Facebook DepressionPosted: May 27, 2011 Filed under: About Me, Friends 3 Comments
The latest news is that there is a new condition affecting teens, “Facebook Depression.”
My initial thought was basically eye-rolling, but then when I learned a little bit more, I felt I could relate somewhat, even though I’m not exactly a teen.
“With in-your-face friends’ tallies, status updates and photos of happy-looking people having great times, Facebook pages can make some kids feel even worse if they think they don’t measure up.” (source MSNBC)
I don’t get upset about friend counts, because I’ve always preferred to have a few close good friends, than a large number of false friends or just acquaintances. Sure, I use Facebook to keep tabs on people that I might not ever see face-to-face again, but I deleted a bunch of people that I once knew, but who I never interact with even online.
In addition, seeing photos, or hearing about events that you were not invited to, or included in, can be hurtful. This is the part that has gotten me in the past. I’d go through a cycle of seeing photos of happy shiny friends having great times at parties and other events that I was never invited to, getting really upset, getting over it, then seeing similar photos all over again. I never said anything to the “offenders” in these cases, but I eventually made the personal decision to just remove these accounts from my Facebook. I’m not sure if anyone has noticed. I have never gotten any emails, phone calls, or other comments since. And in this case ignorance has not quite been bliss, but has stopped salt from pouring into my wounds.
I can’t imagine how hard a situation like this would be to a teenager, when everything in the world is SO DARN IMPORTANT. I think I am very lucky I didn’t have to deal with so much social media when I was a kid.
I agree, we were so lucky to at least have a childhood where just having a pager was a big deal! The friends I made during those times have been my longest friendships I still have today.
I hear ya on the invite thing. I once said something to an offender about it and she said that I had declined a few invites in the past (for legit reasons) so she just stopped asking. Understandable but hey! Still let me know you’d at least like me to be there!
The example you give isn’t what happened in my case (as far as I know), but it’s still something I worry about. I don’t have a lot of free time, between my full time job and going to school part time. In addition, I’ve got an autoimmune disease that means I am tired a lot, or I can be fine one hour and then super sick the next. And so in the past I’ve actually had to explain to people that my declining an invitation, or bailing on plans wasn’t because I was a jerk. I try to budget my time out in advance so I know if I’ve got a party on Saturday, then I can have downtime on Sunday.
I get that. I’m not a teenager, but I am still kind of a wuss. I get my feelings hurt all the time on facebook, which makes me want to quit…but then there are still a few cool people (who I never get a chance to talk to outside of facebook) so I stay on it.