The secret history of Facebook depression

The secret history of Facebook depression

Excerpt from this article:

The key to understanding social media depression lies in the social norm that has emerged around how we manage Facebook’s context collapse in a way that is acceptable in all contexts. That social norm is being your perfect self. And the consequence of that is we are all performing our perfect selves, thus all making each other feel depressed and inadequate.

Advertisements

Twitter’s Great Depression

Excerpt from this article:

I left Twitter on January 1st.

Yet, I am jonesing.

I’ve been on Twitter for over 10 years. I’ve met a ton of great people on there. And up until recently it’s been fun! (I wrote about my whole history with Twitter a while back.) It was often the first thing I checked in the morning and the last thing I checked at night. It was like air. And then it wasn’t fun anymore. (Some would argue that for them, it was never fun. And that distinction was/is often based along gender and racial lines.) And now it’s gone from not being fun to being toxic.

It’s been two weeks since I’ve sent a tweet. The app’s still on my phone. (They say the best way to quit is with a pack still in your pocket.) The account’s still up for practical reasons. First off, I use it to log in to several things. Yeah, I can change that, but it’s a pain in the ass. More importantly, people still DM me once in a while, and some of those are business leads, which I don’t want to lose. Plus, I’ve got embedded tweets all over the place, and other folks have embedded my tweets in their own articles. So if I actually shut down the account things break. I don’t want things to break any more than they already have.

Teenagers are growing more anxious and depressed

Excerpt from this article:

There may be plenty of analogue reasons for it. “A number of things are pretty unique to young people today. They were born around when the Columbine shooting happened, they were kids for 9/11, they were kids during one of the worst recessions in modern history,” says Nicole Green, the executive director of Counselling and Psychological Services at the University of California, Los Angeles, who has seen demand for her office’s services from college undergraduates surge.

A big new study suggests a different explanation for teenage melancholy—the many hours young people spend staring at their phone screens. That might be having serious effects, especially on young girls, according to the study’s author, Jean Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University and author of  “iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy”.

By scrutinising national surveys, with data collected from over 500,000 American teenagers, Ms Twenge found that adolescents who spent more time on new media—using Snapchat, Facebook, or Instagram on a smartphone, for instance—were more likely to agree with remarks such as: “The future often seems hopeless,” or “I feel that I can’t do anything right.” Those who used screens less, spending time playing sport, doing homework, or socialising with friends in person, were less likely to report mental troubles.

Depressed by Politics? Just Let Go

Excerpt from this article:

The unhappiness results speak for themselves. A friend of mine — a well-known journalist with a large social media following — once confided in me that there is little that brings him more anxiety than checking his Twitter feed. As he clicks on his notifications, he can feel his chest tighten. Maybe you can relate to this.

So what is the solution? First, find a way to bring politics more into your sphere of influence so it no longer qualifies as an external locus of control. Simply clicking through angry political Facebook posts by people with whom you already agree will most likely worsen your mood and help no one. Instead, get involved in a tangible way — volunteering, donating money or even running for office. This transforms you from victim of political circumstance to problem solver.

Second, pay less attention to politics as entertainment. Read the news once a day, as opposed to hitting your Twitter feed 50 times a day like a chimp in a 1950s experiment on the self-administration of cocaine. Will you get the very latest goings on in Washington in real time? No. Will that make you a more boring person? No. Trust me here — you will be less boring to others. But more important, you will become happier.

So go ahead, let go of the tree.

Me Vs. My Social Media Self: Why Gen Z Is The Saddest Generation

Excerpt from this article:

Back in her room, in bed and depressed, she would scroll through her Instagram feed, jealous of the friends who looked like they genuinely loved their lives. It didn’t occur to her that maybe they were faking it, too. She considered taking a break from school — going home to Rockville, Maryland — but she was afraid that the gap would only make college (and her misery) last longer. She felt like everything about her life as a University of South Carolina sorority girl was contrived, but she lived in the house. She was trapped. But as soon as she could move out, she quit the sorority. Then, most importantly, she stopped posting on social media for the length of her junior year.

Once she stopped performing on social media, Steimer had the time and headspace to focus on bettering her life in the real world. She landed a communications internship in New York at NASDAQ, which helped her learn more about who she wanted to be, “a serious person who works hard.” She cut her hair short and dyed it brown. The fact that she didn’t share every little detail about her new job or new look on social media also gave her freedom to experiment.

“I’m posting this mostly for myself, but I think there’s probably some people out there who need to hear it,” she wrote in the caption. “To all the people who have told me I was prettier as a blonde, to all the people who have told me I used to be more fun, and to anyone who really thinks I was a cooler person when I had cooler Instagram pictures: The girl on the left is someone pretending to be happy and praying to get enough likes on her pictures to feel fulfilled, which never works. The girl on the right is a girl who learned how to look at life for what it is, not how other people see it or how it looks through a camera.” The photo got 200 likes and 24 comments, all positive.

How an Algorithm Learned to Identify Depressed Individuals by Studying Their Instagram Photos

Excerpt from this article:

One of the curious things about color is that we associate it with emotions. Intuitively, we tend to link darker, grayer colors with negative moods and brighter, lighter colors with positive ones. Indeed, researchers have found that people suffering from depression prefer darker colors.

That raises the fascinating possibility that it might be possible to diagnose depression  en masse by analyzing the photos people post to social-media sites such as Instagram. But how reliable could such an approach ever be?

Today, we get an answer thanks to the work of Andrew Reece at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Chris Danforth at the University of Vermont in Burlington, who have found significant correlations between the colors in photos posted to Instagram and an individual’s mental health. The link is so strong that the pair suggest that it could be used for early detection of mental illness.

 

 

Heavy Internet use leads to school burnout in teens

Excerpt from this article (thanks Daan for the link!):

The research suggests that the most critical stage for tackling the problem of digital addiction and school burnout is age 13-15. The most effective way of supporting adolescents’ mental health and preventing excessive internet use is to promote school engagement, to build up students’ motivation to learn, and to prevent school burnout.

Depressive symptoms and school burnout in late adolescence are more common among girls than boys. Boys suffer more from excessive Internet use than girls.