Technology and Mental Health

When I was growing up, things like social media and having personal cell phones while in middle school didn’t yet exist. I had nothing to hide behind and who I was, was just that: me.

But take a look at today’s social media. We have Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and more that have the ability to portray a life that we want others to think we are living, but may not actually be the case.

You can choose the best pictures of whatever you are doing to share with the world while hiding behind the veil of a phone. I suffer with depression and severe anxiety, but no one on Facebook knows that based on my pictures and statuses that I post. I post inspiring quotes, fun pictures of trips to the zoo with my kids and vacation photos that make it appear that I live a life of near perfection. But, on the inside I’m slowly dying and no one knows.

Think of how this affects us. Everyone these days now lives two lives- the real one and the one they post on social media. This can foster worsening depression, anxiety, and things like eating disorders. Everyone just wants to look perfect for their friends. I didn’t have this worry when I was younger, so if I had to guess, social media and technology has something to do with the increase things like suicide attempts and declining mental health overall.

We spend so much time trying to keep up with what we are seeing on everyone else’s social media accounts that we forget to just be who we are. We forget that they, like us, are just posting the best of the best. It causes detachment with reality in some ways as everyone only sees the best.

So how do we change this? How do we stop comparing our lives to those around us on social media? I wish I had the answer to those questions. But what I do know is that as we raise our children in this cyber world that we live in, we need to remind them that things aren’t always what they seem and we need to spend more time in face- to -face relationships and conversations so we can remain grounded in what is actually real.

~Lindsay