Could social media be making you feel depressed?

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Posting images online for validation or given into the pressures that come with seeing what everyone else is posting can lead to envy. Clinical psychologist Vanessa Hemp confirms this. “Not getting positive feedback can make a feel inadequate. What you find, however, is that its people with poor self-esteem who are most vulnerable to having their self-confidence damaged.”

Here is what you need to be careful of:

False impression

FALSE IMPRESSION

The harsh reality is that as much as social media is an integral part of our lives and makes us feel great, however brie y, the negative impact it has on our well-being goes as far as it being capable of damaging our mental health.

Fear of missing out

FOMO is where a person finds it difficult to put their phone away. A study by Pharma Dynamics con rmed that more than 62% of South Africans admitted they live in constant fear of missing out. It also found that South Africans tweet the most in Africa, followed by Kenya and Nigeria.

The organisation’s spokesperson Mariska Fouche says: “FOMO is a blend of anxiety, inadequacy and irritation that can are up, especially while browsing social media. People who su er from it constantly push themselves to the limit in order not to miss out on social events. They go to work even when they’re sick and are unable to turn down social invitations. This, in turn, heightens their risk of contracting more serious illnesses.”

Unreal expectations

What leads to depression with this, Williams claims, is that social media puts up virtual walls. Most of the time, we don’t air our dirty laundry online for fear of what others might think. We only Instagram our best moments and tweet about the most extraordinary few minutes of our day.

If you feel you suffer from this, consult a professional asap.

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