TIPS FOR USING SOCIAL MEDIA WHEN DEALING WITH DEPRESSION
The concept of “Facebook depression” is well-known. Repeated comparisons with the profiles of people who always seem to be having a great time leads to feelings of anxiety, jealousy, unhappiness, insecurity, low self-esteem and, eventually, depression. Not receiving messages or being mentioned in posts, can lead to feelings of loneliness. Social Media, however, is just a tool. Online support groups for people with depression can reduce the very isolation mentioned above. Having a supportive online community can reduce loneliness when you don’t feel like meeting people.
If you find yourself looking at your phone every 30 minutes or so, try to implement social media free times, that is, a 3 hour period daily. Do this before you go to sleep so that your sleep is not disturbed by ruminations — so no social media after 7pm
Instead of browsing Facebook profiles/ posts, try to find online support groups where you can listen to and share your own and other people’s experiences of depression.
Constantly remind yourself that social media is not real life and that comparisons are not valid. A common negative thought is that “I’m having a miserable time whereas everyone else is having a ball.” That big smile and jump in the air whilst on holiday might be the only time your friend smiled during the whole week. You only see a staged snapshot — what the person wants you to see. The rest of the week may have been miserable.