When on Facebook, do you…
- Spend more than five minutes looking through someone else’s tagged photos?
- View profiles without leaving any indication you were there?
- Read conversations on someone’s wall that does not pertain to you?
- Dwell on how happy your friend looks in their new profile picture?
- Feel a twinge in your stomach when someone has more friends than you?
If these symptoms occur on a regular basis in your life, you may be susceptible to Facebook depression. Although research is still inconclusive, an article by Fox News explores the potential that Facebook may be causing depression among its users, and let’s face it, we’re all users of this wonderfully addictive site.
The article targets teenagers as the main victims of Facebook depression, as they are less confident in themselves as the college students who co-habit a large portion of Facebook. Social networking is at an all-time high, targeting the generations who create the majority of their identity through interaction on the internet. In Effective Biblical Counseling, Larry Crabb states that the average person seeks security and significance in life. We seek to win the approval of our peers, to find our self-worth in the validation of others. This is the lure of Facebook.
It is important to note that a healthy self-esteem may protect you from succumbing to social media induced depression. So take heart! You can build your online self-esteem by carefully cultivating a profile page that you can be proud of and showcases the very heart of yourself. Fill in all every band that you’ve remotely liked since the age of five, start some gossip with a witty status about the cute brunette you made eye contact with in class, or post the latest viral video to hit YouTube.
Or, you could just log off Facebook and actually go see your friends. That would work too.