Give your mind a rest, set your smartphone aside (put it on flight mode), brew yourself a cup of tea and sit in front of your window. Have you ever wondered why you are at peace when you sleep, or when you hike through the forest? Well, perhaps because you’re going through Facebook Depression.
Yes, the irony isn’t lost on us. Talking about how bad the internet is on the internet. But despite the many great features that your smartphone, laptop, iPad or other technological support is giving you, a moment away from it might help you to find calmness and inner-peace. Let’s face it, social media is a great tool to stay in touch with your friends and family, however it can also generate a darker side – Facebook Depression.
There’s a term coined recently called “Facebook depression”? Chances are you’ve never heard of it, but as strange as it might sound, it does exist. Now, don’t go thinking that the company in itself causes depression, it doesn’t, but your daily feed can. Multiple studies, including one from the University of Michigan, observed a phenomenon while studying 82 Facebook users. Researchers found that people tend to expose only good memories, positive photos and event happening in their lives, leaving the negative ones aside.
“Facebook tends to show you other people’s highlight reel, and not the behind the scenes stuff”
Giving their friends and/or followers envy about their lives and leaving them feeling dull about their own by comparison. Now, this incident can also be found amongst other social medias like Instagram for instance. The point being that users tend to create this image of themselves which isn’t reflective of their daily ‘real’ lives, living you wondering how you could change your life to trade with theirs – a case of Facebook depression. It’s not the first time we see negative consequences from social media (Read: The Filter Bubble, or How Social Media is Affecting our Culture)
Check out this video (it’s only 2 minutes) by the Higton Bros. below:
Nightmare on Netflix Street
Now, let say, after reading this, you might consider lowering your daily social media usage but still use your technological devices to unwind from the stressful day you’ve had. For instance, falling asleep watching TV or Netflix on your laptop… Well think again. A research conducted by the department of Public Health in the Akita University School of Medicine, found that using a smartphone, tablet, TV or laptop screen before bed leads to difficulties falling asleep, generate stress and can lead to depression. Perhaps, the idea to read a book doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?
Back to the Roots
So, what about unplugging. Give yourself a break from technologies, deeply breath-in and out, find yourself something to do, to relax you. Read a book, paint, go for a jog, take a bath, spend time with your family. Explore and find new ways to unwind. Now, if you aren’t yet convinced, let’s take a look at a study conducted by the University of Michigan, were researcher found that in order to develop and grow, our brains need resting time. In fact, academics found that participants who had walked in the woods after learning something new would remember the information much better that a person who used technological support right after. This implies that having a little time off technologies and social media could actually benefit your capabilities to learn and grow.
So what do you say? Put the phone away or keep scrolling?
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