The Case For Social Media

Social Media Depression – yep you read that right ever heard of it?

It is not something I made up honestly. Apparently it is now something that is being caused by spending too much time on sites like Facebook and Twitter and there are studies being done into it.

According to some of the sites I have seen we get depressed when our friends post “sunny status updates and photos of perfect children”

Bullshit!

What a lot of people do not understand is that social media is, for many people, the only form of contact we have with people because of our illnesses.

Here is one post about social media where it outlines what we should do to prevent us adding social media depression to our growing list of problems – what is social media depression

The following is taken from that article

Like most things in life, it’s a good idea to approach social media in moderation. The effects of obsessively checking social media accounts aren’t well studied, but research shows that the more time a person spends doing this, the more likely he will experience anxiety and emotional loneliness . So far, it’s believed that people’s addiction to social media sites is influenced by their personality traits — a fact suggesting that psychology may play a larger role than social media Web sites on their own.

To avoid what some refer to as social media depression, experts suggest resisting the urge to compare your life with those of other people in your social networks. Also, remember that online communication is very different from face-to-face interactions; online, body language and face-time can’t be used to prevent miscommunication. There’s nothing wrong with using social media to stay in touch, but consider talking over the phone or meeting in person if you’re not satisfied with your online relationships with others.

If social media is taking a toll on your mental health, don’t be afraid to talk to someone about it or contact a trained professional for advice.

All well and good but what if you cannot manage face-to-face interaction because you have problems leaving your home, what if there is no one in your life that you can have face-to-face interactions with?

From my point of view it is well documented by me that I have no friends in real life so am I supposed to just ignore social media and the opportunity to speak to people. What twitter and Facebook has done is introduce me to people I would never have met in the real world. I have friends from all over the world which means that anytime of day there is usually someone around for me to interact with.

I can’t rely on my family for any contact – by family I mean my parents and siblings, I speak to my nans and great aunt 2-3 times a week. I have not spoke to my father in 18 months and my mother a couple of times since May. My brothers and sister could not care less about me or my kids. So I HAVE to use social media to talk to people.

Not only is it a case of needing social media to have any contact with people it also helps me meet those with the same mental health illnesses as me which is vital because it is a great comfort to know your not alone in suffering.

Mark Brown, who writes for One in four a mental health magazine has written a great blog post about the virtues of social media which can be found here

I agree with his sentiments especially the last paragraph

If we want to stop the internet doom mongers judging us, we need to stand up and say: “Yes, I have a mental health difficulty.  Yes, I use social media.  And, you know what? It’s something that adds something great to my life not takes away from it.  And it’s not something that’s going to go away.” 

 

Sure I spend at least 12 hours a day on twitter and facebook but that time is spent learning more about depression from others point of view, socialising and helping others.

Would I be able to walk into a pub for example and announce “I have depression” and receive the same reception that I get from people on twitter. Of course that would not happen so before judging someone for the amount of time they spend using social media think about the reasons behind it.

For many people it is quite simply a lifeline and I know of people, myself included, who would not be here were it not for the kindness of stranger on these sites that send a positive message or words of advice or just a simple virtual hug.

So say it loud, say it proud I LOVE SOCIAL MEDIA and the friends I make on there keep me going through the bad days, unlike the real world people who wouldn’t know I was having bad times because they simply don’t care.

Social media depression? Don’t make me laugh! soon I suspect I will be suffering from depressed depression

Social media does not make me depressed it gives me a way of meeting new people from different walks of life and connect with fellow sufferers. Things like silly studies into mental health give me more cause for concern!

For those who don’t follow me on twitter find me here you can find me on Facebook here

 

 

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14 comments on “The Case For Social Media

  1. It is the only place I can let out. And, yes, sometimes I get upset if no-one replies, but then I don’t always ask for help directly. When I did the response was wonderful.
    So, sorry experts, social media is helping get me through. You lot are talking LOB.

  2. Dear Moose,

    Wow! You offer a whole different perspective that I have previously overlooked. This paragraph raised my consciousness level:

    “From my point of view it is well documented by me that I have no friends in real life so am I supposed to just ignore social media and the opportunity to speak to people. What twitter and Facebook has done is introduce me to people I would never have met in the real world. I have friends from all over the world which means that anytime of day there is usually someone around for me to interact with.”

    Thanks for being authentic.

  3. Great post. I’ve experienced both sides of it. On Facebook “the fear of missing out” was a big thing for me, I hated seeing everyone’s amazing photos from holiday, new babies, new houses all of that. It was hard to see everyone “happy” when I was miserable and felt like my life wasn’t going anywhere. So I came to accept that I needed to be content with my life…. not someone else’s or what others think is a good use of time/money.

    I’ve only experienced the good sides of Twitter, the mental health community and the amazing support. I’ve met so many wonderful people on it, and actively encourage it for social communication. I have few friends that I regularly see, so talking to my friends on Twitter every day makes me a whole lot less lonely.

    There are always both sides to every coin, and I think for some, yes, the fear of missing out etc., can increase loneliness and despair. it’s the approach to it that matters. In my first week on Twitter, I did feel very lonely indeed, like a needle in a haystack, but now, I’ve connected with various people, and look forward to hearing how they are doing.

  4. i think social media can become an addiction and in THAT way it is obviously going to lower the enjoyment of life for people who genuinely are addicted. but i completely agree with you. the online community has made all the difference in my life and it always has. i am lucky that i was born in a generation that always had computers, and by the time I was 12 the internet was very accessible. it has been so instrumental in my ability to feel safe, to make friends, and to express myself without fear (having DID means switches, and there is no one i feel safe switching in front of, but the internet is a place i can feel truly accepted and welcome — i’ve found great support here).
    i can see why outgoing, extroverted, social, mentally and physically healthy people might view long stretches of time on the internet as detrimental. it probably would be, to *them* and *their lifestyle.* but as far as quality of life goes for me, being disabled and unable to be social, yet craving and needing community, i’d say it is a true gift.

  5. Pingback: The Case For Social Media | Mental Health, Politics and LGBT issues | Scoop.it

  6. Hi,
    Without social media I’m totally isolated. Agreeing with what youve written Mr moose.

    I have no real life friends, a disfunctional family, don’t know father, awkward with mother, sisters:complicated and my grandparents dead.

    I live with my partner and kids BUT during this breakdown and mental health problem rhey are often a problem to me. I am social on the inside, and WANT to talk BUT actually being with people is so hard.

  7. Pingback: A few good links | eChurch Blog

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