hammond, LMHC
I don’t know about you, but if I see one more “cute” cat video on Facebook, I’m going to scream. How is it that my friends have time to find and then post silly videos? Are their lives so ‘purrfect’ (pun intended) that they have the luxury to do this? Or… is it a façade? Facebook allows a person to literally paint and alter their image without any consequences for false identity or misrepresentation. Think of it as a giant modern art canvas where realistic images are absent and abstract images are present. There is plenty of room for interpretation. My frustration over the videos is more about my interpretation of their time in comparison to mine, rather than an accurate reflection of my friend’s life.
Don’t waste energy on interpretative art. Instead, let it be what it is.
Facebook: America’s Addiction
By: Cara Griffin-Locker
If you are like most people you probably have a Facebook account. You posts pictures, follow friends and family and maybe check into a place from time to time to get the occasional discount. For some, this social media outlet is a way to stay connected but for others it is a socially populated outlet in which depression is generated. It can create, envy, jealousy, hatred and at times an extramarital affair. Facebook, to many, is a new addiction.
Here are four of the most common ways in which Facebook can create depression in those who obsess over the materialistic things and unrealistic happiness that people can display.
1. Isolation: Depression by itself is an isolating disease. Combine that with staring alone at a screen, reading about other people's lives, hoping and waiting for someone to comment on or like something you wrote and you have a recipe for disaster. This often creates even more isolation because of the obsession that results.
2. Comparison: The art of looking at Facebook repeatedly can lead to the inevitable comparing game. So-and-so has this and I do not, or so-and-so is doing this and I am not. This type of comparison makes us feel like we are missing out, inadequate or a loser. It creates a sense of worthlessness in our own being that can ultimately lead to depression.
3. Fantasy/reality: Seldom do people post negative things on Facebook. In reality is their life perfect and all roses and butterflies? Of course not. It is all about perception and what they want the world to believe. Their life is not perfect. No one’s life is.
4. The Numbers Game: Like all social media platforms, Facebook is a numbers game that consists of how many friends you have and how many people comment on your posts or pictures. These types of expectations can easily lead to depression.
Think about this the next time you scroll through Facebook - do you spend numerous times a day looking at other people’s pages and what they are doing? Do you obsess over what others have? If so, it may be time to cancel or at least take a break from Facebook and get back in touch with reality.
Life Through the Lens and the Keyhole
By: Matthew W. Sandford, LMHC
We all have a tendency, and some more than others, to view other peoples lives through our “lens” and assess their relative success, happiness and level of fulfillment. We all have longings inside of us and these longings play a large role in making up the “lens” through which we interpret the world. Often, the more dissatisfied we are with our lives, or the farther we are from being able to realize our longings, the more we are influenced by what we interpret about others.
But here’s the thing; we never have an objective view of the inside world of others, we only have a view that is akin to peering through a keyhole. Let’s say you hear of a party that you were not invited to and in your jealousy, you go the location and peer through the keyhole. From what you can see through the keyhole, it seems that everyone is having a wonderful time, moving around, chatting, happy, even dancing. Your heart sinks. Suddenly the door flings open as someone exits, and a clear and full view is exposed to you. You see that the event was for disabled persons; a wheelchair here, crutches and braces there. No one was moving around so freely as you had perceived.
We really only have a keyhole view of anyone’s real life. That is, unless you are a counselor….