Facebook depression leads to problems like reclusiveness which can negatively damage ones mental health
Social media is an interactive computer-mediated technology that helps the creation or sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression through a different virtual communities and networks like Facebook, Instagram, Whats App, Snapchat and Twitter.
Social media facilitate for mass cultural exchange and intercultural communication. It has become an easy means to visit online contents, share personal thoughts and communicate with others living in any part of the world. Such involvement with social media and technological advancement has clearly widened the area of entertainment, knowledge sharing, and personal contact but it has also negative impact on the health and wellbeing of nitizens.
Facebook is one of the most popular social media sites. Almost every person across the globe is using it. There are highest numbers of Facebook users in India as compared to any other country. Facebook has 290 million users in India followed by USA (190 million), Indonesia (140 million) and Brazil (130 million). However, Facebook addiction can be an epitome of psycho-social abnormalities. Researchers have revealed that Facebook can greatly affect the mental health of people. Despite the popularity of the Facebook as a mean of entertainment, its insistent use and abuse has given open challenge to maintain the mental equilibrium.
Facebook depression is novel and widespread quandary among teenagers and young adults. According to American Academy of Paediatric (APA), Facebook depression may result if young users status update, wall posts or photos did not receive due importance that makes them feel unpopular. Facebook depression is a type of depression that affects adolescents who spend too much of their free time engaging with social media sites. Facebook depression leads to problems like reclusiveness which can negatively damage ones health by creating feelings of loneliness, alienation and low self-esteem.
According to Brent L. Fletcher, Facebook and other social media sites can contribute to depression in three ways that is bullying, comparison with others and influencing self-worth. Bullying can occur when ‘friends’ post derogatory statements about others or upload unflattering pictures and make negative comments about them. Facebook friends’ list and status postings can have detrimental effect when children or teens are comparing themselves with others on Facebook and find themselves lacking. The recurrent thoughts like “they have large number of friends and I don’t. That they have the relationship status I want or the life I want” can lead to low self esteem.
Regarding self worth Fletcher explains that the child or teen may think what if I post something and nobody responds to it or clicks the like button on it. Consequently, it is easy for them to become depressed when they are getting their sense of self-worth from approval of others on social media networking sites. The positive side of Facebook is that it provides a slew of opportunities to connect with your friends but trolling, posting unethical pictures, using derogatory remarks and abusive language can hurt, frustrate or irritate others. These negative effects of Facebook can give rise to depressive symptoms like restlessness, insomnia, lack of interest and suicidal tendency.
To cope up with such technology related disorders, there is need to avoid the frequent uses of social media sites particularly Facebook and one should desist himself to target others in such a way that it can’t disturb their psycho-social wellbeing. Furthermore, the moral responsibility of society in general and parents is to keep watch on each and every activity of their children whenever they are using the social media sites.
Author is a lecturer, Psychology, Government Degree College, Women, Sopore