Last Updated 07 Nov 2022

Social Media: Depression 

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There has been a point in someone’s life where they did not feel good enough. Everyone experiences not having the perfect body image, the perfect grades, or the popularity. Based off of a newsletter named “Healthline” they discovered that over 350 million people in the United States suffer from depression. One thing that does not help is social media. Social media provides a “perfect” standard that people believe they must stand by. For example, the apps Instagram and Snapchat, allow anyone to cover up a person’s flaws with filters. Instagram provides anyone with an account to create their own profile, post their own pictures, follow people they admire, and receive followers back. However, Snapchat provides several frivolous filters. These filters allow the users to change the shape of their face, the way their eyes look, and become silly animals. According to Sherry Turkle, who is a professor of the social studies of science and technology, says that “not only do we let our phones determine what we do, we let it change who we are.”

Social media creates a life inside a person’s phone that people become addicted too, and believe that it is the way to live, look, and act. Social Media is used way too much whether people like it or not. According to Sophia Smith, who is the author to a BBC article, states that the over use of social media is debated whether it is a mental health disorder or not. As of January 2018, the WHO (World Health Organization) identified video gaming as an addiction. Before discussed even further, there are different types of social media that needs to be explained. The first social media that is the most popular is Facebook. Facebook, allows a user to post their own posts defining their day or thoughts. Facebook also allows pictures to be uploaded where their friends can like and comment on them. The number of friends a person has, defines their popularity. The next most popular social media app in the United States is Instagram. Although Instagram is very similar to Facebook, it is used in a different way. Like Facebook, pictures are posted where likes and comments are received, posts on Instagram are not allowed. However, a “Story” can be uploaded where a picture or video can be seen up to 24 hours with writing that announces one’s feelings. Once again, the number of followers a user has identifies how popular that person is, it is just more obsessed with, to where people feel the need to purchase the followers they have. On Instagram, it allows people to create their own theme on their account, meaning that they can only post pictures that relate to the theme they picked. The last social media to be discussed is Snapchat. Although it is not the most popular, it has its impacts. Snapchat creates filters that enhances the users face. Some of them can be “cute” animals such as the dog filter that changes a person’s nose with a dog nose and adds dog ears on top of the human head, and others are simple, such as, eyelash extensions and has the effect of a light self- tan.

Depression is a mental disorder that makes a person feel unwanted, insecure, and extremely sad. Depression makes a person lazy and want to stay in a dark room all day. In the United States 350 million people are depressed. There are several ways to help with depression even if it has obstacles. There is a website called “Suicide Forum” that helps with anxiety, depression, and suicide. On the website under each tab, there are several different articles from separate authors explaining their advice and their thoughts on what each disorder is. Suicide Forum provides an online chat room where people who are afraid to meet in person can talk and chat all over the world. The chat room allow people all around the world to exchange advice and personal problems. Although they open themselves up to complete strangers, it makes them feel like they are not alone, and that they have someone who cares for them. Depression in teens is very common, 3.1 million teens have been depressed and experienced what it felt like. Teenagers in this generation tend to interact with their phones and social media. A very common thing in high school is cyber bullying. Teenagers feel the need to bully their peers through social media. Not only will this cause depression, but in most cases even suicide. Katie Hurley created a short article based on how parents can help their teens with depression. Teenagers feel like they can not go to their parents and they feel alone but reading Hurley’s article showed wonderful advice on how make teenagers feel comfortable talking to their parents’.

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Social media can not only affect teenagers, it can affect anyone in different age groups. Based on the people seen on Instagram posts or Snapchat stories, others tend to “want” to be them. People see the way others post and the number of likes and wonderful comments they receive, therefore, they feel the need to post like that. According to Sherry Turkle’s TED Talk video, she explains how people let phones control what we do. In the beginning of her video Turkle describes how a simple text can change a simple mood. Her example was her daughter sending a good luck text. Now this doesn’t just mean a positive text, it can be negative texts or negative posts they see on their phone. Although posts and texts are just through a cellular device, it can either ruin a persons’ day, or brighten it up. In conclusion, social media should not interfere with our daily lives. People should limit the amount of time they use for social media.

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