Facebook. The magical place where everybody’s life is perfect. Oh look, Beth is celebrating her 10th wedding anniversary this weekend and still loves her husband like she did the day they married! That’s great, but why are you not that happy with your spouse? Apparently, Beth has a better marriage than you. Probably even a better life.
So, let’s look at this more closely. How did you decifer that Beth was happily married? Oh yeah, because that’s what Beth posted on Facebook. Have you ever stopped to realize that people typically only put their best face forward on their social media accounts? All relationships have ups & downs, but we typically don’t see the latter on Facebook.
Can Facebook intensify feelings of depression?
Yes. According to a study in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, a psychological phenomenon known as Social Comparison can be to blame. Social comparisons is where we tend to make comparisons of our most dull moments to those of our friend’s “highlight reels.” This unrealistic comparison of lives can cause those prone to depression to experience Facebook envy.
Is Facebook all bad? No. It can be a wonderful way to share your life with loved ones & friends; and however, if you find yourself validating your worth by the number of likes you get, it can be a huge problem. Ask yourself, how often do you check FB to look at your like count? How often are you scrolling FB and making comparisons of your life versus your “friends?”
Part of becoming a better you is to realize that life isn’t about the Facebook “highlight reels.” Life is more complex & beautiful than that. I encourage you to log out and take a FB break. Take a deep breath and take the time to notice the beautiful things in your own life that you take for granted.