“It’s a dopamine yoyo driven by anxiety and feelings of being completely alone.”
Facebook Depression – It’s Real!
In today’s show, we discuss the occurrence of depressive symptoms seen in active Facebook users. While we believe that social media, in general, has caused broad negative effects on society, Facebook users are particularly at increased susceptibility for experiencing mood difficulty.
Where Does Facebook Depression Come From?
Well, the sad fact is that we are all Skinnerian rats experiencing the emotional ups and downs associated with irregular hits of dopamine. When a friend likes or comments on one of your posts, you feel warm, connected, even excited. When one of your posts goes horribly unnoticed, whether from the cruel consequence of an algorithm, or nobody actually showing interest, you feel disconnected and isolated.
Consequently, some individuals experience decreased mood as a broader life experience resulting from social media. Oddly enough, most individuals find themselves posting increasingly audacious material and personal views in order to get that coveted dopamine hit.
What We Propose – Hit Reset!
Hopelessly difficult times call for extreme measures. At Finding My Psych, we recommend the following. Understand, that each measure requires significant effort – Change and self-control are not in our DNA:
- Step away from social media for six months. This is the recommendation made by Jaron Lanier, writer and Silicon Valley father of AI. During this time, connect with others about what you discover and the impacts of social media on society.
- Delete all of your accounts and step away for 60 days. Understand, This is a full reset. Don’t simply put your accounts dormant. Obliterate them and start fresh at the end of 60 days. You will learn more about yourself than anticipated. Believe us, it’s profound!
- Go 80/20! Commit to creating a world where 80% of your life is engaged in analogue endeavours. The other 20% can be spent digitally. Write in a paper journal. Read and then gift your favourite magazine. Go shopping without your phone. Simply put, take your life back!
The Counter Argument
No sure you agree? Excellent! Empirical data on social media is lacking due to the relative age of the technology. Being informed means looking at a variety of perspectives.
For an in depth counter argument, check out our article, “Social Media and Mental Health Benefits (Building Your Wellness Network)“
Suggested Reading – Jaron Lanier
If you want a deep dive into reseting your online life, check out, “Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now,” by Jaron Lanier.