Sunday, May 7, 2017

Social media cannot cure your depression

The rise of social media in recent years has inflicted strong impact on our daily life. Its effects are not limited to benefits such as easing to find friends and information, but there are some adverse influences.

In addition to the influence of fake news spread through social media issued in the previous US presidential campaign, some people feel sad or ashamed if they could not attract attention from others after submitting something. They feel as if they are ignored when their friends did not give "like" on the Facebook.

Then, does getting many "likes" make you happy? A recent study dismissed this idea.

Independent: Facebook likes don't make people any less miserable, study confirms

In this study, 340 social network users replied to the questionnaire in which the usage of social media and their idea upon them. Many participants of the study answered that they wouldn't like to buy the "like" for money. And even if they were given many "likes" they would not become happy from their depressive state.

This study is not an interventional one. Therefore, its validity should be cautiously examined. Nonetheless, I believe responses on the social media will never elevate your mood when you are depressed. In general, people with a depressive state cannot accept positive feedback from others as it is. Rather, they seek some reasons of their success from an external factor, instead of approving their effort. Some "likes" with a short comment is not powerful to effectively encourage depressed people.

On the other hand, people in a depressed state easily become dependent on external things, such as alcohol, drugs, gambling, and the internet. Indulgence to the internet is not only exhausting for depressed people but also harmful when they are harassed on the internet. Therefore, I do not recommend patients with depression to devote much time to the internet activity unless they have a supporter in real.

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